I get up very early now and watch the light change from grey to white. I have my little window that looks out into the yard. It used to be a more formal garden with my flowers in nice little circles and cute little-trimmed rows, but now it is pretty much everybody for themselves.
You can all pretty much do what you want and don't give me any lip about meeting the neighbours. Some of you will just have to get along with the others. I won't be watching out for any of you now; my lovelies.
The garden is pretty much like me these days. Just sort of wandering around wondering where to go next. Free to explore new territory and take root in other ways—pretty much this way and that. I have given up gardening as one of those things that went with my marriage. I loved working outside for hours in the sunshine; planting, weeding and designing—time to let it go.
The garden is now moving from the French version to the more English one. In the same way, my life is now unfolding. No longer strictly controlled and regimented—back to being a wilder, more imaginative version of my self. Formal giving way to the informal. The clean and arranged to the more disheveled and strewn. My creative space spilling all over in a more natural mystical way rather than a clear cut, flowers in a row version.
I spill emotions on the page now and carry notebooks of scribblings and stories in my purse. I drink lots of coffee at times and wonder what happened to the tea drinker I was. The romantic I had let go of is now crashing in my life and demanding to be acknowledged. It was as if my muse was forced into some prison and just about died. We weren't on the best of terms—he would often complain. I would tell him that being a working artist was very serious and there was so much to do. He would usually sulk and not talk to me, but he could be so wild and difficult at times that I certainly didn't need him around to mess with me.
In college, I painted—he was around all the time. It would get so intense at times I would feel as if I was drowning in bliss. Needing to get some order and discipline I went and studied Photography. This gave me structure, a 9-5, and a career I had for many years.
Like my garden, my muse was not going to be so controlled anymore. He'd had enough—go fuck yourself, he said one day and promptly left...my goodness, what the hell? Are you out of your mind? Well, that's what they're saying—every damn one of them!
Another casualty of marriage: friends. So many friends at times I needed a program to keep them all straight. I had friends previously, but certainly not the in the amounts my marriage bequeathed on me. I loved them all, but keeping track of all their details, comings and goings was a job in itself. So many times expected to conform to their expectations. Being younger, I felt like the sibling who was tagging along—usually not wanted.
"They think you're crazy now, he says. Yeah, that is my muse—rub it in at my worse. You were so conventional that I just about died—now they say your crazy? 'Wow, he says—just too funny.' This is your idea of madness? You are a damn June Cleaver—give me a fuckin break." Actually it is "mental health issues, I say." He can be rather pushy and tends to swear these days, but I get his point.
Swearing has become one of those things that also came along when I separated. I rarely did it before; it wasn't something a lady did. It was one of those rules that came along with being a wife. Fuck, fuck and what the fuck. It rolls off my tongue—lightening speed. As does "what the fuck?" It seems to be the only thing that gives the meaning to the strong feelings that are pouring out. Can we please come up with some new words. Do we have any for the outrageous, fucked-upness that seems to be going on all over the place?
What a fitting time for your return, I say. You sure have made a mess, he says. Your conventional little life is so fuckin boring that I almost died. Discipline is not a bad thing I say. Having a career demanded you behave. We could not spill paint all over the place; bills needed to be paid, schedules had to be followed and you needed to grow up and have a real life. Yeah, look where that got you, he said.
Point taken, I say. Secretly, I was glad he was back. It had been so long. Fuck the orderly garden. Spill words and paint, mess up the living room and drink some coffee...things were looking up and going to get fun again.