Monday, September 21, 2009

Weed Pulling

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the delay. I was stuck in traffic; my computer was on the "Fritz"; my dog ate it; or, my mom's favorite, "there was a cat on my lap". But I'm back,'s some Psycho-Suz Babble that's sure to make the synapses fire!

At least for this post, I have become the sort of person who uses weather to introduce what could be an otherwise profound and insightful blog entry.

"Boy is it beautiful weather we're having! They say it's only going to get nicer through the week...and they say it's even hotter in Portland. I don't know about you, but I couldn't have asked for a nicer day!" I finished my work early, and in theory I could do just about anything I want for the rest of the day. Because I am a silly human, however, and silly humans get restless, I decided to pull weeds. It is akin to opening a bag of Tim's Salt and Vinegar potato chips for me. I will start with just one, but it never ends there. Even when my mouth reaches the point of salt-and-vinegar saturation where it is raw from the acidy base of the chips, I keep eating. Likewise, my fingernails split from rocks and dirt and my arms itch from the cruel spikes of blackberry bushes, but, "Ah! There's a juicy one! Oh, wait...I'm gonna get your weedy little roots if it's the last thing I do". In fact, if I had my druthers I might go a-weeding until dark.

One of my favorite lines in literature is from dear old Virginia Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway. She writes, "Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." Well, I may not be one of the greatest female writers of this or any century, but I am fairly good at composing Facebook Status Updates in my head, so I say to myself, "Susan said she would pull the weeds herself".

It is truly a day to pull weeds...but, because the nature of weeds is to overtake unremorselessly-- because weeds do not know they are weeds, the relationship between weed and weeder is rife with complexity, a combination of hate and awe. On a Sunday at 2 in the afternoon I might find myself cursing these weeds, threatening the Morning Glories, those skinny, leaf-filled ivy-wannabes...cursing their cockroach-like indestructibility, their Terminator's ability to return even after being plucked out by the root. On Tuesday, it may turn into a race to clear out entire sections; to prove, if only for a day, that determination and elbow grease is indeed king! Sometimes I get lucky and pull out a big, juicy weed by the roots--victory! Other times, just the leaves come off...which is like a cosmetic yard-bandaid. But the weeder is not off the hook yet, because even where she was victorious with her root-pulling, a new, perhaps more resilient weed will inevitably take the former weed's place. So the options become: defeat that results in what I call Why-make-the-bed-since-it's-just-going-to-get-slept-in-tomorrow Syndrome, or you can applaud and even admire the life force inherent in those weeds.

To pull a weed is to practice living in the moment in spite of the past or future. It is also trains the mind to recognise and appreciate Perspective (my new favorite oldie but goodie). Is this a plant or a weed? When I was a kid I knew that having more vegetation around was good for getting rid of carbon dioxide, so this became my argument both to protest having to pull weeds and to not mow the lawn. Since I arrived in Cannon Beach, which is a part of the Tillamook Rainforest, I have had enough encounters with weeds to accept (mostly), that as long as it rains (and it rains), the weeds will thrive. And as long as we decide weeds are undesirable, they will have to be plucked. And as long as they have to be plucked, the cycle will continue like any other cycle that exists. Ultimately it is something to be thankful for, and since lessons found in nature are much easier to accept than lessons in human-land, I will keep on thinking about these silly old weeds.

Suz's Blog Club "Topics for Further Discussion" (suitable for housewives, aestheticians, and children ages 4-15):

1) Is it discouraging or encouraging that the weed will come back after you pull it out? Is the weed actually an inspiration--an example of evolution and survival or not? Is pulling a weed the biggest waste of time ever and a total stupid human invention, or does the act of pulling it afford one's mind time for rest and/or reflection?

2) Would you rather pull weeds or watch Weeds?

Vote now!


  1. Where do I vote? You need to add a poll on the side of your blog, Suz! I've never done it, but I've seen it so I know it can be done.

  2. Good suggestion, Ethel. I am a well-intentioned but lazy blogger. If I had more patience in front of my computer screen, I would have all sorts of bells and whistles...but of course I should have a legit poll!

  3. Perhaps if you purposefully and lovingly planted a garden of weeds it would be invaded by plants...and then what to do? I say train the weeds into topiary form and love your garden for its prolific growing ability. Make the weeds work for YOU.

    love, E!!!