5-year anniversary of The Awakening

fullsizeoutput_1fe3It’s the five-year anniversary of a season-long public art immersion I titled The Awakening* that expressed itself as a revitalized community garden at a place called WonderRoot. This experience was very briefly mentioned in my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike, since I went here via bike to do this project. A poem I wrote during that time is not one of the six in the book. Here it is, if interested:

Fingerprints of Life

the nothing happening,
the no one here,
I stand completely still,
like a hare,
and share
the slow unclenching,

the subtle way
the earth
under my feet

a mere suggestion
of a path
takes me nowhere,
and everywhere,
at once;
I laugh.

radishes fatten;
an orange-breasted robin
and sits;
lemon drops 
of dandelions

a sock,
a beer can,
a coffee cup,
a plastic bag,
a knife;
all leave hints
and fingerprints
of life.

a symbiosis
of host and hosted
every newly-pulsing 
edge that had, 
just yesterday,
seemed old
and dead;

wonderous roots,
pea shoots
stacks of tires,
tired of winter,
bask in the sun.

the awakening
has begun.


selfie* Below is the notice to WonderRoot members that went out about this project. We ended up having what can only be described as a miraculous season. I have written about it in a series of stories elsewhere, and I hold it fondly in my heart. It was a great honor to cross paths with WonderRoot again this year to interview artists and help create the Off the Wall Mural Tours for Amazing Atlanta Tours. (Here is a post about that) Perhaps I’ll join Wonderroot again and see where the journey takes me next.

a gardening journey for artists/January-May 2014, as desired
There is no one journey in a garden. For artists, the journey can be particularly rich, not only in potential garden bounty but in the bounty of inspiration that can occur. Gardens can:
  • Enhance creativity through observation and experience with the rhythms of nature;
  • Serve as subjects or settings;
  • Provide natural art supplies such as dyes and fibers;
  • Open up portals to experimentation that help break through barriers in artistic expression;
  • Surprise and challenge in ways that can be translated into art;
  • Relax the mind and body to enable it to focus more fully on artistic expression;
  • And forge relationships that can lead to artistic collaboration.

Our garden at WonderRoot has been cleaned up in preparation for the new year, when the earth will start awakening again in Atlanta’s long growing season. A new member, Pattie Baker, is a writer and photographer as well as a seasoned organic gardener. She is stewarding one or two beds in the garden for one growing season–January through May. She invites you to join her out there on your own Awakening journey. She will be in the garden on Thursdays from 12-1:30 PM, observing, photographing, writing, and gardening, There are 6 other beds available, if you want to be a steward as part of the Awakening project as well, or you are welcome to just come and experience the garden as part of your artistic process. (Spreading mulch is very meditative!)

This is not a class. It is a self-guided journey shared with other artists. Although there is no curriculum, you will most likely “learn as you grow.” There are no metrics for success, other than what you deem it to be for your personal or professional efforts. There is also no budget provided for any garden inputs you may require, although Pattie can tip you off to some free or affordable sources for many common supplies such as compost and seeds. What there IS is an extraordinary natural resource right outside our door just waiting for you. One of the bigger objectives of this small, loose project is to see if there is any “groundswell” of interest in gardening in our membership. If so, we may explore ways in the future to meet member needs through the integration of this natural resource. “Awakening” is a low-stress, low-commitment way for you to try out the garden as part of your artistic experience.
Here is the last time I heard anything about this garden, Maybe the seeds of it are still growing.