Friday, October 31, 2008


My grandfather has always been a plant man--a man that appreciated the way a brilliant pink faded to cream in a camellia. But a few years ago he fell in love with amaryllises. That affection spread to all bulbs. So instead of receiving ties and puzzles for his birthday, he opened boxes of apple blossom amaryllises and blue jacket hyacinths.

Even at 94, he never considered not planting them himself. He designed the beds, hauled in the dirt, and dug holes. He labored hard and his efforts showed. Still as I watched him look on at his work, I could see the wheels turning. Was he pondering what the garden would be like if he'd shaped it another way? Or maybe he was thinking how nice it would look with a few tulips, if only the climate allowed them to grow in Louisiana.

I understand his restlessness. When I finish a book, I'm not finished thinking about it. I'll wash the dishes and imagine the perfect line my character could have said. Or a piece of description pops into my head while I'm driving to the coffee shop. Only it's too late. Perhaps it's the curse of all artists.

No comments:

Post a Comment