“Uprooting a Renter’s Garden” now available in Edge Effects

This image of uprooting is an image of death’s excess. The uprooted tree becomes too: too heavy to lift, too big to move away in one piece, too messy to leave in place, too old to be re-planted, too visually chaotic to be accepted by the homeowners association as “landscape.” Perhaps pulled down by a mudslide or storm winds, the tree is full of green leaves and is not yet dead, but thinking of it as living disturbs us. If we watch it lying perpendicular on the ground, we realize how difficult it is to know when death comes to plants. How will we know when death comes to the tree, to ourselves?

My latest essay, which looks at changes in my relationships to plants after a summer of housing and job uncertainty, is now available on Edge Effects, with many thanks to editors Addie Hopes and Laura Perry.

This image of uprooting is an image of death’s excess. The uprooted tree becomes too: too heavy to lift, too big to move away in one piece, too messy to leave in place, too old to be re-planted, too visually chaotic to be accepted by the homeowners association as “landscape.” Perhaps pulled down by a mudslide or storm winds, the tree is full of green leaves and is not yet dead, but thinking of it as living disturbs us. If we watch it lying perpendicular on the ground, we realize how difficult it is to know when death comes to plants. How will we know when death comes to the tree, to ourselves?


You can find more of my writing on my Writing page.

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