I revisited the ivy today. Not wanting a repeat of yesterday’s fiasco, I gave myself very specific instructions to under no circumstances do more work than my alloted task (one container full of gigantic downed sycamore leaves and two containers of yard waste). But despite my limit-setting, I succumbed, after all, the the ivy’s siren call. I yanked at a few leaves that were swarming up the fence.
It is in the nature of ivy to be greedy and ruthless. It will blithely choke the life out of any plant unlucky enough to be in its path. Yesterday, I was infected by the ivy’s nature. My furious desire to destroy it was only the mirror of its furious desire to find host plants to use as ladders to the sun.
Today I did not get frustrated, felt neither inadequate nor hopeless. Today, I did not take on the ivy’s nature as I worked with it. Instead, I focused on my work as a process of freeing the plants that had been suffering under the weight of the ivy’s oppression.
Mate is extremely anxious. He can’t sit still and just took the car out an hour early to pick up Middle from his crew practice. He is normally the calm one, so when he is in this state it is always unsettling for me. Highly charged neurosis is supposed to be my bailiwick.
When he comes back, I am going to imagine his anxiety as ivy and concentrate my efforts on freeing him.