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Nebraska

Grass
Nebraska
By Hudson Gardner • Issue #45 • View online

Near Bennet, Nebraska. Fall 2013
Near Bennet, Nebraska. Fall 2013
This issue is dedicated to all the amazing people
and places I have met with
in Nebraska.



Beautiful, wide-bodied Nebraska
place I had to move, then left
place that drew me back, where I found beauty
learned to walk slowly
and to notice things.
Nebraska,
the only place
no longer home
but home.

No one knows you
they drive through
but up a dirt road
is where I always go
thirty five miles        of corn and soy
there is a little valley
where there are cottonwoods
near an orchard
and the grass has gone dark red-brown
unless its near trees.

The fields are drying
the corn           harvesting
combines crawl along
and a pickup in the rows
a farmer’s girlfriend shooting photos
of the big things going.

Stand on the trunk of a down tree
and you will see me
rippling through the fallow grass field
picking dead dried flowers
relishing the large trees
staying in the shade
going along the edges
finding deer, and never any people.

Nebraska
always coming back there
after I left long ago
it’s an easy place
to live in
to leave
to return to
wide open, beautiful along the windbreaks
little valleys, barely even any hills
it helps          to see the sun
every day
going
all
the way
down.



Other Thoughts
Thanks for reading so far ~
For the last year I haven’t published any of the writing I have been doing in the background for the book I’m working on. Today I decided to break the silence, which I mentioned recently, was troubling me.
I am only doing it because I know publishers don’t usually accept previously published work. But I’m really not sure how I am going to get anywhere or offer anything if I just always and forever keep everything to myself.
Over the last few days I have been spending time with Anna’s niece and nephew in Lincoln, taking care of them. And it made me realize that the obsession I and others have of trying to contribute in a large way, “make our mark on the world” may be an ego driven idea. It’s wonderful if we can do good, and maybe we can do a lot of good. But once again, as I wrote recently, I am faced with even how difficult it is to do no harm. Just knowing the right way to raise one single person is very difficult. It takes a heroic effort to just raise a child in the way society demands it now, where everything from childcare to transportation costs a lot of money. It used to be and is in many places still a community effort to raise children. It takes a lot of work for two people to do it alone.
That was discursive, but maybe you understand. Even the smallest tasks everyone takes for granted are actually very hard. And I feel we need everyone to help. But there is so much pressure for us to “change the world” that I feel we miss sight of what’s right in front of us. Dedicating myself to the simple, honest task of taking care of myself and those around me is a lot of work. So maybe I shouldn’t be hoping or caring that my writing “reaches anyone.” Maybe if it reaches a part of a thought in a single person, or if even one person reads one word of it, that should be enough. If it’s not, then who am I actually thinking of?
Signing off for now,

Stay well

— Hudson
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Writing & Photos covering place, ecology, and existence.

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