I noticed in the morning that the white hyacinth in the front yard had opened its flowers for the first time this year.
|The flowers in the morning|
At least, I think it's a hyacinth, despite the fact that it does not have that canonical tower of flowers, all the same, and emanating form a single shaft. I suspect that my hyacinth is neglected, and that is why there is such a poor showing. But still, I thought it was beautiful!
I am not a gardener, and I don't make the flowers grow. I take no credit for this hyacinth's success, but it does cheer me up to see it bloom. In the afternoon, I checked on the forsythia bush, and I saw that insects were taking advantage of its blooms.
Some people do garden, and it is their life's work, and the success of their plants represents their own effort and their own success in life. I honor the true farmer and the true garden keeper, but that is not who I am. My work is different. Watching the flowers bloom is entertainment for me, respite from my daily work.
A friend asked me why I don't plant things right on the outskirts of the outer pen, so Bow could see me work in my garden. My work is Bow. I can turn my back on him for a moment, but not long enough to concentrate on a task. Indoors, I can get to him right away if he needs me and I am on the computer. But I cannot go back in the pen from the outside with ease. I would have to go back into the house and go all the way around. So that's one reason I don't garden. But it's not the main reason. It's just not what I do. It's not my contribution to life. It's not my gift.
My task is to prove that Bow can spell. My job is to explore the way language works to transmit information, even when speakers are not aware of it, to tease apart social skills from language skills, to show that while language changes in the particulars, over the long run it does not change as much as you would suppose, because the changes are circular. My mission is to explain things that people do not see with ease, like the pernicious nature of the Neutrality Act and why it matters very much how we look at historical figures like Aaron Burr and Jean Laffite, and to allow others to see that women's suffrage existed in America long before 1920, and that the problems that we have today do not stem from giving women the vote, but from the fact that we allow people who are in debt to vote away the rights of the people who are owed money. My task is to get the Debt Collector produced.
This morning I had this exchange on Facebook with a complete stranger.
Does it matter? Will it stick? Maybe, maybe not, but I think it is worth trying. Will it matter thirty years from now? I've been thinking about that ever since I read this post by a friend
The issues I am striving to clarify will matter thirty years from now. But if I am not successful in making people listen, it's true that maybe my efforts will have been in vain.
Thirty years from now, the Neutrality Act, if not repealed, will still matter. The rights of creditors will still matter, whether they are upheld or denied. Language and how it works will still matter, and the cognition of chimpanzees will still be important. But will anybody care that yesterday the hyacinth bloomed in my garden?
|The flowers had opened up quite a bit by yesterday evening|
By evening, when I looked at the hyacinth blossoms, they had opened up quite a bit and their pollen was spilling out.
Just before sunset, with the doves cooing in the trees above us, I knelt and examined each petal. Thirty years from now, none of this will matter. But sometimes we have to feed the soul so it can live to fight another day.