Pruning the stone garden is a phrase that washed over me in hypnopompia - that time when our minds are slipping back into reality after slumber. My head on the pillow, my mind in the clouds, those words kept a continual loop while I tried to decide if I should get up to write them down or repeat them often enough so I'd remember them later.
They also confused me. What the hell does "pruning the stone garden" mean? I tried to make sense of it as images of a graveyard came into view as though I were a passenger looking out the window of a slow moving car. I wondered, "Is a stone garden a sea of headstones in a cemetery?" It may be, but I knew that didn't tell the whole story.
I woke up intrigued by the phrase. I may not be clear on the meaning, but I certainly appreciate the way the words and images play together. Someone told me it could mean futility. That makes sense too.
I do know that it is twisted in with the concepts of life, loss, death, grief, and longing. I continue to struggle with the reality of a life without my mom. It is constantly on the forefront of my mind as I journey on in this diminished state. I can sometimes talk myself into the calmness of believing she is not gone. In those moments, I shift back into who I was for a spell. But, that's not reality and I'm not crazy enough to live in that delusion.
Perhaps pruning the stone garden means snipping away the hard things to make what is here, what I'm left with, more beautiful. It may mean I need to deal with my shit and appreciate what I've been given in the past and all that I still have.
What do you think?