Thursday, July 1, 2010


As I leave the rain washed valley, sliding in my sleepiness across the narrow black top road, realizing that “getting there” isn’t half as soulful as “being there”, I begin to wonder where the hell I’m getting to. It seems I’ve been in constant motion since March, some would say since I left the womb.

I’m always trying to get somewhere. To work. Back home. To the desert. To the forest. To a comfortable place in my work weary body. To a peaceful place in my mind. Today I leave the valley road and join the many on their way to work, as I follow the highway to a freeway, the freeway to a highway, joining the great swarm at ever higher speeds.
Where is the “there” we’re all getting to?

Is it the “happy place” that Ellen jokes about?

We are promised the pursuit of happiness in this country. Not happiness itself. Could you imagine the chaos on Capitol Hill if they were trying to make us happy? All they need to do is provide the means for the pursuit of happiness. Well, this morning, a rainy Thursday morning, I’m already going well over the speed limit. Other drivers whizz by me, in hot pursuit, like cops to the scene of the crime, burning up these means.

I’m on my way to work. I am happy to be a gardener, even on this cold and rainy first day of July. Since I’ve stopped asking the question: When will summer get here? It has freed up my mind to ask even bigger questions like “ Where the hell are we all getting to?” Or at least “Where the hell am I trying to get to?”

I’m on my way to a garden. I guess I took Joni Mitchell seriously when she sang, ‘We got get ourselves back to the garden.” But I might have missed the point. Maybe too these truck loads of logs will end up in a garden, as fences, decks and furniture.
These palettes of bagged potting soil and mulch are, after taking a ride to Home Depot, and then a car ride, on they’re way to a garden, too.

I don’t think that is what Ms Mitchell had in mind when she sang about the garden.

Each week when I drive by this little house with the big “PSYCHIC” sign, I want to stop and ask her “Where the hell am I getting to?” But there is no time to stop. I’m on my way to work. To a little bit of faux paradise at the and of another country road. I will spend my day compulsively trying to get to the perfect garden, but rarely enjoying it’s present perfection. I guess that’s my job finding the flaws and correcting them.
And then driving home.

In the dry and womb like warmth of my green truck riding down the split the black top makes through the green world I realize I better get while the getting is good.