Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The 'H' is Silent

Brovic -Blogging since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Damn, I had a title earlier. Can't remember what it was, but it seemed workable. Maybe it will come to me later.* You reading this stuff? I wonder, especially when someone writes, asking, 'Where are you now?'**

What is it you want? Humor? Commentary? Off-the-wall Tall Tale? Horrific war story? A brand new car. Pick up a cause, Piss you off, Fire your imagination? Where I am now? Hows the weather. Where are you? Closing the circle, circle the wagons? Family and friends. Winding it down, winding it up, not as much as you used to, too numb, too fried, too afraid, too much information, too much shock, too much too much? Yanked up by the roots.

Sat staring at this blank screen for the longest time. Out there in the garden, I was swamped with ideas.

That songbird froze me in my tracks. I was leaning over, reaching for a container for yet another of a thousand seedlings, when just overhead, right there in the palm branches, a wild songbird let loose on an extended song, all over the place in form, rhythm and structure, like Coltrane, spellbinding. I was afraid to move, frozen, reaching for the flower pot, thinking, 'this surely must be something like heaven.' Just that moment.

Then, timelessness, the green, the jungle, the damp smell of wet, rotting organic matter, lizards flicking across the ground, the black mold creeping across a faded pastel French colonial wall, a light midday tropical breeze, the sun's rays glinting through palm leaves on a gardener frozen by a songbird's expression. Could have been another lifetime.

Everybody knows you've got to thin your carrots. Was it the same with palms.

'What? Are you thinking of adopting a baby?' asked Claudia, Damon's Swiss girlfriend, sitting on her motorbike in front of Mr. Gui's hardware store after turning around when I yelled at her as she passed by. 'Why would you think of that?' she asked.

"You know, you've got time to think in a garden," I said. "I just wondered if it's in the best interest of the seedling to be pulled now, in infancy, and set in a nurturing environment, than to wait until later, say, adolescence, and yank 'em out by their roots and put 'em in a strange place and strange family...and if the same would apply to humans, as well, that's all."

There was a connection somewhere. Maybe I couldn't express it clearly enough, just then. In the garden, I was thinking, foster homes and loving parents and babies who wouldn't know the difference until much later in life, and how no matter how much pre-soaking you do before yanking them out by their roots, they nonetheless yield grudgingly.

'You have time for philosophy in your garden?' Claudia asked.

With the noise of the traffic, I wasn't entirely sure she hadn't said 'mediocrity'. Manny used to infuriate me when he'd say I'd never rise above mediocrity.

"You don't know the right people," he'd spit, "and you haven't got the natural talent or work ethic..." have I already told you this? Manny's 'mediocrity' speech? Lecture. How I could never make it to county commission, and all that? Still eats at me.

You'd think he could have been a little bit more supportive, given his role, and when I said that to him, 'you could be a little bit more supportive, you know,' being the type not to mince words, he told me I could have been a little bit more than what I was.

You ever get told you just weren't good enough to make the starting squad, or measuring up to your potential? If so, why?

'You can never be the shamp,' he'd say. Perhaps he was realistically setting the bar low, to affect such a low self-esteem that any small measure of achievement could be perceived as outstanding performance. Half the time he never even bothered to show up for tournaments, that's how....

HEY! DAMN! Hodup, now. There's a GREAT Big-ass moth that just flew in here...I mean, BIG. He's up on the ceiling...about a five, maybe six foot wing span, I'd say.

Ho-lee Sa-mokes! I've gotta do something here.

- end

*which it did, on the way back from 7/11.

**The Goldilocks Planet? Just like Earth? I mean...can we...can we...take it over?