Forest and the Trees

This morning I see the count.

There are 11 posts here in the Archives related to The Bohemian. And it appears as though this morning will mark a twelfth.

Friends who subscribe to my daily posts see me on the street and smile. “Been reading the Archives…” they say with that tone that lifts and trails into all things hopeful, hearts and roses.

Oh, God.

One girlfriend gives her assessment plainly when I see her in line at the bank. “You’re so in love.”

I squirm beneath fluorescent lights and such a defining statement. Lose all eloquence and grip my deposit slip. Stammer something vague about how I’m just having an experience, staying in the moment, “who knows…”, et al.

She looks at me squarely and says, “Call it what you will. I read the Archives.”

Mmmm. The wordsmith in me tries to summarize something even I don’t understand. Language falls short. “Ok,” I smile, “you can say I’m smitten.”

Her eyes twinkle. “Smitten is a good word. Alright then. Whatever it is, I’m happy for you.”

Is this part of the artist’s experience when they share their work? The inner, private realms so vulnerably revealed?

One Archive reader says, “Everyone loves a good love story.”

Is that what’s being crafted here? Do readers see the forest of my trees? Or are they simply finding their own stories in the words that I present?

I’m never going to tell you everything. But I’m compelled to tell you more than what is comfortable, at times. Show you more than what the Censor thinks I should. And with that comes a risk of baring some things tender. Places even I don’t understand.

I’ve often said I’m following a thread. Showing up to the WordPress screen and chronicling the everyday. For these 11 Bohemian posts, I’ve guessed the words were breadcrumbs. Some way to insure my safety if Love lured me into uncharted territory.

I’d say I’m officially bushwhacking now (he even loaned me the machete). At this point, my feeble attempts at marking the place from which I’ve come may just be gestures offering a false sense of security.

Jessica Dofflemyer ~ all rights reserved

I’m not sure I want to back track anyway.

What’s the worst that could happen? I could find myself in foreign land, alone.

But even there, I could map the new place with words. Keep feeling. Sharing. Trust the unknown.

And if I am trying to orient myself on this trailblazing adventure, I’ll take note of my surroundings.

Where am I now? Well, it appears as though 11 posts are enough to officially give The Bohemian his own Archive Category and Tag, making this thread even easier to follow. I notice this comes about the same time that I’ve given him one half of a drawer at my house, inside of which are kept two sarongs, a t-shirt, battery tester and sketchbook.

If we want to play with metaphors, we can say I have a compass in my back pocket. But lately I’ve been wanting to see how far I can get by using my own sense of direction.

These words are my scattered breadcrumbs. I’m walking further in…


“Are you ready?”

The Bohemian is smiling down and cooing at fresh vegetable starts. Kale, parsley and basil, all sprouted from seed are about to go in the ground.

We’ve been elbow deep in soil and horse manure, turning over garden beds with our forearms. We’ve pulled weeds, separated stones and shaped a home with our palms. The beds prepped, the spaces plotted, the next step is planting.

Like everything else with this man so far, the garden work is easy. Smooth and intuitive. Pleasant, actually.

We pat the new plants into place while he whistles low and happy. His hands move deliberately, carving out spaces with care. Occasionally he’ll shower them with a carbon dioxide prayer, lulling softly, “beautiful garden.” I think I saw the parsley lift its leaves and curve toward him. Because he’s like that, you know. Be it plants or animals, they rise up basking in his presence.

Jessica Dofflemyer ~ all rights reserved

People, too, it’s true.

But before one can pin him to the ethereal realms of St. Francis of the plant and animal kingdom, he turns downright practical. Opens a bag full of tools and dismantles the faulty deadbolt on my front door. Locking mechanisms are removed, oiled well, tightened or loosened, rearranged…I don’t’ know what he does. Something. What I do know is that when he’s done with the screwdriver and his Rubik’s cube-like, dexterous manipulations, my lock and key move with unprecedented ease.

Even Jeb notices. “Hey, I can unlock the door myself now!”

Back in the garden beds, we saved room for more planting. He’s set on growing garlic even though he’s heard it’s hard. I tell him he can have a space here to give it a try.

Then our imaginations outgrow the present boxes. He’s already building another raised bed in his mind, tracing its size with his finger, mid-air, doubling what we have. We rattle off the list of food we’d like to plant there.

I suggest some marigolds. Ahh…I’d really like arugula too. He’s smiling. He knows where I bask. Just nods his head and breathes a little prayer my way, grinning.

“Yes, Jess.”

I can’t help it. I’m smiling too.

Curve a little closer.