Growing Grass in the Desert
Found Objects and Video
When I moved to the Middle East, I hired a gardener to turn the dirt patch behind my garden level apartment into a proper backyard. Such extravagance. Growing grass in the desert. Sandy and sallow. Spiky and spindly. Spiny—like a book, the sharp crease of a two-page spread. Dusty—like books in basements—dry beds evidence of what was. Cracked, but not callow. Ancient, in fact. As old as distance is hazy.
The grass started sprouting, but it didn’t last. It snowed in December, and one of the cypresses broke in half. Was it so that I could spot the silver moon, shining in the absence it created? April was the month we were ordered to leave, two years too soon. We never saw our lawn—that quintessential American dream, transplanted. So I tried to fulfill it from afar. I knit shawls of green yarn. It came in cactus color. I used the seed stitch: knit one, purl one, then repeat on the reverse side. I made piles of shawls, two feet tall—an endless expanse of cactus green seed stitches.