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December 1st, 2009

Teddy, age 14

I freely confess to a penchant for superficial analysis and obvious conclusions, but lately I think that so many of the great debates of our day are less interesting than striving to have a good answer to the questions: "Was I kind?" and "Did I help?".

elusive flower

an elusive flower

I read today about the world's tiniest orchid, found in a reserve in Ecuador, among the roots of a larger plant.
The flower is but 2.2 millimeters in size--a petal requires only a single cell. I know from the magpie way I live my daily life that Ecuador is a place which produces the premiere roses for Valentine's Day in much of this country. I think about the difference between cultivated fields of roses and a gentle forgotten orchid in the wild. All the allusion and metaphor, though, is so in-built that I need not draw the conclusions nor make the parallels. Lately I like listening to recorder quartets--harmonious interactions of simple instruments to create melodies which are often of complex beauty. I love to go in October or April to Tyler, in east Texas, where rose cultivation provides a living to a lot of people.

I think how things are rough out there for a lot of people. I think about hungry children and abandoned pets.
They think the meteorite from Mars may hold evidence of biological processes after all. I remember standing in Belize City, before it was quite so dangerous for standing as it is now, watching a toddler child carry a basket of fresh, warm bread to sell to passersby. I remember a woman who ran a dry cleaners and grew African violets. They thrived in the curious heat. The air is alive with chill and rain. People cover their personal privations with heavy coats and a profound quiet. I stack small marshmallows upon pumpkin frozen yogurt.
My dog brings me her toy to toss. I speak with a beloved niece. I eschew rice with my seafood squash.
The sky is white with clouds.