In search of story

August 11.22: Coping, but barely


Wrath. It is said to be sinful. I think not. There are times when extreme anger is a virtue. OK, so I’m not a moral theologian.

The problem with anger is how it fevers and boils under a tight lid, that lid that bounces and clatters as it tries to hold in the steam pushing up and, inexorably, out. Eventually there is a lava that oozes over, a thick anger, blackened and petrified wherever it congeals. Or the vapor writhes away, leaving only the distilled curls of rage.

Gardeners are lucky. They can scroll the news, public or personal, and immediately grab weapons of grass destruction. Stabbing, wrenching, yanking, soul-satisfying wrath. Crabgrass is therapy. With roots that clutch the deepest core of the earth and blades that hack their way through other life, it bares its coarse green teeth, snarling, daring the gardener to fight to the death.

As a normal thing, I am a proud, peaceful wimp; however, I espouse white-knuckled violence when it comes to crabgrass, and I enthusiastically endorse wrathful gardening.


Practicing prose poetry. And apparently alliteration. (Do any of you find yourselves writing/talking/muttering to yourselves in alliterative words? It’s scary.)

12 thoughts on “August 11.22: Coping, but barely

  1. Wrathful gardening. I do believe I practiced that last year when I finally dug out a shrub with the tap root that would not end. I might have said something along the lines of ‘Die! Dammit! Die!’ Then quickly regained my sense of calm in case the neighbors happened to be glancing out their windows. See? Die, dammit, die. Alliteration. I’m with you, Maureen.

    • Oh, thank you, Lois! I am not alone! The endless taproot — what an adversary. I bet you won that war, though it would be hard to tell whether spade or alliteration did it.

  2. I am a true believer of wrathful gardening! My lawn is essentially deader than a door nail. BUT the CRABGRASS is alive and well and reproducing nicely. This crabgrass defies description. My friend came over with her trimmer (weed whacker) convinced she would rid our yard of these beastly villains.

    Well, that crabgrass kept grabbing on to the nylon cord and ripping the trimmer right out of her hands! WTH? The most that was accomplished is that some tips of the crabgrass were cut off. Do I have to tell you that every time I’m in the yard the still in tact crabgrass laughs at me! An evil laugh.

    I’m convinced that the roots of my crabgrass reach China, wrap around Poland, detour through Outer Mongolia, and then happily take up residence in my back yard. Why? Maureen, why? I have uttered many alliterative words out in the garden, none of them printable!

    Like Lois, “Die! dammit! Die! is a favorite of mine. Three little words says it all.

    • An evil laugh indeed, and I know it well! I confess I am laughing at your descriptions, but my laugh is entirely sympathetic. A weed whacker is no match for crabgrass; it’s hand-to-hand combat only that can be victorious. Of course, the victory is temporary but we’ll disregard that.

  3. Oh, this is funny but so true. I dug some yesterday. The lawn, if you can call it that, is burnt to a crisp, but that crab grass is green as evil itself. Gardening is good anger therapy, and it’s free. 🙂

    • “Green as evil.” Oooh, what an image! I like it! And of course I totally agree about the evil of crabgrass; it is devilishly indestructible. You make a good point about the free therapy — thank goodness! I can’t imagine the bill I’d run up!

  4. Poor old crab grass. Just because it has sprangles (a pet word for unruly, sticking out strands/curls of hair) and is tenacious and fast and likes to flower. I liked the image of curls of rage (and no, I don’t think rage sprangles would be an improvement, even if anyone would know what it meant).

    • Rage sprangles! Medusa! How apt for crabgrass! If I were in charge, rabbits would love crabgrass instead of my zinnias.

      • I’ve just realised it should be sproingles. I’ve never written it down before today! Funny I should feel the need to correct the spelling of a never before written word.

      • Well, of course you had to correct it! Sproingles is an entirely different word from sprangles, and I am glad to know its proper version. We had a similar word in my family but I think we spelled it sproyoyoing. Spellcheck needs smelling salts now.

  5. “Crabgrass is therapy.” That’s classic. Our yard is green. I accept that, but I know it isn’t grass.

    I think you did well with the prose poetry – I like this 🙂 I do sometimes realize that I’m thinking in alliterative words.

    • Thanks, Dan. I’ll be working on this prose poetry thing, in and out, for a time to come. That we are thinking or talking to ourselves in alliteration might be dangerous. Maybe we’ve gone ’round the writers’ bend.

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