I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Monday, September 16, 2013

orcharding with the mighty alan chadwick


I visited the Alan Chadwick garden while dogsitting in Santa Cruz. It is one of the most enchanted and inspiring places I have ever been. A real Eden, if we understand that Eden takes work. The first time I visited, a beautiful, naturally tanned woman exited the gate as I mounted the stairs. The woman had light brown hair and a few freckles, and held three pears like they were a baby.


A goddess. Alan Chadwick was a Shakespearean actor, and a student of Rudolf Steiner, the father of Anthroposophy. He developed a system of orcharding that derived from Steiner's biodynamic system, and from the French Intensive method.


And that's about all I know of him. There isn't a lot of information about Chadwick online, and I've yet to order any of his books. So I wonder, was he happy? Was he queer? (He looks a little queer in his photos, for what it's worth). If he was queer, was he partnered? Was he proud of his glorious, blooming legacy, or would he rather have been another Gielgud?


The garden wasn't that close to where I was staying--I rode my host's bike up the first time, and took the campus bus up the second time. "Up" because the garden is high on a hill, and my journey took me through a dry California landscape of suburbs, scrubby woods, and the huge, empty spaces of UC Santa Cruz, where students and blankly quizzical deer wandered like figures in a de Chirico painting.

On one trip up the grassy plains to the garden, I made it to the shade of a redwood grove, and saw a tiny buck with a full, perfect rack. I think I was so tired from the hot, uphill trek (it didn't look so bad on Google maps) that the little buck might have been my spirit guide, but I realized that only later. 


Still, it was cool to see him, even if I missed out on enlightenment. Part of the adventure of traveling is meeting the local animals. Particularly when traveling alone, I feel. I meet a creature, and think, You don't know how far I came to see you.

And the animal thinks, You don't know how little I care.

1 comment:

Marie Gilbert said...

How wonderful for you to have a chance to go there. Love your stories, Drew

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