There are, on the rose bush I can see through the blinds on the window across the family room, dead canes. Last year they were covered with leaves, tipped with blossoms. Now, in the early spring, they are dead sticks.
Behind the canes is a crab apple tree. There is a thicket of tiny branches, crosshatching the top squares of window. The tiny branches are alive.
Sometime soon, when it is warm enough that knuckles don’t bleed when scraped, we will take clippers to the roses and the apple tree. Nancy, because she is wiser than I about roses,will handle the canes. I, because I am taller, will attack the tree. It will feel brutal. I, at least, will be concerned that I am doing permanent damage, that I will ruin the shape of the tree. Nancy knows better than I and will feel neither fear nor remorse. She knows that the new growth depends on pruning.
Occasionally I think about subscriptions to my blogs. Your subscription to what I write. I think about holding subscription drives, getting people to sign up by email or whatever. As I was thinking about the roses and trees, I thought, “Maybe I should have an unsubscription drive.”
You have permission to prune me from your feed reader. If you have found nurture here but the blooms are gone, break this blog off at the ground to allow other canes to grown up. If there are many little branches of thinking growing, snip them off. They are known as suckers, draining sustenance and light from the main branches. Left alone, they create the crosshatching I see, eventually choking off fruit.
Is it that I don’t like to have people reading what I write? Not at all. I love to be helpful. I love to help people think.
But I hate the idea of being one more thing you need to get to but can’t. One more email message that you used to read but don’t.
In this time when there is a bit more light shining into offices and gardens and hearts, it is easier to think of growing. And to grow well for the rest of the year, spend some time pruning.
If necessary, start with me.
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