Cutting Back Flowers

This morning I harvested my garden.

We are getting into late summer. The weather is comfortably warm and less humid. It is a delight, after the humid, hot summer we have had.

I love this season but it always leaves me a bit sad. My plants are just at the peak of their production and many of them, especially my indeterminate tomato plants, seem like they could go on and on for another 6 months if the weather did not get cold.

One is advised to cut back the new flowers on these indeterminate plants as we head into fall because whatever energy the plant gets from the sun should be used to finish off the fruits and vegetables that are already growing.

I never like doing it, but I have learned it really is best.

It just always seems like cutting off potential.

But as I write this, I can see the parallel with my own life.

Not everything has to be a metaphor, but in this case, I do find that I am often reluctant in life to cut off the flowers that are flowing forth from my creativity and my enthusiasm.

This year seems to be different though.

I am noticing how hard it is to bear fruit when I have so many flowers going.

I know this sounds like it contradicts what I wrote yesterday about letting every interest run wild as long as it wants, but often that is as far as getting it down on the page. A written record of my brilliant plan will be enough to satisfy the urge to create it.

Those are easy and happy flowers to trim.

The tough ones are the ones that have been with me for decades.

But the state of the world in 2020 has made cultivating the healthier fruits (that have better potential) easier to nurture.

It was an easy trim because the film crew, photography and videography stuff I was doing before the lockdown is not an option right now.

And the new flowers I want to nourish are the ones that allow me to stay home with my family while earning a nice wage.

To do so I must trim away the whithered flows of 16-hour stress-filled film crew days where I am underpaid and underappreciated.

This doesn’t have to be the case, but the last few jobs I have had have felt this vibe that, despite over 20 years of experience, employers have made those they employ feel like a commodity… disposable because there are thousands more ready to take garbage jobs that, in most other professions, would be unacceptable conditions.

Yes, there is potential for some very delicious fruit from this flower, but not more delicious than my other fruits and I can always replant this type of fruit another time, when it feels better.

This trimming has manifested itself by releasing physical possessions.

This past month has been a grand purging

And not just last years overworn t-shirts.

This is the stuff that is holding deep-rooted energy and emotion.

Things I never would have given up two years ago I now care nothing about.

Mix tapes from old boyfriends now feel like bricks I have been carrying everywhere I go for decades.

I have checked in with myself and I don’t think it is depression or anything like that.

I know these lockdowns have made a lot of people feel depressed, but I was an only child and, despite being an extrovert, I am actually quite good in the isolation of a lockdown, and being alone with my imagination to keep me company feels very natural to me.

So it is more of just a giant internal shift.

I am going to leave it at that because I am trying to not analyze this process too much.

It is what it is and I look forward to seeing what fruit will flourish from trimming the excessive flowers. Or what new flowers will bloom by cutting away the ones that have started to whither.

~ L ~

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