Friday, January 04, 2008

Between a Rock and Another Rock

"Disorder is inherent in stability, Civilized man doesn’t understand stability. He’s confused it with rigidity. Our political and economic and social leaders drool about stability constantly. It’s their favorite word, next to ‘power.’ Gotta stabilize oil production and consumption, gotta stabilize student opposition to the government and so forth. Stabilization to them means order, uniformity, control. And that’s a half-witted and potentially genocidal misconception. No matter how thoroughly they control a system, disorder invariably leaks into it. Then the managers panic, rush to plug the leak and endeavor to tighten the controls.

“Therefore, totalitarianism grows in viciousness and scope. And the blind pity is, rigidity isn’t the same as stability at all. True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed…

"Wouldn’t you say that a stable individual accepts the inevitability of his death? Likewise, a stable culture, government or institution has built into it its own demise. It is open to change, open even to being overthrown. It is open, period. Gracefully open. That’s stability. That’s alive.”

-Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, 1976

My black pine is a 10 year old one gallon plant that I have been envisioning for years as a life-sized bonsai from a Japanese courtyard garden. Here it is being pulled by an old hose wrapped around waterfall filter pipes and some clothesline. Beneath it struggles a bougainvillea that is deep purple, although it's been too thirsty to bloom for years. It too, is about 10 years old. This bougainvillea is less hardy and slower growing than its bright red sibling, "San Diego Red".

Part of being a gardener is trying to plant trees to make shade for the next generation to sit beneath. Attempting to attain Disorder, the pine snagged by the hoses and ropes of Stability. Pine and vine, both living things destined to die, caught between two rocks symbolizing a sort of chronological immortal existence.

No comments: