Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Six Months Neglect

Six Months Neglect

Khuk Khak, Thailand - Out in the garden that never dies, how the plants would suffer through the hard season with no caretaker providing an attention to which they had grown accustomed.

What would withstand six months of neglect?

One’s health? That trip to Dr. So-and-So. The exercise, the diet, that tooth, the nagging injury, the engine repair, the dust in the corners. Couldn’t that job wait until spring?

And what of family and friends? A silent relationship, suspended animation, Cinderella’s illusion, the frog prince’s expectation, an unspoken repression, a state of denial, an atrophied claim, a forgot to tell you, an it can wait.

The unfinished work set aside, a potted plant, a crown or filling, a manuscript, a painting, a song.

Who would wait? The soldier’s mate, the fiancĂ©, a promise, a vow, a tour of duty, off to college, a stretch in the joint, aboard the ISS, an appointment, a secret liaison, out of state relocation, no food, no water, no email.

The massage, the meditation, the walk to the Sea. The stretching, the designs, the renovation, the updates, the records, the competition, the time off, the contract renewal, the surgery, the root canal. Can it be put off for six months?

Hadn’t heard from them. Found another owner. Never watered it. People broke in. Slow leak. Needs a jumpstart. Pipes froze. Gonna need a new transmission. Better send flowers. Gonna have to replace the whole damned thing. Rust in the lines, residue in the filter. Gonna have to find her down in Texas somewhere. Gonna have to send an envoy. Gonna have to patch things up. Gonna minimally need duct tape, maybe a new identity. Gonna have to reconfigure, re-boot. Gonna have to shut the whole system down. Might mean war.

What in a life can go for six months without checking in? A definitive statement? To be continued? Pick it up where you left off? Let it go another six?

The garden that never dies will endure until the rainy season, but it may need occasional help, parched, wilting, crying for a drink.