Sunday, July 7, 2013

lost in my dill world

This summer my hair is the same as my garden: overgrown.  My hair is overgrown because I kiss a mouth that is attached to two eyes that like how my overgrown hair softens my face, and my garden is overgrown because I have been kissing that mouth and looking into those eyes absorbedly; and I have been absorbedly traveling around Maryland with the face that those eyes make in tandem with that mouth.  The hair that surrounds that face is curly and dark like mine; and the scent of dill is sometimes under our noses; and the word dill is often on our lips; and today hundreds of dill fronds fell under my knife.  I banged loose dirt of dill roots; I sorted and bunched dill plants on the grass; I cinched our dill plants and hung them in the hot open air.  But first I pulled the plants and laid them on the lawn; and I was oblivious to the sounds around me, and oblivious to the sun, and oblivious to the traffic on the street.  It was the first time in weeks that I had a chance to tend to my overgrown garden; and sweat probably beaded on my brow that my hair softens; and I probably smelled dill as I yanked it out of its bed; but I was too deep in my work to notice any of this.  If a small moon had fallen from the sky and crushed the white house across the street, I would not have noticed it.  I would not have heard the sound of the roof beams crunching.  I would not have heard the glass shatter in the attic windows.  I was in my dill world, and when I'm in my dill world I am gone from this world.  I am a warm, moving body with a floppy head of hair.  

Making the dill bunches is easy enough to do, but it does require some attention to detail.  When I pulled the plants and shook the dirt loose from their roots, I made sure that none of that dirt got onto the delicate leaves.  I did not to wash them.  I wanted no debris on them.  I pulled them and tapped their roots systems gently on the ground.  I kept their tops high and proud.  I moved among the row, carefully and swiftly.  I hauled the bunches to the lawn, arranged them with a modicum of care, and went to find my knife. Then I took the suckers to the shade of the backyard to clean them and tie them up.  I made myself prone on the grass and it looked like this when I did.

What beautiful, pale straws those are!  Dill is essentially a reed.  The reeds are not very turgid, but they are turgid enough to keep the dill erect.  Dill plants don't make too many heavy leaves, and so the stalk does not need to be particularly strong.  When the wind blows, the dill sways.  When the plant becomes mature and top-heavy, it gently leans over and drops its seeds on the ground.  It was years ago that I planted dill for the first time in this garden, and I have not planted a single dill seed since then.  The dill does the work for me.  It sows its own seeds.  I merely thin out the seedlings and aid dill's natural wont.  Much of gardening is like this.  You don't resist a plant.  You just help it do what it wants to do.  I wish human life were this simple, but it's not.  There is no relationship advice to be extracted from this snippet about dill physiology.  There is no great life secret here.   

Perhaps we don't need to uncover the great secrets of life!  Perhaps it's fine that many of them lie hidden from us.  Is it really necessary to know all the answers?  In the tarot, 8 is the number of perfection (I think).  8 loops around and around and around, but in those eternal loops the risk of stasis, repetition, and sterility hide.  There is little else to do after you do something perfectly.  Put another way, perfection is a zenith from which we can only descend, but if we cast aside this vertical-topographical understanding of perfection, hell, if we cast the whole damn problem aside entirely and forget about peaks and golden chariots surrounded by brass roses and glittering coins of chlorophyll, we can enter a place where it's not problematic for a thing to be overgrown.  We can enter a place where overgrown is a hollow word that flutters meaninglessly around an object that we once needed words to define; and when this happens, we can then enter a garden where life is visible to us without the clouds of words that sometimes gather and hover between us and our sensual experience of the world.  I mean, so what if my garden is overgrown?  Do I really care what the neighbors think?  Do the neighbors even care?  I have no idea.  It's about to rain.


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