Monday, May 26, 2008


THE WEEDS OF INTELLIGENCE



Early this morning while waiting for the dew to dry (now there's a pleasant task) so I could go out and do some seriously overdue weedwhacking around the deck and out into the garden without coming out of it looking like the jolly green giant, I looked out the front window and saw a solitary monkey sitting atop the electric meter on the pole outside by the road, one arm around the pole, one leg hanging down, casually chewing on a piece of grass and surveying the view of his vast possessions in all the tranquility of Huck Finn with his line in the big river, sitting on the bank and meditating on the meaning of life.

He gazed at the panorama before him, scratched an ear, then settled down and his eyes took on that distant look of deep thought, of whatever is the monkey equivalent of existential matters (is there a monkey Kierkegaard?), which was as infectious as a yawn, because as a fellow simian elsewhere on the same long branch I too began pondering such aspects of being as the distinction between him and I, at least at the surface level, where 99% of the differences lie. As to the depths, we haven't even begun. The monkey and I wandered the big mindspace together.

The hairy thinker was clearly satisfied and doing perfectly well without a house, an automobile, a television (having myself glanced at tv not long ago, I don't see how monkey tv could be any worse than our prime time.) As to a car, I doubt if the thought of wheels had ever entered his head, which must be a pleasant absence, to say nothing of insurance, licensing, carbon footprints and all that baggage; his gas prices aren't going up, either. Moreover, he pays no taxes, has no mortgage, needs no clothing, requires no schools, lives off the land, has no government, never needs to whack weeds (what are weeds?). The sky is his roof, the forest his walls, the whole great outdoors his house. He was also making better use than I of my electric meter, and he enjoys the fruits of my garden. Our much-touted intelligence was withering radically before my mind's eye; it was a welcome moment when the dew was dry.

The monkey just went on loafin' where he was-- waitin' on Tom, I 'spect.

2 comments:

Tabor said...

Yes, it does seem as if his life is a bowl of cherries, until some big ape tries to beat the crap out of him and there are no monkey police and then he gets an infection from that bang on the head and there are no monkey doctors...I think I take my life style which is run by all the things that I own.

Also, I am enjoying your sidebar photos. They tell such a great story.

Alice said...

Why should a snart monkey need tv to watch anyhow? He's got that big week-wacking monkey to watch if things get boring. Reminds me of going to the zoo; I often wonder who the real monkeys are.