Thursday, May 21, 2009
8o'clock, not noticed, saxophone
For the Crow, who commented on yesterday's dandelion clock, here is the bald head of the flower after most of the seeds have flown.
Although I am always on the look out for things of interest and beauty, I sometimes miss curiosities, just in front of my eyes. "Did you the pair of knickers on that car door handle? " asks Heidi. In fact I haven't seen them. "I thought you always notice everything! " says Heidi. Is that a tone of irony in her voice? I tell myself that in noticing some things you don't notice others.
entrance to Grosvenor Precinct, I hear, the sound of a saxophone playing something slushy, brought to me by the wind. I think to myself that it sounds better where I am, than closer to the performer, who I can just see in the distance, and who is, almost certainly, helped by a superfluous amplifier. Sounds like that, when overhead, have melancholy associations, like the the zither in the streets of post-war Vienna in The Third Man. They are lost when you get too close.
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How does one tell time with a dandelion?
Upon expanding your photo, I see for, the first time in my almost 62 years, that dandelion seeds are also toothed, like the leaves; only smaller, of course. I like discoveries of this sort. They make me want to giggle with delight like when I was a child.
Friend Crow: It is, I suppose, an English custom. You hold the seed head and and blow on it. You count the number of blows counting the hours as you go. If it takes six blows to dispose of all the seeds, it is six o'clock. This is why the globes of silver seeds are known as dandelion clocks. Do you not have custom in America?
Crows have sharp eyes. I hadn't noticed the teeth on the seeds. Thank you for pointing them out.
We do have a custom of blowing the seeds off the head of a dandelion. One must make a wish, silently (preferred), then blow hard. If all the seeds are blown off, the wish will come true quickly and as wished. If some seeds are left, then the wish will take longer to come true and might not be exactly as wished for, with length of time and result of wish determined by how many seeds are left. That's the one I grew up with, and there might be others.
Making a wish seems more practical than blowing and counting the hours. No one has ever suggested that dandelion clocks can truly tell the time, but granting wishes.. Why not?
Perhaps in adulthood one becomes sadly aware of the fact one is spreading weed seeds around, though of course they spread themselves around without our help anyway.
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