Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Idle Gardener’s Mind

"Dic mihi quid melius desidiosus agas"
The line from Martial (8.3.12) translates "Tell me, what better will you find to do in your idleness?" Alcaito's jestbook

I have a very vocal cat. Pacifically (sic): a Tonkinese, which is supposed to be a cross between a Siamese and a Burmese. Since neither of these countries existed when this breed was created, my cat may be a lurking illegal alien. Or as we like to call them here in mellow inland San Diego, uninvited guest. She’s vocalizing at the moment, pacing up and down the halls whining that she needs love, which, like we all do. Lily is a bit “dumb” in a “cute-but” kind of way. I say it’s no small wonder we all don’t pace and whine like she does – though perhaps with less righteous passion than her walnut-sized brain can muster. I prefer to assume she’s crying for me than to worry that she might be a terrorist-in-waiting, a sort of sleeper-cat, and that she’s really crying “Death to America”.

Besides, at least my Tonkinese cat has “papers.” My camera and my new pressure cooker also have papers too, which means I could ship them to my sister in Arizona, no questions asked. Or at least, questions about papers answered. So my pressure cooker would be a more comfortable resident of Arizona than the bilingual American citizens who use leaf blowers to clean my front yard.

I am not worried about alien invasions. I am also immune to the scary threats of fools. With the possible exception of my cat, I do not to suffer fools gladly. But, like a psychic once told me at the fair, at least I do suffer glad foolishly. I could spend all day with her (my cat, silly) (not the fair psychic) on my shoulder as I rock her, purring advice into my hearing aid.

Finally, needing something better to do with my idleness, I managed to clean up the patio yesterday. The guys just blow the leaves and pine needles into corners for mice to inhabit. A job that once took me an hour, now takes me most of the afternoon. My gardening is becoming more like tai chi – slow, purposeful and conducive to meditation, rather than the ass-kicking karate gardening I did in my prime.

In addition to the cat purring into my hearing aid therapy, I need any exercise that serves to lengthen my attention span while it stretches my kinking muscles. These days, my tired muscles are the kinkiest part of my life. Fortunately, I have all day to accomplish this task of cleaning up the patio, and find the finished product just as satisfying as if I’d done it in an hour.

The yard guys who come every other Friday mainly keep the sorry all front yard hill from pegging out at the bottom end of the curb appeal scale. The state of my front yard is not quite at the point where I dot the landscape with a few cars on blocks, a whimsically placed old door-less refrigerator laying on its back and breeding pestilence, and hostile parasitic net of acid yellow dodder vines slowly engulfing rusty piles of unidentifiable junk. Not quite.

1 comment:

Les said...

Well apparently you were not hit by a piano, or were at least not injured severely enough to prevent you from writing this. I love your comment about uninvited guests. We were brought up to always be cordial and gracious with uninvited guests and to at least offer them a little something to eat or drink. After all, you never know when you may need them to rid your yard of leaves. I am thankful that this issue is not front and center here, as it looks like people are getting ugly over it elsewhere.