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Gardening and Writing

August 5, 2013

Early on in this blog, I wrote about the question “for whom does one write?“.  Do I write because I enjoy writing or do I write because I want someone to read what I write.  This is a tension I continue to struggle with.  I wish I could say that I write for the pure joy of the activity, but I do like writing better when people read what I’ve written.

Gardening is a bit like this for me as well.  I love gardening.  I grow and tend flowers for the joy of the activity and because I just love looking at my flower beds in bloom.  However, in this case, I struggle with how selfish my gardening can seem.  I believe cultivating and tend the earth to be a noble endeavor.  But part of me thinks that the nobility lies in having others enjoy the beauty that comes from these efforts and few others have the opportunity to sit in my garden. But unlike with writing where I wish I didn’t care if people read what I write; with gardening I feel bad because I don’t care if anyone else experiences my flowers.

I can’t seem to get it right.  What is it about our society (or maybe just me) that causes us to feel guilty about engaging in activities for our personal joy?  When did we confuse joy creation with selfishness?  And how do we stop making these unhelpful connections?  Because deep down I know that it’s okay to grow flowers that only I see and it’s okay to enjoy the feedback I get from readers – because happiness and joy are good.

Sky Report at 10:00: clear blue skies

Yarn Strands: two blue

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One Comment
  1. sue permalink

    Its okay to garden or write “just for you”—nurturing ourselves is okay and fundamental
    for our well-being and happiness. Its not selfish at all, but necessary. Keep on enjoying your garden;
    I enjoy mine, just for me, (and ofcourse for those lovely plants that display their beauty for me (us)
    or for whoever else wants to pause and enjoy their blooms!!)
    thanks, Sue.

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