Sunday, October 31, 2004


This afternoon, while taking a break from my daily gymnastics of painting under the back eaves of the house, where for some sections I have to be eight feet tall and other sections two feet tall, I took the time to enjoy my natural height by gussying up the happenstance hedge that borders the road (some of the plants (kinmokusei, azalea, tsubaki) were put there by the land's previous owner, some I added (blueberry, biwa, natsume) where something was needed, some are opportunistic (sansho, nanten)), and found that since my last check a horde of vines had infiltrated from the wild and were climbing up the sunny slopes of my hedge, casting its sun-hungry leaves in shadow!

I immediately took appropriate gardener's umbrage and began pulling the usurpers down, clipping them here and there to do so, and in the midst of the broad tangle discovered a very nice growth of young akebi vine (superior for alternative medicaments, baskets, natural rope and other crafty items), so began to take more care with what I was doing, clipping every couple of meters, and as I went along I began to resemble a fluffy pile of bright leaves with a head sticking out, so I discarded the nefarious vines (my call, admittedly based largely on what I do NOT know) and separated out the 3-meter lengths of akebi.

Rather than just leave them piled somewhere where I'd forget them, or coil them up and maybe spoil their utility by 'setting' the curve, I draped the akebi vines over my shoulders (so I could later hang them at full length under the eaves) and continued with my task, adding more and more akebi as I cleared up the hedge.

Thus it happened that I trailed a long train of imperially verdant robes when, as Monarch of the Immediate Vicinity, I concluded my visit and regally ascended the stone stairway into the royal garden, through which I passed in stately procession to a breezy fanfare and a largesse of leaves, with oak and cherry, peach and chestnut in careful attendance; thence I retired to tea in the palace, after carefully hanging my long emerald robes under the eaves, freshly painted not moments ago by the king himself.

No comments: