Mar 1, 2009

What the Stones Remember by Patrick Lane

“I stood alone among yellow glacier lilies and the windflowers of spring, the western anemone, their petals frail disks of trembling cloated cream.”

So begins Patrick Lane’s memoir. I would like to recommend this book to gardeners and everyone who feels some relation to the natural world. Every chapter ends with a list of plants, animals, birds and insects. Who else but a true gardener would bother?

“Thomas Jefferson in his Garden Book said, “But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.” That is true for me as I labor in the daily meditations of earth, air, stone, and water. There are only young gardeners. “ Patrick Lane’s knowledge of gardening literature is vast. You find yourself making a list of books to read or at the very least references to check.

What the Stones Remember is also a book about addiction, families, parents, but most of all it’s a book about writing.

“Guilt is the emotion that wastes a life, I know that. I know there is no going back even as I return in my memories. My father had an expression that seems to fit what I seem to be doing. He would say about some man who kept returning to the same hell he had left, that the man was like a dog returning to his own vomit. It’s a visceral expression, but one that aptly describes my own condition.”

And one more…
“As I write this, a tiny spider lilts across my computer screen. It pays no attention to my cursor as it pushes its way to the end of the line.”

I urge you to PAY ATTENTION to Patrick Lane.


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