In the garden, on this chilly, almost autumn-esque day, I pulled lettuce from a fattening line, admiring the myriad green. So much of writing is spinning the stuff of language into this three-dimensional world we inhabit. Our world is so amazingly complex, jammed ceaselessly with variations of color and light, that language at times seems a poor descriptor.
I always remind myself, begin at the beginning, with the very first word. Setting aside my basket of lovely leaves, my fingers crumbled dirt into my palm. Dirt? Or the earth itself, but a few grains of this celestial, spinning orb? Or Thomas Wolfe’s “loamy soil”? Or is this broken sod? Tenacious clay?
I held the handful near my face: black earth, lavish enough to devour.
The voice of forest water in the night, a woman’s laughter in the dark, the clean, hard rattle of raked gravel, the cricketing stitch of midday in hot meadows, the delicate web of children’s voices in bright air–these things will never change.
– Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again