It’s a good thing when you share your spouse’s particular brand of weirdness. The other night at dinner when my husband described to me a giant tumbleweed he saw on his bike ride home and suggested he might like to go pick it up and photograph it, I didn’t think this was weird at all. My main comments were various suggestions on how we could get it home. “We could drive,” I said. “I don’t think it would fit in the car,” he said. “Could we put it on the top?” I questioned. “That might work,” he replied. In the end, we decided to walk.
It was dark by that time, so the actual size of this tumbleweed remained elusive to me until we were upon it. As we walked alongside the large field this tumbleweed was said to inhabit, I began to make out a giant orb. The plan was for Mike to somehow hoist this mass of viney limbs on his back and carry it the 10 minutes back to our house, while I managed the dog. I wish I had had a camera. The sight reminded me of a Diego Rivera painting, with one of those enormous bundles of flowers on someone’s back. I couldn’t help myself from giggling all the way home. Towards the end, the tumbleweed began to catch on too many trees, so Mike began to drag it. What a sight he must have been to innocent bystanders, walking along the side of the main road with an enormous ball of limbs.
We decided, as we discussed how he would photograph it (he wanted to take it out of its context and create kind of a “studio portrait), that even if the photos didn’t work out, it was a really interesting natural sculpture on its own.
It reminded us of Andy Goldsworthy—such a perfect sphere that it almost looks man-made, or perhaps it is what man would try to create in order to imitate the perfection of nature. We plopped it in our front yard, and it nearly took up the whole space. Mike quickly dragged it to the back yard to try and capture it with the black backdrop of night.
Now, when I look out my office window, I see it sitting there, like a giant guffaw from nature. Even more, it reminds me of Mike, and how I love our brand of weirdness, and I hope we just continue to get more joyful in our weirdness as the years go on.
Check out Mike’s Post on the tumbleweed. Also, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow countrymen.
[in case you didn’t know, this is me being silly with the tumbleweed in our back yard]