Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Gardens and Guns

The shriveled, dry maple leaf is caught in a gust of wind and twists upward past my window. A single leaf. The season of brown and occasional white is finally coming to an end, and every shade of green (just a hint of it) is starting to peek out of the ground, on the forsythia, and in all sorts of trees and bushes. While raking out my tiny Victory Garden (victory over mental illness), I discovered that a patch of chives somehow survived this very cold winter. Insulated by several inches of leaves and/or snow, the chives have persevered. As I moved the wet leaves away, a shock of green popped out. It reminded me of Kryptonite, it seemed to glow! I smiled in genuine appreciation.

Tomatoes will be planted along the metal railing, marigolds will decorate the four foot wide entrance to the patch, and there will be many herbs; basil, rosemary and garlic. Green onions will grow along the flat wall, along with red and green peppers. Spinach will line up next to the back stoop. This year we're going to throw some beats in, as well. Perhaps cucumbers can be crammed in.

This is probably of little interest to you, dear reader. The joy of planting and maintaining a garden is the closest I come to spirituality.
. - .

It's difficult to get through the day without thinking of the unspeakable tragedy now playing out in Japan. The scale of the disaster in environmental and human terms is impossible to comprehend. One of my neighbor's just lost her mother to cancer (like my own) and her pain is beyond any words. One world ending, one life lost. How can one absorb and understand the death of thousands when one death is an agonizing riddle, an emotional storm, deep pain.

A friend of mine was recently help up at gun point for the second time in his life. He is a thoughtful person, considerate and kind. An artist (musician) and intellectual who can't simply ignore the emotional and psychological impact of having his life in the hands of a total stranger. My thoughts are of him tonight. I wish I could hug the man. He deserves better.

His trials brought to mind a poem by Joy Bohland

human frailty

You never knew 
what it was like to be bruised. 
So obviously broken
exposed to the open.  
Sutures from past scars you hide 
like nakedness in your eyes. 
Something to be ashamed of. 
Something to rise above.  
Such a beautiful thing is human frailty. 
What a relief to learn I'm only me.  
The world's success doesn't start with me. 
Other's stress has nothing to do with me. 
The weight of the earth doesn't rest on me. 
After all I'm  
Delicate and fragile qualities molded, 
taught and made me who I am who I am.
Yet the pain is exquisite.
Please world,  make me weak for love. 
Make me sad for loss. 
Make me lose it all. 
Make me feel so small. 
Make me cry too long.  
Indifferent universe, don't make me strong.

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