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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What the Day Brings

Yesterday was a warm day. Bow spent much of it outside.

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.

  • Stranger: You notice how things have gone downhill since women got to vote?

  • Aya Katz Things have gone downhill since property ownership, not being in debt, and being worth fifty pounds stopped being required in order to vote. In 1776 single women in New Jersey had the vote, and it was good.

  • Stranger: You may be right there.

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
No. But it keeps me sane to be able to go outside and look at the flowers. To me they are not the main event, but just something that helps remind me that the show must go on regardless. They are like the unimportant gossip about what each day brings that keeps us interested in life, between major plot points.

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.


  1. I understand and if I had not come to your blog I would not have. Your flowers do look beautiful. I have hyacinths too that do not tower like they show in the pictures. Oh well, yes the are still beautiful though.

    1. Thanks, Debbie, for understanding, and for visiting my blog. It is good to know your hyacinths are not like the ones in the pictures, either. I guess there is more than one way for a hyacinth to grow. But they are all beautiful!

  2. I think the things you talk about in your books and blog do matter, Aya. I am just inclined to feel that some of the more opinionated and fussy stuff people worry about in day to day life does not matter as much to me as it does to them. I am finding more meaning in nature and its beauty these days. I love your hyacinths, by the way. Want to do another guest post on photography today?

    1. Thanks, Julia. I love your nature photos! I would enjoy doing another guest post on your photography site very much, although it might need to wait till tomorrow as I had my day off today and am still catching up. .

    2. No worries. Just wanted to offer because I like when people do blog posts, and I be getting some extra traffic this month due to the A to Z Challenge. That way perhaps people will click through to read your blog :).

    3. This is the guest post, for anyone who is interested:

  3. Beautiful hyacinths, Aya! My forsythia bushes have finally started to bloom this week. Martins are pouring in now too.

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I look forward to seeing your forsythia bushes and your martins later this month!