Don’t hang Gilbert

As I scrub the mildew off the top of the greenhouse, perched on a tippy ladder, the soapy warm green water runs down the front of my shirt and trickles onto my grubby knees. I don’t mind. It feels good to tackle this property one corner at a time. I grin and think, “Isn’t it nice that no critic is going to come around and write about my green house’s structure and form? Isn’t it a relief that a jury of peers aren’t comparing my green house to other’s? Isn’t it fantastic that I don’t have to write a grant before I can use the green house and justify why it is relevant for today, how it is innovative and diverse and how it furthers my practice? Though I’m getting so used to writing grants now I could likely answer those questions with great élan. Earlier this week I cleaned out the inside of it and evicted at least thirty spiders, not counting the ones I didn’t see crawl into the floor or into my hair. Two of them were so large my fellow had to come in and stab them with his jack knife. I am not kidding. Normally we would live and let live but those monsters were too close to the house for comfort.

This week my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Leanna Brodie, had a birthday. What a fine collection of people she had around her. My Fellow and I had a great chat with Sherry Yoon and Jay Dodge about maintaining land on the Westcoast: keeping chickens safe and wrestling with blackberries and such. They commute from the Sunshine Coast (Gibsons I think) to run Boca del Lupo theatre. They are raising two young children at the same time. I love these two. Whether they’re socializing or parenting or creating a show, one gets the impression that they add to each other’s sense of joy. I feel that way about Leanna and Jo too. They amuse each other. I”m sure love and respect and trust and all that stuff is mixed in there, but what I watch for is that delight. It’s really beautiful when humans can manage to maintain delight with each other over a long period of time, whether that be friends, lovers, colleagues or family members.
Once the green house is spotless, inside and out, and smelling of rosemary and lemon instead of manure and dust, I pot 32 pepper plants and plop them in. Something tells me I’m going to be doing a lot of fire roasting and jarring this fall. I chuckle to myself. How lovely that my fall will be jarring and not jarring. I stop for a cup of tea. Because I can.
I suppose at some point today I really should get back to work that might pay me. I feel a bit guilty as Fellow is out dealing with a nasty motor vehicle accident or some such right about now. That said, he’s very excited about the garden and it really needs to get done.

I ponder a subplot for my Thin Man adaptation. In my first draft, the boy, Gilbert, was an object for ridicule and he was also a bit creepy, one of the suspects, you know. But there’s more there, Craig (the director) is right. I think of Glibert’s slender pimpled odd genius self. I think of his absentee father. I think of his controlling mother. He’s a little like this leggy eggplant seedling that I’m going to try and put in a hanging basket….wait…I can’t just shove him somewhere, I have to think this through. Can I hang Gilbert? No. No. Google shows me I can’t. Eggplants are large bushes, not vines! Rethink, Lucia. Where am I going to put Gilbert so he thrives but doesn’t overwhelm the plot? Hm. Gardening is full of writing lessons.
Before I head into the house, I place my pleasure purchase into a nice big container on the deck: a passion fruit vine. I’ve wanted one of these since I wrote Paradise Garden. My, how some people hated that play. My, how some people loved it. Hm. So weird, really.

I take a picture of the greenhouse all clean and full of peppers for Fellow and send it to his phone. He’s on a break. He’s pleased. Then I send something a little more cheeky while crouching and giggling in a stand of peonies, hoping the neighbours aren’t out. He’s even more pleased. Then I head into the house to wash off the sludge and to give poor Gilbert a little more room and a second chance to delight me. After all, we’ll be together for a long time.IMG_3806

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1 comment

  1. DLF

    you amaze me.

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