a may day

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Daily Tales : One Thread

There's a chill on the air, and word of snow tonight in the Cascades. Spring teases us here in Oregon, with bits of sun and blossom that make me glow all warm inside til some obscurantia slides rain in between me and the growing light I love so well - much like this fellow I keep trying to come to know.

I completely forgot the hemp rally today. I meant to remember it. I'd been meaning to put my body there, though (and in part, because) I've a sense that it's getting to be a less safe place to be.

I sometimes wish I didn't live in quite so exotic a bubble as this rarefied niche in the Southern Willamette valley. I feel like I know what's going on in a deeply intuitive way, in a worlded way, with the planet and the organism that struggles to be collected and human, but I don't feel like I'm tuned to the political tornadoes that blow up, superficial and transitory, and yet intense, dangerous and not to be ignored, like the assemblage that thrives by filling prisons under Ashcroft and Bush.

My intentions to show at the rally were good, but I'm back in the grip of nature and, like so many times before, I'm swept up in the needs of the plants as they start their stretch up, testing the air and light again. Today in the garden was wonderful, and one hour turned to several as this and that task hollered out to be taken on. I have a sense that you would love these Oregon gardens.

You've not heard the whole story about my plants - maybe someday you will. I keep saying I'm just a donkey of the gods, and that my whole work from 1996 has been to put these guys in the ground. They'd been languishing in pots at an Oriental Medicine college on Potrero Hill in S.F. for years and heard a rumor I'd put out on the winds in Varanassi, India, that I was ready for a horticultural challenge. One of those god things, you know...

Today, almost 6 years later to the day, I've secured public park land for part of the collection, and the private arboretum upriver for the rest. I have no organization; no board of directors; no donations; no budget - just my hands, my back, and a stubborn streak that pushes my body so far past where it thinks it can travel that it doesn't even argue anymore (it's been wrong so often) - it just goes.

I've almost fulfilled my duty of getting them in the ground. It will take a few more years to build the identity of the Collection, and relationships with it, so that I can cut it free of my schedule, but after this year it should be in a significantly less maintenence-intensive holding pattern, and most of the work will be virtual - collecting and cataloging on the web and making fun connections. I just was asked to be on the Board of a new organization with a similar mission, and might even head back to Nepal next spring. That would be dandy!

In the meantime, I work in the Garden during the sunlight hours, reflecting on its transformation in just 2 short years from a battered heroin-needled park into a kind oasis that people love to just be near. I've taken a lot of heat over here, from people who were thinking differently (if that) than I, and it's good to see things thriving again when folks acted like they wouldn't.

There's a sweet sort of revenge in an endurance that brings you back 'round to beauty. You should see the peonies! And a number of the shrubs have just figured out they're in the earth, with fat green shoots that exceed by twice and thrice the length of 10 years' previous stunted growth bursting out from their old pot-bound pattern. The garden makes me feel so good, even though I've failed so miserably to do it as well as it ought to have been done - at least it's been sort of done, and it's still being done.

Of course I'm behind. Of course there's more to do than I can possibly manage alone. But the plants are so sweetly forgiving. The wild orchids that I thought I'd destroyed accidentally not only came up again - several new ones came up nearby, in different colors, no less! The schizandra is blooming. So's the xanthoxylum. The lillies are spreading. The worms are fat. It's a good spring.


I've been on quite the roller coaster the last few weeks. For some reason, I've got it into my head that I've got to make winter choices now. I suppose that's a hold over from living closer to winter, and being used to thinking about projects that need to get done while the rain's gone. So I went through this twist of thinking I had to figure out what I was doing this winter *now*. It served, because I certainly went through a sift or two.

Also, the bookkeeping has really fried my neurons. I am not going out dancing at all. I'm not singing right now, and I've even stopped rehearsing. That's got to change next week. I don't want to lose Steve, the best piano player I've ever worked with, and I was enjoying the focus my piano lessons with Bill were giving me. But the mountain of work is just a blasted mountain of work, and I just have to do it (eyes cross here...head bangs table).


But for someone who seems interminably buried in numbers, I *do* manage to get a lot of cool and trippy stuff squeezed in. I think it's a good thing that I'm single right now. I can't believe I'm saying that, but I also can't believe I'm finally getting to be OK with that. Truly. Mostly. Well, mostly mostly...But my days are so long, and so full, and there are so gosh darned many of them! I get up early. I stay up late. I eat at odd times. I do a lot of the same things, but never in the same order - never to a routine, except for my morning coffee. I'm kind of ritual about that.

Still, I can't help thinking ahead. I like to feel a direction. I think I feel irresponsible if I don't. Somehow, winter firewood feels like a direction to me. Although Cambodia wouldn't need firewood in January, would it?


So, almost an hour has ticked by here. I putter and think and putter and write. I wonder about you. I ponder what you might be like. Are you frenetic? Calm? Is there always a crisis nearby, at hand, around the next bend in your life? Or are you the stable guy that crises like to happen around just because they need a rock to crash upon?

Are you happy? You seem like you might have a curmudgeonly side. Does being around happy people irritate you? I hope not. It bothers some folks, you know. I get the sense that you'd like to be around happy people. Why do I keep thinking that you are *not* doing what you want to be doing? That must be frustrating you to no end. I wish I could help.

You say you've been encouraged by my messages. I'm glad of that. I can only assume that I must be reading between your lines correctly, and I'm glad that what I'm sharing strikes a chord in you. For some reason, I feel like your cosmic cheerleader. I can't explain why I believe in you so strongly, or why I feel proud of you. It's really odd to feel this way about someone I've only met once, and I'm not going to examine it too closely.

I just know that you continue to flash in front of my mind's eye, and that I think of you often (though in waves), and wish I heard more from you, and could see you now and then. I send you good things, as always.

much love,










Peace <

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

Moderation questions? read the FAQ