E VERYTHING IS POSSIBLE,” a dear friend I have never met keeps telling me, and all of us. “To see it, though,” he reminds, “you must first believe it.” Good advice for life, and also good advice for making a garden, no? That friend is Englishman Andre Jordan, now the mad doodler of Lincoln, Nebraska, whom this week I want to really celebrate bigtime: Andre just earned his green card, the latest whirl in a whirlwind year that included meeting and marrying the woman of his dreams, publishing a memoir, buying his first home, and adopting a dog (named Pickle).
No, I have still not met Andre, though we’ve been in contact for more than a year. But we grow a little closer every week when the latest stash of doodles-in-progress arrives, and I get glimmers into the thought process that is behind them, just like I did when I read his memoir, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” (There is no better book to give your shrink; it should be on the curriculum of psychoanalytic institutes and departments of psychiatry in teaching hospitals and schools of social work, I swear. Insurance companies should mail it out to all patients using mental-health coverage, so they know they are not alone.)
Some weeks there are multiple versions of a doodle in my inbox, and we email back and forth or have a Skype call and figure out what we think. Mrs. Andre gets a vote, of course, and usually we have a unanimous verdict in favor of one incarnation or another of a drawing. I am sharing the backstory on this week’s with you, which came to me as triplets, each just slightly different (some with distinctive, perhaps English, spellings of the word “pruning,” above). What do you think? Did we choose right?
Perhaps because I have had a wild year of evolution, too, of first-time experiences and risk-taking change, I was really moved by Andre’s recent story on A Beautiful Revolution, his personal blog, where he recounts the tale of how he doodled his way out of depression and into dreams-come-true. Be sure to read it, please oh please, and also to welcome him even more emphatically than ever in the comments below to our American, and gardening, family. Yes, Andre and his bride are gardening. Apparently we are rubbing off on him, too, not just the other way round. Everything is possible.