Interlude II, part 2: Words

It’s sort of scary to be so moved by words. If you think about it, it’s pretty dangerous. A person somewhere makes some marks on a page, someone deems them worthy to be published and years later I read them and they set off a whole chain of events (which, if you think about it, is just part of a whole series of chains of events.)

For instance, I’m afraid to read Kerouac because I’m afraid of what it’ll make me do. I mean, if a guy writing about how he cooked and ate a pig he’s not really sure he shot and a Wisconsinian farmer-professor writing about sawing wood can get me to up and go to Canada… what’s Jack going to do to me?

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” – J. Kerouac

Yeah. I’ll stay away from that for now.

Think about it. If you know me you’ll have realized long ago that I’m a creature of habit. How much money has Thai Basil made off me from Pad Kee Mow alone? Tuesday Night Burritos? If you read my top 10 list of favorite things to do, it would probably rival Brian Young’s in the number of mentions of the word ‘bed’.  I’m a closet stay at homer and let’s be honest, who out there would classify me as Mr. Hard Worker? But they made me do it. They made me go out there and work 10-12 hour on-your-feet or on-the-tractor or kicking-pigs days. SIX DAYS A WEEK.

But, to be even more honest, I kind of like it. It’s difficult for me to live vicariously, I think. But it’s ideas and concepts that grip me. I’ve written about it before but Redemption is the undercurrent of ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ for me. Justice too. I think I like the idea of a garden fixing the land under it, than the actual eating of the fruits, as backward as that is (don’t be surprised if I celebrate a ground-breaking with a Big Mac. Hey, I’m complicated…)

And to you nature freaks, I actually do think all this stuff was made and gains meaning through humans who can process and enjoy it (a point that even Aldo Leopold sort of concedes, I think.) Sure it was good, but now it’s very good. But I agree, let’s encourage or at least maintain diversity in ecosystems, it came as a gift it the giver made it pretty nice, IMHO. Will you look down on me when I tell you that I never really had any interest in plants or nature until I read those books? And will you forgive me if I confess that now when I see that a homeowner actually put some effort to use native plants in their front yard (there are a surprising amount of such front yards in Berkeley, go figure) it makes me tingle a bit inside. That I like to run my hand through tall deer grass bunches and smell sages up-close-and-personal when I see them?

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~ by justinhong on September 24, 2010.

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