asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I'm doing a little bit of writing with some adult learners (there may be some high school students in this class as well)--just ten minutes or so. I don't have any pedagogical reason to believe this is beneficial, except for believing that when people have pleasant experiences doing something, then that thing becomes less daunting. In other words, maybe, if the students enjoy this time writing, they'll feel more able to tackle the sort of writing you need to do to clear the hurdles in front of them. But even if that's not the case, I think people deserve a chance and a place to try out writing, just for its own sake and their own sake. So.

My first prompt for them was this quote from Fred Rogers: "You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind," which I recalled from this autotuned song made from that and other remarks of his.

I showed them some gardens.

A garden in Holyoke, created by "self-proclaimed plant geeks":


(Source)

Randyland, the garden created by Randy Gilson, a waiter and son of a single mom, in Pittsburgh, PA:


(Source)

The magic gardens of Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia:


(Source)

The blooming Cadillacs at the Cadillac ranch in Amarillo, Texas:


(Source is this Google image, whose original location is given as this video.)

The famous Zen garden at Ryōanji, in Kyoto, Japan:


(Source)

And I said, even when you think a place is barren, nothing growing, life pushes through, like in this parking lot in Boston:


(Source)

And then I asked them--what's growing in the garden of your mind? Several people wrote that they felt like the parking lot and talked about worries, but one wrote about a painting she's planning, and another compared his mind to a potato (and gave me a diagram to show it growing). It was wonderful.

What's growing in the garden of *your* mind, these days?

Date: 2017-09-21 09:12 pm (UTC)
amaebi: (snowdrop)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
Grumpy things, mostly. So I won't inflict them on you!

However, while I am currently incapable of getting myself to do the work I should most apply myself
to at this time, I am progressing pretty rapidly with a bunch of gardening work and should fairly soon finish both big L-shaped raised beds.

Date: 2017-09-22 11:18 am (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
Well, like any rhythmic work, it's certainly great for brooding. But at least I'll get raised beds out of it.

Date: 2017-09-21 10:53 pm (UTC)
pameladean: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pameladean
Giant hogweed, poison water hemlock, wild parsnip, other massive stress-weeds.

But also forget-me-nots, and a whole host of rioting biennials that come back time and again, like mullein, flowering sparsely over a long time and emitting a lovely scent as clear yellow as the flowers.

Also hardy bulbs spring up in unexpected places when there is extra rain. And volunteer phlox, goldenrod, rudbeckia, and daisies, not always in the best place but always lovely.

P.

Date: 2017-09-22 05:22 am (UTC)
pameladean: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pameladean
Oh, how lovely -- I do actually have daisies in my lawn, and I also mow around them most of the summer. Eventually I feel I need to mow the entire lawn before the snow flies, and the daisies are so persistent that's sometimes difficult.

I was so eager to answer your question that I forgot to say what a fine post this is.

Thank you for your good wishes. I am very appreciative indeed of them.

P.

Date: 2017-09-22 02:43 am (UTC)
heliopausa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heliopausa
I've already commented on this Over There, but coming Over Here to read, I see again the pictures, and want to say how very much I like the first garden. :)

Date: 2017-09-22 03:58 am (UTC)
zyzyly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zyzyly
I think it is lying fallow at the moment, in anticipation of future plantings.

Date: 2017-09-22 09:19 am (UTC)
shewhomust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shewhomust
Brambles! Savage and prickly, but I enjoy the fruit!

Date: 2017-09-22 01:53 pm (UTC)
missroserose: (Default)
From: [personal profile] missroserose
My garden's an interesting place, this week. There was an invasion of weeds recently, their seeds blown in on the winds of change, taking root and sending up shoots almost as soon as they touched the ground. But friends came in and helped me pull them, as well as trimming back the ego plants (I see them, perhaps appropriately, as rosebushes - beautiful and fragrant but also thorny and prone to take over if left unchecked) that were giving them shelter. Now the pulled weeds and trimmings are sitting in piles, slowly becoming mulch to feed the soil over the next few years. And some of my very same friends are having weed infestations of their own; I'm doing what I can to return the favor, and to offer my newly-trim garden as a place of sanctuary.

Date: 2017-09-27 04:16 pm (UTC)
petrichor_pirate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] petrichor_pirate
Stressful things because my contract at work is being handed to another company so I'm basically reapplying for my job. But also interesting things because I'm trying to start writing again, using tumblr as an easy medium, and inktober for prompts.

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