Thursday, June 18, 2009


The meaning we find in our lives depends on what we look for. Some look for onions, some look for potatoes, some seek to enjoy simple living on a mountainside, say, in a foreign country, with both onions and potatoes. Others look for things of little physical or spiritual nourishment, like money, fame, power etc., which contain no enzymes. For me during the past few years, the meaning of life on a mountainside in a foreign country has focused a little bit on potatoes, but more on onions, thanks to monkeys. This will all make sense one day.

Striving for simplicity can be complicated. I suppose I should be at least a little bit grateful to the unconscionable beasts for my onion focus; were it not for them, I'd probably have piles of mere money or be everywhere nanos deep on teevee, whoopee, and onions wouldn't be so simply symbolic of life's meaning for me - they'd be of no more particular interest than, say, pieces of paper bearing pictures of deceased officials - but having distant relatives of your species purloin the fruits of your labor is sort of like what's happening on Wall Street. This will all make sense one day.

One morning last week Echo was entertaining some visiting lady friends downstairs (I was working upstairs) when she took them outside to show them the garden and saw the dim shape of a beast moving off among the trees shaking some branches, that from her description of his slowness, vagueness, vocal silence and otherwise odd behavior sounded a lot like Littlefoot. When I later went out to the garden I found that he had come and stood right next to my purple onions, such as they are - they show above the ground and everything - but he ignored them completely! He stood there and TURNED HIS BACK on my onions and instead dug down into the ground, to get at my still minipotatoes! This will all make sense one day.

Later that morning I heard a truck stop briefly out front. When I went in for lunch I saw that the farmer who had earlier this year seen my attempt at making the earth say onions better than it did last year had brought us a basketful of just-harvested large, healthy, firm, strong-necked onions. Then the very next day the elder farmer we buy our organic rice from stopped by to deliver the bags of rice we ordered, and with them left us a basketful of just-harvested large, healthy, firm, strong-necked onions. Word of my wimpy onions was getting around. Next year I'll do better, like I did this year. Next year, by damn, I'm gonna grow onions that are worth stealing! This will all make sense one day.


Ojisanjake said...

To save her onions from the monkeys my neighbor uses heavy duty fishing net, not the fine monofilament stuff. It also works to keep critters out of chicken shacks.

R. Brady said...

The net I have would work if I put a net roof over the garden, but I'm loathe to go that far, since I'm surrounded by debris-flinging cedars... I'm working out my next step in the expanding plan. In the meanwhile though, fewer monkeys are getting in, so I'm garnering more of what I grow than ever before, which is heady.