commands

k6160536Le Notre has come to visit again. I am so grateful, for his sternness comforts me as I grapple with the middle of the novel whose ending is still vague. Prune here, he announces. Plant there. Lift and carry and work. It’s physical labor, and I need it. October is a grace month in Houston, when humidity lifts and temperatures drop.

I plant violets, not the proud African ones of my girlhood, with their large heart-shaped leaves and deep purple faces, but Australian ones, the only ones I can find, with smaller, less deep emerald leaves and faces that show both white and purple. I love violets, have tried to start them any number of times in my shady yard, which they should love, without success. Le Notre points to where he thinks they might thrive. If you water, he sniffs. His face is lined with age and knowledge and Louis XIV‘s confidence in him. He’s fashionable for his time, a wig, a satin coat, shoes with buckles, a long, long staff like the one Lully used to direct the king’s orchestra. I like this stern taskmaster who tells me what to do in the garden and bears with no excuses.

k6160536I know my garden is symbolic of something, as is my choice of Le Notre as its muse, but I don’t want to probe the symbolism. There are violets to plant. There’s a woman in the novel with a heart-shaped face, who was called a shy violet by history, when it bothered with her at all. She was scorned because she wasn’t ambitious. She turned to God in her pain. Perhaps I plant for her.

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4 responses to “commands

  1. This is a beautiful posting ~~ as all your postings are! I thank God for the gift He has given you to write & the blessing of finding your books.

    Thank you, Ms. Koen.

  2. Alas, Karleen, perhaps you don’t have enough bodies decomposing in your garden to make the soil rich enough to make those leaves emerald and those petals a vibrant rich purple. Too few nutrients for the soil (and other things) tends to leave their growth pale.

  3. Both the violets and Louise are lovely.

  4. Enjoy all the elegant grace notes. Especially today! Lovely today! Violets are my flower too, even in the hard city soil–I have a few.

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