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fingernail dirt

April 20, 2009

I type to you today with filthy fingertips.  Today’s soil meets yesterday’s soil in the space between my flesh & fingernail.  Drew says he heard somewhere about some lovin’ chemicals that get released when you get down & dirty in the garden.  That helps account for this great feeling, perhaps, or at least explains it some.

I might also attribute it to a distinct feeling of closeness with the mother.  For I have (at least) two wombs from which I sprang: a human womb, in which fetus-me grew these very fingernails (or some preliminary prototype), & an earthly womb, out of which all my particles came & will eventually return.  Carl Sagan said we’re all “starstuff,” & to that I add that we are more directly “earthstuff”.

JP, Gretchen, Drew & I speed-dug a garden bed this morning, & then I had a fine time “double-digging” it — turning over the top soil, turning over the next layer, & using my bare hands to blast the clods to smithereens.  As I stepped on my shovel, the earth pulled me & the shovel into it, toward her core.  Indeed, every day of my life, my mother pulls me back to her.  She loves me far too much to let me go.

These garden beds look like mouths of the mother.  The rich dark soil looks like her skin.  Breaking up these clods in my hands, I touch her so intimately.  What a fucking honor!

And also, as visitors are quick to point out, these fresh, unplanted garden beds look like graves.  When I die, my mother will take me back, & out of me-made-her, will grow vegetables again.

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