Friday, September 30, 2005


INCURIOUS ROUNDNESS

Each year more and more I miss the great rickety bamboo racks that in not-long-ago days used to stand in every rice paddy at harvest time, hung with just-harvested rice stalks tied with the rice straw itself into bunches by grandparents, wives and children, then hung in golden bundles head down...

'And wisely so,' I always used to realize afresh each year I saw the high golden walls on my autumn wanderings and stopped to look, inspired to recollection by the sight: how wise, to let the energy of the stalks drain down into the rice grains, let all cure over several days in autumn sun and wind, let every bit of goodness find its place before the rice is threshed and the straw is used for feed or mulch...

Nowadays the harvested fields stand raggedly empty, with no need for grandparents, wives or children, as more and more farmers dry the whole shebang in an hour or two using electric dryers in their garages, unseen and uninspiring to muse-hungry passersby, who perhaps are becoming fewer too, as a result of such diminishments in the general wonderscape...

How inspiring things were in the slower days, when wonderment was a common pastime as I recall, wisdom-seeds falling on the wonderer's mind from every direction for careful germination. In the now we have now, where no one even sits around whittling, ocasionally looking at the sky, wisdom is acceleratingly co-opted in the big whiz of speed and convenience, instant ease, strapped into chambers, retort packaged, zipping by or sealed in black boxes beyond our reach and care, no longer inspiring or even visible, merely reclusive, cryptic, plasticly hermetic...

Not much slow wisdom around any more as the corners are cut ever smaller, to what one day may be fully incurious roundness, no more corners remaining to slow us down, give us pause to ponder... By then where will we be? Encased in sleek pods, perhaps, fully systemed by black boxes, well-governed and as empty of wonder as fields of their harvest...

3 comments:

Mick Brady said...

Fortunately, our brains are still evolving.

Robert Brady said...

Here's hoping they're smarter than we are.

Dalene said...

What inspires, is inspiring, the evolution of the brain? Is it a wonderment just beyond our current perception? I hope so, because it is my desire, as I stroll down the cobbled streets of life, and in turning the next corner, to be pleasantly amused in a take the breath away awe. These days, my brain struggles to retain a place in space and time where there is, at least it seems, more space and time, than the present world would graciously afford us. I feel I am not alone in this struggle to sort out the simplicity from the complexity.