“Companion Plantings”

by weirdlittlepony

I’ve got so many related and complementary projects going on at the same time that it’s starting to scatter my brain a little. Some are a lot more clearly related than others, which have a more tenuous link, but really, all of them have something in common.

I don’t count my day job, not really. It’s something that I have to do in order to be able to eat, sleep under a roof in a (sort of) permanent location, and afford to do the stuff that really means something.

There’s writing, both on its own and on this blog. And stuff that’s good enough to put in the public sphere needs a little time to polish. I know not everything I publish makes a huge point or even a very useful one, but it does say something that’s not absolutely stupid or baseless. I don’t general post simply for the sake of posting, and that’s why I’m quite all right with periods of seeming inactivity. I just prefer to see it as dormancy. I write about a lot of things, and am inspired by a lot of things, not least of which are the other things on which I choose to spend my time.

There’s hula, which isn’t a cheap activity. The classes are not cheap by any comparison to the plethora of other dance classes available in this country, and the costumes and accessories are anything but. I dance because I’ve read about and am fascinated by the beauty of the art form and the depth of its cultural significance. I dance also because I like the language and the music, and I also enjoy being able to speak a language – to “write” – with my entire body. I enjoy the rootedness that it has in nature.

I’m currently undergoing chiropractic intervention for misalignments in certain groups of vertebrae. This is affecting my dancing because the adjustments cause sensitivity, and bones and joints that are being “forced” to move correctly where they have long gotten used to moving incorrectly will inevitably ache. I get tired and feel pain a lot more easily now. The irritation and frustration bleeds into my thought processes and my writing.

My plants, which are a primary source of inspiration (and amusement and joy), require a lot of maintenance. Right now there are about forty altogether (some have been given away, and some have died), and they all require careful checks at least once a week to prevent bug infestations, and thorough watering twice (or at least once) a day to keep them strong and healthy and able to resist bug infestation to a certain degree. Talking to them is calming, and the window at which they hang is conducive to prayer – which in turn feeds positively into my thought processes (writing) and worship (dance) and health (spinal healing).

I’ve decided to add another thing to the mix – crochet. This will be my third attempt to learn this craft, and I hope it will be the last. It’s not the floral accessories and lacy doilies that I want to make – it’s practical things like rugs, pot scrubbers, fingerless gloves, baskets, bags and the occasional shawl or cowl that I want to make. Seeing beautiful and useful items result from a crazy series of knots seems like a good metaphor for how all the many loose strands in my life coalesce into a harmonious whole… I’m probably not patient enough to do a needlepoint tapestry, but a good crochet piece is like as not a similarly good picture of how God works all our lives into His master plan.

As I go through life as a sort of apprentice gardener, trying to keep my actual plants alive, I’m also attempting to work all my various “plantings” into complementary relationships so as to avoid time and effort wastage. I can’t help but think of how it’s all just layers and layers and layers of metaphor… because we’re all the plantings of the Lord, aren’t we? As we shepherd others in the faith, they’re also plants that we as junior gardeners nurture and cultivate. Our children are our plantings. And we’re stewards of the earth, the land, so actual plants are also under our care.

We’re both plant and gardener, and we need to understand both sides of that relationship in order to fully appreciate our identities as human beings and as “little Christs”. It’s a crazy, complicated thing, so many disparate strands… getting all hooked and knotted up together in a beautiful project.