Another reminder this morning of how closely linked are the processes of gardening and writing—all that pruning and timing and structure-is-important-or-the-whole-thing-goes-to-hell-pretty-quickly-no-matter-how-nice-it-looks-when-you-plant-it. Not to mention the yanking of weeds, watering, muttering about what needs to be moved, propped up, filled out, eliminated. Deadlines. Frost warnings.
It never fails. I go outside to air my brain, get away from the pages but they follow me and what I end up doing in the garden turns out to be some parallel version of what I’m working on at my desk.
So this morning, after cleaning up some edges along a stone path, I decided to do a colour post; I was taking pictures of red things, tomatoes, bee balm, unripe blackberries, but none of it was grabbing me. Then I noticed the nasturtiums and they looked nice so I changed my focus to orange. I had no idea how much of it was out there, hadn’t seen it til I started looking (to my surprise, I was even wearing an orange shirt). I took these pictures then went back inside, inserted an orange scarf into a scene I’d been struggling with and, well, not exactly presto—there’s much more to write—but it changed the direction of the whole chapter for the better. It was the colour, the ‘orange’ that did it: a red scarf, or blue or green, wouldn’t have worked. And yet I couldn’t see it…