One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

My Own Tomorrow


Well,  after such a long absence, at least I know enough to return with a handful of pretty posies to delight and distract you.

Check out the purple aster, recently begun blooming in the driveway fence garden.   It was one of the most recent additions, hopefully one we’ll enjoy for many autumns to come.  Not far away, some tiny pink anemone flowers have appeared on the plant division my friend Gail gifted me from her garden last spring.  Thanks, Gail!


Sorry to be gone from here so long.  I’m afraid I tripped and fell into a pit of Mucky Meh-ness.   It turns out the anniversary I wished to commemorate early in the month is followed by another and while that second one is no longer celebrated, it still lurks there on the calendar page and last week lept out to drag me into some  shadowy territory full of recriminations, second guessing, self-loathing and knot-tying.  Bleah.  No fun.  Can’t recommend it.

Thanks goodness for the flowers and The Catsby and a few good friends.  I’m better now and have come out the far side of it with an answer or two, but as always, loads more questions for pondering and writing about.   But at least it seems like a healthier assortment of questions than before.


The container gardens on the deck continue the cool-season blooming they’d begun earlier in the month.


The dwarf cosmos are especially prolific now, which is fun.   Their flowers, like their taller cousins, only last a day or two, but as long as I remember to deadhead them regularly, they’ll keep churning out these lovely blossoms until frost puts them to bed in a few weeks.

June’s seemingly endless rains put me badly behind schedule for seeding in the bachelor buttons this year, which means the first of them are only just blooming for the first time this week.   Sadly, this means a shorter season for one of my favorite flowers,  but still, even just a few of them will be a delightful addition to Fall, when so many things are done blooming.  Hopefully they’ll get to do their thing for a while before the season draws to a close.


The nasturtiums are blooming pretty heavily now, too, as we build toward a big finish.  It doesn’t look like the canna lily will bloom this year.   I expect it will be happier next year if I actually plant it in the ground when spring comes, rather than try to keep it in the container on the deck, as I did this year.   It makes a lovely foliage plant, too, but I do miss it not blooming this year.   Ah, well.



Here’s a new addition to the houseplant collection.  Not even that new, really, since this spotted-leaf begonia (I believe it’s a begonia, but to be honest, I’m unsure) was gifted me by a friend in town (thanks, Bev!!) in June.

To give you some sense of how enthusiastic this new addition is, it was only two leaves and a few inches high back then and you can see it’s climbing toward the three foot mark now as September slides toward October.

This plant looks quite similar to the monster begonia in Patrick‘s collection, so I’ve written him for advice and guidance about how to protect The Purrmeister and myself from this invader, or if we ought to simply abandon the Nest to this fast-growing, but pretty specimen while we are still able.

In other gardening adventures, the summer brought the surprise of an unexpected cluster of vines growing in the garden near the stoop on the southern side of the house, which eventually produced these two small pumpkin-y gourds.

Their appearance solved the mystery of where the vines came from, resembling as they do the harvest time decorations from last autumn, the remains of which were swept off into the garden as the winter turned to spring.



Our catwalks continue, though I’ve been experimenting with our going out to explore at different times of day lately, in an attempt to have time for a good long wander without being out after dark.   Earlier this week, we had a mid-day ramble around the yard and we took advantage of some patio furniture cushions for a bit of lounging in the cool September sunshine.

We’ve been blessed with a lot of sunshine this September, which has been lovely.  Of course, the other side of that coin has been a long string of weather forecasts which promised rain that never materialized.   But at least there was nice weather for running around to thirsty gardens with hoses and watering cans once it was suddenly apparent the precipitation wasn’t coming each day.  Finally this past Sunday, it did rain, gently at first and then pretty heavily as the day wore on.   It was pretty lovely, actually, and the gardens couldn’t look any happier now.


I sing the body electric. I glory in the glow of rebirth.

Creating my own tomorrow, when I shall embody the earth.

As I pulled myself from the recent doldrums, I was amused to discover that the remake of the classic 80’s film, FAME, had opened in cinemas this past weekend.  I loved the original movie and the TV Show that followed.  I never imagined I had quite the level of talent the kids in those stories had, and certainly didn’t have their ambition, but I was still inspired enough to have some hope, to work with the gifts I did have, to get excited about music and dance and Shakespeare and acting…and in the process, to try to find inside myself the person I wanted to be.


I’ve never tired of the movie soundtrack and have continued to find inspiration in it over the years.   After all, we are “always proving who we are, always reaching for that rising star…”, aren’t we?  So as I find myself once more discovering myself, getting to know who I am and what sort of person I want to be, it seemed right to revisit this particular inspiration.

I didn’t imagine it might make me feel the same way I had in my late teens.   Ha ha.   Candlesticks as microphones while dancing on coffee tables.  Re-imagining one’s freshman dorm-room window as the balcony of the Casa RosadaDancing in the dark where no one could see with a Walkman on.  Hmmm,  perhaps I didn’t want to fully revisit the madcap energy of such youthful exuberant folly.  Good god, I could break a hip.

Of course part of the attraction of FAME for me was that it had at least a minor storyline about Monty, a gay character with whom I could identify, if silently so at the time.  (Please, how cute was Paul McCrane?)  Not many movies in those days had such a character, and fewer still found him alive at the film’s conclusion (But let’s save discussion of how disappointed I was that they completely unsexed him for the TV adaptation for another time, though, shall we?).


I was intrigued to see if the new version of the movie could, in any way, compare to something that had been so important to the Younger Me.   Although I was dubious about how it might inspire me (is it really possible for anyone to recapture the feelings of infinite possibility that exist when one is so young?), I had a feeling I was going to enjoy myself.   After all, Debbie Allen is involved in the new version and nobody is FAME if she’s not.   Maybe I would come out of the cinema humming “I’m gonna learn how to fly…” after all.


How funny that, before I even got to the theater, I should found myself singing that.   An afternoon walk found me fascinated by a pair of turkey vultures in the marsh, reveling in their gift of flight.  Flapping their massive wings to take them up high enough to catch the air currents off the bay, then swooping and soaring and spiraling and looping…all the things I would totally be doing if I could fly.   What a treat, and so much so that I happily missed the late afternoon movie matinee I’d been planning to attend.

It’s true, a bald eagle or red-tailed hawk or even a great blue heron might’ve made a prettier picture.   Beauty is not particularly counted among the turkey vulture’s gifts, most would agree.   But that can’t take away from the pure pleasure these birds seemed to be taking, or the soaring spirit they passed along to me with their example.

I did get to a later showing of the movie and I thought it was pretty great.   It was a better movie for not trying to be a complete remake of the original, I thought.   A couple of favorite tunes from the original are reprised here, and a variety of scenes echo the original, but most of the music was new, to me, at least.   The names have changed, but overall, the story is the same:   talented kids, bright futures, working for their dreams.  If there was a gay character in this remake he was a stealth gay.   Perhaps there are enough other places gay kids can look in these enlightened days for inspiration (thank goodness for Curt from GLEE, eh?).

Predictably, the new FAME is a little slicker than the original, but I have a feeling it’ll inspire a new generation of shiny young kids to look inside themselves to see what they have to offer and maybe reach for a dream or two.   For me, it was fun to re-visit the hallways of the fictionalized High School for the Performing Arts and to be sent back to some fun old memories of my earlier days (I may have to seek out the TV show on DVD), reminding me now to celebrate the Me Yet To Come.



Comments on: "My Own Tomorrow" (10)

  1. What a rush that movie was. It was all anybody talked about for months that year, and seemed to set the style like only a handful of pop phenomenons have before or since. Gene Anthony Ray’s audition scene is burned into my daydreams. And then, sadly, he became the poster child for “gone too soon” of a whole era.

    But life goes on. To every season turn, turn, turn… Is that a marigold – the gold-gilded deep red? It’s luscious. I’m reminded, looking at your nasturtium blossom that the flowers can be used as a garnish in salad. I wonder if there’s a guide to “the edible garden.” Of course it’s always a delight, here at chez Greg, to feast with our eyes. Glad you came through the summer, the year, on a hopeful note… we “glory in the glow of rebirth.”

    Jeaux, that IS one of the most fabulous marigolds evah, eh? : ) There must be a guide or three to edible flowers. If I find one I like, I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!

    And hell yes to Gene Anthony’s audition, and pretty much everything he did in the movie and on TV. His talent is missed. But we remember his name, hmmm? : )

  2. Nice rainbow on that dahlia!

    I’m going to have a soundtrack earworm all day now, aren’t I?

    “…and I’ll look back on Venus, I’ll look back on Mars, and I’ll burn with the fire of ten million stars….”

    Rhet, my work here is done. Enjoy! :D

  3. Glad you are back on form.
    Missed you.

  4. I’m glad to read that you moved through your struggles successfully. We always await you here.

    We remember the songs, the books, the shows for how they made us feel. I’ve looked back at the things that mark my memories, and many of them do not withstand the test of excellence. (Not to say that of “Fame;” I never saw it.) But the memories they bring with them make them important and a permanent part of my life’s soundtrack/bookshelf/marquee. How wonderful that you have found it again in the new movie.

    Regarding withstanding or not, I’d venture the original FAME movie stands up to time, the TV series probably less so…but yes, the treasure is in the memories they hold for me. Imagine being reminded there was something I actually liked about high school! ; )

  5. I took some inspiration from you and Catsby and got a harness for my kids. Olive was a little manic, Winnie was fine but tended to stay under my feet most of the time, but Pip was a wreck. I think I’ll just continue to read about your successes.

    Heh heh. Good for you trying, anyway. With three (AND Duncan), you probably wouldn’t have had time for anything else, like going to a job or eating or sleeping…so perhaps its for the best things didn’t work out differently. I’m still a little amazed sometimes that it works for us as well as it does…although there’s an unpredictabilty about kitties, generally speaking, that keeps me from getting too complacent.

  6. Glad to see your containers still full of such wonderful blooms. Great pics as always. I want to go see Fame myself. Had intended to a week ago and was late so saw Surrogates instead. Big mistake.

    Surrogates isn’t on my radar at all, but thanks for the tip. The containers really have been pretty enjoyable lately. I’ve brought a few indoors against some recent cooler evenings and the marine heliotropes particularly are scenting the living room here at the Nest quite nicely.

  7. Hi there. The purple aster is a real autumn winner. I’ve never heard of Batchelor’s Buttons, but they look a bit like cornflowers to me. Could you tell me their latin name so I can look them up? If it is the same thing I’m going to start using Batchelors Buttons, its a fabulous name!

    Hi Goo! I’m a BIG fan of that aster. More of that coming shortly.

    The Bachelors Buttons ARE cornflowers. I read last year the BB moniker is a reference to how cornflowers hold up out of water, and thus serve well as inexpensive boutinierres (sp?) for a single guy on the cheap. I don’t know the exact latin off the top of my head, is it centauris, or something…? Here, I’ll check: centaurea cyanus.

  8. Thanks for that Greg, stuff the Latin, I’m sticking with the buttons! Super name and etymology.

  9. yes thank goodness for glee- I cant get enough of that kid. Thanks for the link!

  10. Oh hai! I remember you. Do you remember me?

    FAME!! Wow. The first time I saw it was on a movie night in the student center at college. Superman and I were together then, don’t remember if we were married yet. We went to the early showing. We were both so astounded by the movie that we stayed right there in our seats and watched the second showing. I have NEVER done that before or since. Amazing flick. (I didn’t even know there was a remake in theaters now. I live under a rock.)

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