Photograph of last dandelion seed hanging on

Planting the seeds

Well, damn. When I started my newsletter I thought I would use it to share anecdotes of joy or hope or humor from my previous seven days. This past week has been anything but joyous, hopeful, or funny. It’s been historic. We better get used to it. We are on a precipice of something. I hope that something is change and a more equitable criminal justice system. I hope it happens soon.

In lieu of anything joyous to report, I’ll share this instead: I’ve found a lot of solace during the pandemic by doing regular runs around my neighborhood. I am not a ~runner~ by any means. By “runs around the neighborhood” I mean I slow-jog about a quarter of a mile, then walk, then kind of run again but get tired and tell myself it was a valiant effort and we can’t all be heroes, and then sort of surreptitiously dance to whatever music’s spilling from my headphones to my ears, then sit in the park for a while and try to will myself to do sit-ups and pushups but mostly just stretch and inspect the grass.

You can see a lot by looking at the grass, while on the grass’ level. 

Like a mystical woman in polyester nylon, I conduct phony tasseography and stretch my hamstrings. Fortunes emerge through the layered leaves and fragile stems, the grasses map to answers (a rapidly disappearing luxury). A cross can mean a blockage—they’re everywhere. The wings of a bird, new freedom—they’re here but not fully formed. This is like cloud watching but for those who have found themselves tangled in the earth.  

The other day, while performing the last act of my running ritual and lying down in the grass pretending to do leg lifts, I spent some time watching the last two seeds of a dead dandelion struggle to detach, to fly away from home and grow near each other elsewhere. They were on opposite sides of the center bud, both pulling as mightily as they could, buoyed by the breeze, like a tug of war in which both of them would crumble away with their host if they couldn’t figure it out soon.

I left before either flew away.