For me, weeding is a way of prioritizing concepts and choices in the present. Garden weeding is obvious, but writers also have to weed out anything the obstructs the flow of story or explanation. In everyday life, I find I must weed out distractions from intended results or the mundane from distractions which offer new possibilities. More and more I find myself trying to weed out literal interpretations, which have become the norm in modern life, in favor of going deeper to see what symbolism the unconscious is using to communicate.

So many people these days don’t seem to go beyond the literal world. That could be my mistake in failing to see them metaphorically in an unconscious sense, or it could be the fast-paced text/phone/instant pictures/social media environment keeps the conversation purely literal, two-dimensional, and shallow. So I don’t text. I don’t do phone pics. I get on Twitter a lot because its fun, sometimes I find inspiration and emotional support, and sometimes I find I can’t tell if people are tweeting nonsense, sarcasm, or a sense of humor I don’t get. Usually it turns out to be simply shallow, literal statements that reveal a basic misunderstanding of life. I probably do the same and don’t realize it. After all, it’s difficult to communicate anything in a two-dimensional media of only 140 characters, often using unexplained acronyms that others may interpret differently. So has social media really brought the world together, or just shown us how poorly we communicate? The result is I do a lot of weeding on Twitter in search of a positive experience.

The older I get, the more pleasure I get from the act of weeding. I know it produces results as much as planting does. Life with a myriad of possessions and activities requires daily weeding. It quiets the mind and allows the unconscious to come through to the surface. It relaxes the body and restores health. It’s a form of active meditation.

What I choose not to weed out is as important as what must go. An uninvited weed in my rose garden has developed into a very decorative kale, one of those pleasant little surprises in life. My garden has also been graced by a variety of volunteer snapdragons and other beauties. As I’ve weeded out unnecessary social activities that I find emotionally draining, I’ve kept my practice of harp and guitar for the joy of learning, the beauty we produce together, and the calm sense of accomplishment that results. Someone once told me all musicians need an audience. I enjoy being my own audience to what music expresses from the unconscious. I guess weeding has taught me to pay attention to what seeds take root and which ones I’ll allow to grow. It’s a sweet life to be able to watch yourself flower.


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