Monday, May 12, 2008

bark, mice, silence












Fish in tree.




My friendship for wild life falters when it comes to slugs and snails which eat my lettuce seedlings. To this black list I must now add mice. They eat the garden pea seeds which I sow fruitlessly every year. So at any rate experienced gardeners tell me. If it is not true, what else prevents the seeds from germinating? But if it is true, I must reconcile myself to these intelligent creatures, which seem to know where precisely the seeds are. Do they deduce their presence from the pea sticks which line the row? Or do they lurk in the long grass, watch me at work and mark the spot? Either way they seem to exhibit something like a sense of humour. Because on each of three occasions that I have sown disappearing peas, one, just one seed has eventually sprouted.

In the Michel Tournier's novel La Goutte d'or, there is a chapter which involves the arabic art of calligraphy. Among other things, it stresses the importance of correct breathing when working on a manuscript to ensure an even flow and rhythm in the lettering. At the head of the chapter is a sentiment, which though often expressed, I find particulalrly pleasing on account of the way it is expressed here:
Si ce que tu as à dire, n'est pas plus beau, que le silence, Alors, tais-toi!
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4 comments:

Rashmi said...

Wow! Looks like I've been away for a little bit too long! I love the 'new' format of posting a picture a day... and of course, it goes without saying that I'm amazed by your eye for detail and the frames you capture...

Barrett Bonden said...

One day you'll be visited by oxalis and your by-then residual enthusiasm for gardening will disappear completely.

Plutarch said...

It's good to hear from you Rashmi and to read your encouraging words.

Bonden, I was once visited by Oxalis, but not in the sense that you mean. A visitor brought a bag of the heart-shaped leaves, which she described as sorrel. "My garden is full of it," she said. She was right in a sense because Oxalis acetosella is also known as Wood Sorrel. It should be distinguished from French and Garden Sorrels which are of the Rumex family, and are quite different to look at. Like French and Garden Sorrel, Wood Sorrel can be used in salads and is notable for its sour flavour. But I don't think you would make a sauce or a soup with it.

Lucas said...

I love the words that you have quoted from Michel Tournier. I do not know the writer, yet the wonderful eliptical sentence makes me want to.