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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/25/13

How I Garden (and Pursue My Calling)

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Almost all the big insights, and almost all the important strategic choices, have seemed to come my way from some spiritual dimension of the life force.

To my craft as a writer, and also as a speaker, I bring more expertise than to my work as a gardener.  But even so, the stream moving through me arises from beyond my control.  It has a power that commands my deference.

And that respect and deference -- the opposite of the formal gardens of Versailles -- has become, over the forty years of my following my calling, my spiritual posture and artistic habit.  Much of what I do -- in my calling, as well as my gardening -- is to put the paddle into the whitewater surging around me, working with the powerful currents of the life force to reach a desirable destination.

After a lifetime of being guided by some sacred force from the heart of life, I'm comfortable being as much the midwife as the mother of what's created.

Were I a master of the genre of gardening, I'd choose for the artist's hand to play a stronger role in crafting the picture being painted on the canvas of the landscape.  Nonetheless, I feel good about the work of collaborating with the life force to create my gardens.  And in them, imperfect as they are, I find a degree of beauty that pleases and satisfies me.*

* See photos at

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
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