The fava beans, I just assured Jane, should not be uprooted, such is their benefit to the soil. The green parts of the plants are taller than I am. Their roots go equally deep. And while they are breaking up the local clay soil, they are also sucking nitrogen from the air and imparting it to my garden. All of which has resulted in an amazing harvest, part of it eaten, part residing in our freezer. All this in the heart of the city.
I’m thinking about these things, clear evidence of agronomic productivity and general renewal…because a writer friend’s agent has categorically turned me down. Logic should tell me that this is a writer’s life. Fuck logic. As the English would say, ‘I’m going down the garden to eat worms.’
Thus the garden. It appears and reappears in life and in metaphor. Candide ended up there, having survived Voltaire’s assaults of Bulgarians, Turks, whores and flimflam artists…deciding in the end to attend to his crops. Why not? Why not give up writing and get into lettuce and bean production? I can see a strong argument in favor. Meanwhile, Jane’s church is decamping to John McLaren Park for a Saturday afternoon picnic. Where is this? Right in the southernly central part of San Francisco. More to the point, it is that hint of greenery just over the edge of the distant hill we see from our balcony. It beckons constantly. It has beckoned for a year or more.
So it’s time to drive there. What is driving there like? I anticipate the drive with nervousness. I anticipate most drives with nervousness. Is this warranted? I guess I’m determined to find out. The park is over the hill…but am I? Is that the question? There was a time when I was quite happily driving around this town. I would like that time to come back…with an extra bit of caution regarding overdoing it. Whatever overdoing it may be.