Of ‘Earth to Earth’

Eight years ago now, almost precisely, I stood by my mother’s bedside holding her hand as she slipped from the world. Like most things in her life she did it quietly, with grace.

That she did it on her seventy fifth birthday – surrounded until only minutes earlier by family and friends there to celebrate her life rather than share in her dying – was symptomatic of her also doing things with style. That she did so – I later discovered – at precisely the same time she was born was just downright weird – but still not entirely out of character…

The first year without her was a creative void for me – empty of joy in the writing or making of things – empty of joy in the garden even, previously my refuge and rescue in times of hurt. It was now though where I felt her absence most acutely,  its stillness not a salve but a sharp reminder. I longed to be able to talk to her still, to show her what I was doing…

Seven years ago then – almost precisely – I started to write again; short diary pieces about the garden theoretically interspersed with letters to my dead mother. Looking back on it now though through dryer eyes, I realise that in fact it is all short diary pieces about the garden. The letters feels artificial in retrospect and certainly they ommit much I would have included had I truly believed there was a chance of her reading them.

When I wrote it it was simply catharsis, with no view to publication. The few I did share it with however prevailed upon my ego to send it to half a dozen publishing houses. Four rejected it almost by return, the fifth I’ve still not heard from – but Hodder showed enthusiastic interest for a few months before their eventual apologetic rejection. Taking it on the chin was made harder, of course, by the deeply personal nature of the subject matter.

Earth to Earth (link below or from the ‘pages’ list) will, then, get no more touting around the world literary but I choose to share it here, now, in the hope that people who love gardening and/ or their mothers will find some resonance in it. My intention is to post each brief offering within its week of writing over the next year – a relief, I hope, for those of you more accustomed to struggling through the realms and reams of Judeness… which will continue…

Anyway this is for mum… https://judeness.wordpress.com/earth-to-earth

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~ by Jude on July 20, 2009.

3 Responses to “Of ‘Earth to Earth’”

  1. I shall go and read.
    thanks for sharing them

  2. I simply loved reading this.

  3. Thank you K – both for your kind comments and for giving me a much needed push to make space in my life to blog again. I love doing it but, well, it takes time 🙂

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