Sunday, February 20, 2005
I am struck by the dignity of weeds. In keeping with etymology, they are worthy. Worthy of my regard, of my camera's regard, of your regard. As in, Francophonetically, Regardez !
Look. Take. Show. That's a complicated sequence. Fraught. It takes an intimate moment and shatters it. Makes it public. Disperses it. The eyes (minds) then have it, or a simulacrum of it, to do with what they will. It's more a regradation that a degradation, but it's that, too. A transformation of a living moment of seeing, honoring, loving, into a static image. One image among the world's billions. (One weed among quadrillions.) We are prolific text and image makers. Myriad things, each with its painted cake. What a bakery ! What a takery ! What a fakery !
From that maternal, adoring moment of holding, of sheltering, a weed in my regard (re-guard) to this: a trafficking. Dispatching the flattened, pilfered instant of light out to sail aloft on the world's image-stream. As decidual and doomed as I am, as it is. Farewell ! But how can it fare well ? Maybe I should say fadewell.
Deeper within dignity is the sense of being fitting: proper, right, appropriate to context. Back to the forest: the bleached, brittle upraised winter twigs. The dark, leaf-ribbed compost underfoot. Weeds are what they are. They lead lives. Like I do. I walk among them with as much care as my clumsy, booted incarnation can manage. It is a delicate operation. I hold my breath and mutter warding invocations: Bezoar ! Podzol ! Potting Soil !
Then I notice a galaxy of asters -- hard, white, shiny, gold-tipped stellate little flowers. Or a grape tendril, loop-de-looping in the air. Or the vague, dry gold of evening primrose pods, so different from the summer's thin, yellow petals.
And I submit, eagerly, to seduction. I am prisoner, love slave, in the seraglio of weeds.
Have, dear little beings, your weedy way with me.