Saturday, June 7, 2014

You never ask about my garden

‘You never ask about my garden,’ she says. I look at her questioningly but I think I know where she is coming from. ‘You have your books, I have my plants,’ she smiles. ‘I ask about your books but you never ask about my plants.’

‘I do, I keep listening to your tales about them, all the new plants that you are growing,’ I say.

‘But you never want to see my garden,’ she says. She pauses for a few seconds before continuing. ‘I am not into books like you are but I like to know about them because I like to know your mind.’ She stops.

The subtext hangs dangerously in the air between us: don’t you want to know my mind? I think about how to respond. If I apologize, I admit to a mistake but have I done something wrong? Am I not interested in other aspects of her life? If I don’t apologize I widen this gulf that’s opened between us. ‘It’s alright, I’m being difficult,’ she smiles and the tension lifts.

But what she tells me lingers. Every little thing she does is magic. When she towels her hair or when she’s cutting vegetables, I cannot take my eyes off of her. But I don’t ask about her garden, the single most important creative act of her life.

What does this say about me? More importantly, what is she to me? Deep down, that second question is what she probably wants answered too. But she hasn't framed the question that way. Not yet.

Philip John, Labyrinths,

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