I realize that, to date, it appears as though I have progressed little (if at all) towards the much-hyped transformation of FPG. Let me assure you this could not be further from the truth! If I could, for a moment, offer you a quick peek behind the scenes here at Fencebroke's around-the-clock planning room, you would see a veritable hive of activity. Here I perch, as King Chief Lord Master Admiral of Garden Design, at my quarter-acre, reclaimed redwood desk: issuing orders, offering brilliant insight and being taken by periodic fits of creative genius while legions of assistants, interns and other underlings scurry to and fro in the hopes of fulfilling sufficiently their small role in my vision to earn a faint nod of recognition, a trivial flick of my wrist, which will be recounted for years hence to anyone who will listen as the crowning moment of their lives. Put simply, such a monumental endeavor of creation takes time, patience and the careful coordination of countless man-hours. Not to mention the delicate management of too many fragile egos, which crave acknowledgment but must, for the success of the Garden, remain subservient to my own.
Well, that's the idea anyway. On any given day, your sneak peek may reveal a scene that falls slightly short of this ideal, but it really is impossible for anyone to maintain such machine-like efficiency and brilliance for extended periods of time.
On an off day, for example, your back stage glimpse of Fencebroke may note as few as one assistant/underling/minion at my disposal, this being, of course, my 4-month old daughter, Daisy. Her ego is a particularly fragile one, requiring an inordinate amount of attention and reassurance, but the part she plays in my process is invaluable and becomes immediately apparent to anyone observing: she is here to make sure I don't get ahead of myself. Sure, I could accomplish a great deal more in any given day without her “assistance”, but most certainly the quality of my work would suffer. She, being a remarkably perceptive aide despite her youth, must have realized this early on. Whenever I hastily pick up a garden fork to remove some sod, she's there, saying, “Hey, Dad Master Admiral, let's just take a step back and think about this. Here, look, I'll just spit-up all over myself and we'll deal with that for a while. If you still feel like digging later on, have at it, but let's not do anything we're going to regret.” Or whenever I sit down at my drafting board to sketch some ideas, she'll gently remind me that, you know, sometimes it's better to just cry for an hour or two to really get those creative juices flowing. And don't let anyone tell you you can't yell and cry at the same time. The trick is to just let it all out. Then, by all means, pick up your pencil and start drawing. And sure, sometimes at the end of the day that means you've only drawn one little circle on your graph paper before it's time for dinner, but so be it. You'll have all week to think about that circle, to make sure it's the right size, in the right place. We'll revisit it on your next day off, unless, you know, I'm still a baby. Then baby stuff. But I like your circle, Dad.