This entry is part 18 of 40 in the series Pandemic Year


Watch on Vimeo.

Rain has forsaken us. However much water I give my gardens, it still isn’t enough. Tomato and squash vines wilt. Corn leaves curl. The potatoes gave up altogether, leaving me a half-sized harvest. I feel like the opposite of King Midas: Everything I touch turns to dust. But let me have one wish. I’ll keep it secret even from myself, and carry it back to earth’s ear in a bucket.

fields resting on straw-
thin stalactites


Process notes

I shot the footage a couple of weeks ago in the valley to our east, which is called Sinking Valley for all its sinkholes and caves. The soda straw formations referenced here require SCUBA training and special permission to access, so I’ve never seen them, but the entrance to that cave, shown here, is free and open to the public. Needless to say there’s a different hydrology here on the mountain, but things are dry all over.

The last three sentences of the prose portion of the haibun woke me up this morning, and the rest of the text followed soon after. I had been working on a less-inspired text about the drought in response to different imagery, which I won’t go into any more detail about because I might still use that in a different project. I thought of actually shooting some video of my wilting garden for this, but as usual went for a more indirect approach. To me, the riskiest move is opting to leave the e out of sinkholy, making an explicit gesture toward the sacred. I’m not entirely sure why I feel a need to do that.

Series Navigation← Independence DayAugury →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.