Monday, April 21, 2014

Botany 3

It was a cranking-busy Friday night, I was standing at the service well mixing drinks. Eric was at the beer tower. People were everywhere. We worked a very small and fashionable bar on Denver's east side Uptown neighborhood. I don't talk about Eric much. At this time in our relationship, we were still very close. Before I go further, I have to say that I am, I was then, and I suspect I always will be an introvert. After being around people, I am very-very tired. And here I was, at the time of this story, working a very crowded bar. I leaned over to Eric and said, “When I get out of the bar business, I'm working with plants. Have you ever heard a plant grow?” He shook his head. In those days, there was something soft in Eric. I loved him dearly. He said, “Yes, once, in Iowa. You can hear corn growing.” And we were off, he delivered beer to one end of the bar and I was off to the other end.

In the summer of 2004, some time after the above conversation, I found myself in Iowa. I did not hear any growth happening as I stood in cornfields.

I don't know much. I really haven't much going for me. But I read interesting books. I write. I have a few books published. I am the two-bit hack I set out to be. I once wanted to be a botanist.

So, what?

I wonder sometimes about the finite time we all really have. In our youth we do not think of the limited time that we have. And even now, in middle age, I still don't really have a grasp on it. But when it comes down to it, botany or not, what difference does it really make. Even if I wanted to be a botanist, I became a writer instead. It was not really something that I chose to do, I just did it.

When it comes to that finite time, what difference does it make how we choose to spend it? The same end calls for us all. In the endless cycle of flowers, leaves, dormancy or the thought, the act, the writing, rewriting, editing and completion why should a difference of activity mean anything, really?

A recent trip to a nursery brought back a rush of thoughts and imaginings. I cannot write to color into the scene. Fortunately I have a Pentax K1000 hand-me-down. What a scene.

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