Friday, October 11, 2013

The Rites of Fall

No composer, to my knowledge, has ever taken up the challenge to write a ballet on the Rites of Fall. We might call the activities that fall under this heading preparation for a kind of human hibernation, which is what the coming season really is. Quite chilly temperatures this morning triggered the response in me. Soon now, I thought, the plants must be brought in. Now our plants over-winter mostly in our basement. The place turns into a kind of surreal ballet set for jade plants and such; our furnace, which provides the music, was already tuning up for performances to come. We have a dozen jade plants, perhaps even a score of them. A large table under two neon lights is their principal residence, but overflow has caused, in recent years, the need to house some of them on my workbench too—a place or venue that tends to become quite chaotic, with the residues of past projects carelessly shoved aside. So it is there that I began—making order for the coming lock-down—and herewith the result:

Amazing what one discovers in such ventures—not least totally dried out jade plant leaves from last year’s hibernation cycle. So many nuts, bolts, and hanger things—so many little bags of plastic holding extra screws and thingies from some project reflexively stored.  A faucet washer paradise my bench—because to buy one that fits the faucet, one must buy a dozen others that don’t fit anything in the house. But do not throw anything away. Who knows when it will come in handy. The answer to that question is a definition of eternity.

Little things never to be thrown away? Well, one of these is a plastic button proclaiming that I ♥ Gale. Another even older one that fell into my hand when I unpended a tiny container cap, used as storage, was a McGovern MMM button. “I belong,” the button says, “McGovern, MMM.” It goes on to spell out those three Ms. McGovern Million-Member Club. And then the buttons asks: “How About You?”

Another valuable discovery for me today has been to learn the legacy of those tall, slender spice bottles that hold marjoram and ginger and such. The best and brightest achieve immortality by holding, forever, long screws or threaded bolts I’lll probably never need. But you never know.

1 comment:

  1. Once more fabulous! Your words lift even coarse themes, my dear.


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