Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Technical Difficulties

I’ve been looking at a photograph of one of my favorite flowers, a dandelion. I let them grow where they will, because they are good for wishes, and medicinal, and edible, and invariably bright. They make me smile.

And they grow all over the world, these bold marauders. The photo in front of me was taken on the outskirts of Tokyo & is captioned “second mutated dandelion found”

The dandelion in the photo has a stem that seems curiously thickened. The flower is—well, it seems twisted, multiplied, as if it had begun as one blossom and then became, in its struggle, eight or nine. They are crimped, these joined, changed flowers.

The man who put the photo up for all to see, well, he’s alarmed. He lives in Tokyo. News is shut down as to what the levels of radiation are, what’s happening. He sends this photo out into the world, a small link.

It’s not much different than here, when you think on it. There are those minute stories—some debris hitting land in the north. Not much else. If anyone is checking radiation—well, they aren’t saying.

These are the days of spring in which really all I want to do is sink my hands into the earth, to mull over gardens, to adore the first roses and the fleeting lilac, to try to grow a bit of food. I want to drowse and dream in the sunlight like my cats and watch the ferns unfurl. I don’t want to be bothered. Voltaire knew my heart, yes, I want to cultivate my garden and pretend all is well, all is safe, no one is hurt, hungry, jailed, despairing.

The flowers are so beautiful. I love the yellow dandelions, seeding here and there, growing through gravel, unstoppable.

Spring brings the river floods and the flood of travelers. Some with books, some with dogs, all with hope or desperation, all with stories. Some of the stories are pretty and some far from it.

And I think of what I know and what I don’t know. The facts, the current events—these sift away, lost in the winds of springtime.

There were dandelions at the edge of the Boboli gardens decades ago when I heard, belatedly, of deaths in my home country. There were dandelions at the edge of almost every grave I’ve visited, and every place I’ve wandered, with children, with lovers, with my hurting heart.

I’ve always made wishes. Just a breath. Out to the universe.

Connection is an odd thing. It’s been on my mind as I’ve come from gardens & distractions, since in these odd days I can see a Tokyo dandelion in a second, or talk to a friend in Europe or in Palestine—but these weeks, the connection has been frail.

Technical difficulties. Not like—oh look, the plant is drooping, water it. But—everything falls apart. I’ve been dealing with technicians and long distance advice and at last my dirt and ink stained hands and a calm, if snarly, mind.

What connects & disconnects, it would seem, is one fine pin. A little sharp point like the tip of my pen.

It’s like the old nursery rhyme in which a whole kingdom is lost because there’s not a handy nail.

And I thought—we each sometimes think how insignificant we are. How vast the world, how complex. How full of joy and heartbreak and dance and rebellion—and how do we fit? Why do we matter?

In this world of dandelions of Fukishima, who knows…you might be the connector. That one tiny, insignificant, absolutely important piece.

The universe just might spin around you, your perfect, imperfect, yearning being.

And maybe—if you are just a tiny pin in the great scheme of things—maybe angels are dancing there.


Blogger am said...

Yes. Angels. Good to hear from you again. The lilacs and dandelions and rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming here. Big white clouds and deep blue sky today. Cool and breezy. This is the startling season in the Pacific Northwest where we can go to sleep and wake up to light. We are farther north than Maine up here. This is the time of year that I long to be in Northern California in the balance of darkness and light that I remember from my youth.

Heart connections have a life of their own.

1:16 PM, May 09, 2012  
Anonymous atma said...

It's beautiful to hear your appreciation of dandelions. Yes, they are full of life. Life is full of connections. And we're in it

For the first time in my life I have a desire to start a garden. And to stay in it, to maintain it, to rest in it. I lost my mother last autumn, I see a connection.

I'm talking to the two new plants in my window, expressing my hope that they'll be comfortable in my home.

And I'll hope you'll continue sharing your life of gardening, stories and actively caring. Thank you


They're still small

5:59 AM, May 10, 2012  
Blogger Lucy said...

As ever, you say true, important and difficult things, very beautifully.

10:11 AM, May 10, 2012  
Blogger christopher said...

Jarvenpa, here's an example of a poem that took over writing from me, written in fifteen minutes. I started with the first two lines, but a little different. The rest was the poem expressing itself and then I had to change the second line a little to fit. At the last there were a couple more changes, single word replacements that changed everything and locked it all in. Thank you for your beautiful words. I agree with Lucy.

Yesterday's Boast

Technical difficulties
will not be my way;
no indeed, I shall
flash right past the bad hardware,
fuse it together,
force the bright issue
full out of its plastic case
indeed or kevlar)
and I will ignore all pleas.
No mercy from me,
no incense either.

10:41 PM, May 16, 2012  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

Thank you all for your comments. are much further north than I am, but always connected to my heart. The lilacs are finishing here, but we still have a series of flowers yet to come.

atma, may you find comfort. Gardens are good for that--well, they have been for me, but I was probably born loving the magic of seeds and plants.

Lucy, thank you.

Christopher...the last two lines of your poem particularly hit me. I love those poems that come in a rush (for me that usually doesn't happen; I get a nudge, and then page after page of rough drafts, trying to work it out).

11:18 PM, May 16, 2012  

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