I wish I could be as fearless in life as I have been with my landscaping, or lack thereof.
One of the greatest things happened when I threw caution to the wind, and let the dreaded by many lawn care aficionados, raspberry weed take root, many roots in fact, at the back of my yard.
Eight years the plants spread, and to my relief have basically taken care of themselves. A bountiful harvest I have reaped, at the expense of nothing really. Less lawn to for me to mow. Although I do get some scratches when I reach into the depth of the prickly plants, even with a long sleeve shirt on. They’ve probably attracted wildlife to our backyard, including the greatly romanced honey bee.
Every year when picking raspberries, I have to relearn the same lesson. Even after I think I have found all the raspberries in a section, if I stand back there are more I’ve missed, always. How did I miss them? I was staring in that exact place but a bit closer. Moving the leaves up and around, crouching even to find the berries underneath.
I’ve been struggling writing my story, and a friend told me of ‘seeing the forest for the trees’, and that if you couldn’t tell the difference between the two, it’s time to stop writing, and let your story simmer for a while, like a good long while.
Stop? That makes no sense. I must keep writing, and rewriting, and thinking about said story to find the answer, the elusive puzzle piece, and that is to finish in every sense of the word, the fucking story. This story which I love because I have put so much of myself into it, and it also just happens to be the reason I hate it. That I could bleed myself comatose, with paragraphs of prose, and still it’s not done. Not even close.
I’m going to be honest, my friend’s advice didn’t resonate with me until today as I was picking raspberries for the first time this year.
I became aware of learning the same lesson I have to every year. To stop. Step back. And something amazing happens. Before your eyes you start seeing things just moments before you did not. Stopping lets you adjust your perspective without losing focus on the task.
But if I’m being even more honest with myself, I’m afraid. Although not of an unruly bush, raspberry, that is. Though the actions caused by fear often propel situations into self fulfilling prophecies. Although said friend also states ‘you can’t ruin a story’, you can. Fear might cause you to start changing things you’ve written and maybe not ruin it, but certainly make fixing it a more daunting task than it had originally been.
Just as fear of losing someone you care about, might cause you to tighten your grip on the object of your affection, thus scaring them away. Counter intuition says STOP, STEP BACK if you want to see the forest for the trees, that is your story, STOP, STEP BACK if you want to find all the raspberries hidden before your eyes, and STOP, STEP BACK if you want to avoid a restraining order.