I understand why it must be, but this hurts:
As if the butchering of our Chinese elm and lovely crape myrtle earlier this week wasn’t enough, while I was out yesterday the power company snuck into the backyard and installed a hideous guy wire, to fortify a pole. Hideous being my perspective. Actually, the work seems neatly and sturdily done. The wire runs from high on the pole to a stake hammered into my flower bed. And it’s encased (for safety I suppose) in a neon-yellow tube. Lots of worse impingements in this world. It does serve nicely as metaphor for what we get to either resent, or accept as best we can.
Having no other choice, I’m trying to think of this impingement as an art installation. Light saber? Highway to heaven?
Yesterday the power company contractors came to our backyard, swarmed up our beautiful longsuffering Chinese elm and our heretofore unmolested crape myrtle and removed a goodly portion of them. My broken heart was little eased by thinking of the common good.
Still, this new day has dawned fresh and bright, and my dawn patrol yielded treasure in a small tree in the front yard.
A Leonard Cohen lyric comes to mind:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
Because humans are social creatures?
Because without connection and occasional friendly touch we will surely die?
Because we need constructive criticism?
Yes, yes, and yes.
I will illustrate the third reason with three examples.
1) I was sitting on the Riverwalk in San Antone, neath the shade of a four-hundred year old cypress tree. Which made me think of the inspirational little book a friend gave me for my birthday. In the spirit of letting her know her gift was still on my mind, I texted a picture of the cypress to her, captioning it “Forest Bathing.” Well, my more literal minded friend fired back: “Too much cement for forest bathing.” She’s right. And so am I. It felt like forest bathing to me. And guess what? It turns out we were both in San Antonio. She at a bridge tourney – oh that sharp mind of hers! – and I doing a whole lot of nothing.
2) I was driving pensively up the street when I saw a string of helium balloons come hurtling down from the heavens, across my hood, and onto a roadside lawn. Because I was in a self-pitying trance when this happened, I succumbed to the temptation to get all woo-woo mystical. Then I compounded my folly by reporting my poignant experience in an email to a friend. (You will note of course that it was all about me.) She fired back that helium balloons are killing wildlife, that stupid people think their stupid party balloons just rise into the sky, never to return and do harm. This broke my trance, for sure! The story of poet David and prophet Nathan comes to mind. David needed a reality check, and Nathan was kind to oblige. The Poet and the Prophet, oh yes.
3) I turned in an article. A friend called to say he was confused by the title, and by my essay’s lack of context. The woo-woo poet strikes again! I may be a mystic but if my aim is to connect, it does little good to mystify. So I fixed it.
Now to the part I’m sure you were waiting for! My eighteen month old granddaughter, at the beach, evidently mistook a clump of tar for a rock. Fortunately there are Big People in her life who know what to do.