Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Try To Make It Real

Slaughterhouse is killin' hogs
Twisted children killin' frogs
Poor dumb rednecks rollin' logs
Tired old ladies kissin' dogs
Hate the human, love that stinking mutt
Try to make it real — compared to what?
-The Les McCann Trio

The sky was cold gray steel over Asheville this morning, and a chill wind blew in from the west. The dampness never left the air and it looked like the sun forgot to rise. We couldn’t figure out why the woman was wearing a wedding dress. It wasn’t troubling at first – we just kept stealing glances toward the parking lot, waiting for a groom to appear. Everyone walking our way was wearing hiking boots and fleece – Naw, not him. Two somewhat well-dressed gentleman finally appeared, but they didn’t have a wedding vibe to them.
Gotta be, though, we kept thinking. But somehow …no. If I was gonna get married, I wouldn’t dress like that. But why else would someone in a fuckin’ bolo tie and another guy in a green suit and a tie show up at the Asheville Botanical Garden in this God forsaken weather on a Saturday morning? There’s the people in the hiking boots and the fleeces, they look like they belong here. Then there’s all the UNCA students taking a short cut across campus - they’re the ones who carry bookbags and look like they know where they’re going. Then there’s the woman in the wedding dress and the guy in the bolo tie – they gotta be together.
Then the band showed up. People walked past us carrying guitars and sitars and flutes and then a harmonium. A typical wedding band, at least in Asheville.
We were sitting on an oversized bench near the visitor’s center, a stone’s throw from the orientation map, just up the hill from the Herman Melville Rock and Cactus Garden. My companion had been hurled, savagely, down a flight of stairs by a roving band of six year olds, and I had grown weary of feigning compassion. The woman in the wedding dress was a welcome distraction, and the sitar player showed up just when we had exhausted speculation on just how she and the guy in the bolo tie had met.
These are simple times. Art manifests itself in Senior Exhibitions. Political discourse is reduced to bumper stickers. Civic monuments are described by their number of lanes. Occam's razor seems to be used on social issues.
But I wasn’t thinking in such terms at the time. No, I was thinking that I was having a good time and that Spring is just around the corner. I even ran into my old friend, B*, who had been riding his bike around all morning, exploring the underside of interstate bridges. I made the mistake of going home and checking my answering machine. I’ve been invited to a brunch tomorrow morning, a pot-luck sort of a thing, and the voice on the machine trailed off just as it was suggesting I bring some jello.
This after having spent the morning meditating before the Herman Melville Rock and Cactus Garden.
Yeah, I’ve brought a jello mold or two as my own personal offering to a number of social events, but I choose to not be pigeon-holed. No, that doesn’t mean I bring jello with me everywhere I go, and only stagnation can result if others expect me to do so. It’s only a sign of the times, I know, but I find myself rebelling at the thought and looking, furtively, for more fertile ground. I yearn for self-expression, and refuse to be categorized like so many recyclables.
The woman in the wedding dress never did meet up with sitar/harmonium band, and didn’t even give a passing glance to the guy in the bolo tie. They all wandered through the leafless trees independent of one another. According to a Native American cure, my companion made a poultice of ferns and snakeroot and basswood bark and limped home. I returned to the rock garden and reflected on the lessons learned aboard the Pequod.


  • At March 24, 2005 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But....but...you do jello so well! Not that deviled eggs with little paper umbrellas aren't great....they're just not jello.
    You know?

  • At March 30, 2005 8:29 PM, Blogger spiral said…

    How about vegan chocolate cake? Oh, right, Asheville . . . that's not very original there. You could always stick pine cones in it, get the natural look. Or, you could stick the pine cones in the jello.

    Better yet, consider trying to incorporate banana slugs. Since visiting Muir Woods, they are a favorite of mine.


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