. . . . . . . * . .

27 August 2006

Because of my presence in the morning, my roommate has been unable to tend the garden, which is reached through a door in my bedroom. As a result it has grown with abandon, much recovering from the shearing she gave it early in the summer, when she eliminated a whole hedge of what she would term 'shrubs,' which had grown to the size of small trees. There are, I suppose, two fundamentally opposed philosophies of gardening: one in which plants called shrubs are by definition undesirable, and one in which plants are categorized by pleasantness rather than name. At night it had been pleasant to stand beneath the leaves, back to a wall, staring up into the branches of a row of ancient elms that towers in the center of the apartment block. From the right angle, I could see nothing but the elms -- no building, no city -- and there was a quiet I hadn't felt since moving to New York. After the shearing, the garden felt denuded, and vapor lights from a nearby building crossed the wall where the shrubs had stood. But a couple months have passed, my roommate has been effectively barred, and now the garden is again dense and wild, with leaves that rustle happily in the wind.

It takes a while for eyes to adjust to the dimness, but once they do the leaves stand out in detail, as in Rousseau's jungles, and two white chairs seem to glow. The chairs are a fine place to sit and have a beer. I'm going to miss this garden.