Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Only Meaning Of The Seed Pods Is "Chance Rules"

*My previous post bore such a striking resemblance to this piece, I wanted to share it, as well. I wrote this in the Spring of 2008, and after all I've passed through since then, it now carries a special kind of bittersweet meaning.

I crushed seedpods under my feet on the pavement. You held one beloved family pet and said good bye to another beloved family pet. We both stood back and watched as he gave that sideways smile. Back in an empty space with large windows, we sat and contemplated where our things would go. In this season of insufficient time, less money, and your prophecy of yard sales, we find ourselves sheltering on opposite ends of a town we view with an uneasy approval.

Things are changing, we are all feeling it. I have never seen a moving van so full of potential before today. Particle board and mattresses, a broken amplifier, and a heavy TV we'll all hate for a long time, we'd packed and unpacked one life away from all it'd known.

Capriciously I stamped the seeds, deliberately, seeking out more as you talked to him and held your dog. We'll wane here, slowly shedding what we've begun- this song, this refrain fading out in the medley as we hit another verse, a different song. While we're transitioning slowly, mutating, combining our lives, across town, by the college none of us attended, there's a chapter closing and and a new beginning, clearly, a new volume. As his boxes are unpacked, we go to separate houses, waiting until our own big moving day, our own full trailer, our gypsy family camping for a season.

'Some seeds fell on the rocks, some were eaten by the crows, some fell on good soil'. I wondered which seeds I might be stepping on, like a game of hopscotch. I thought about all the fabled seeds: magic beans, these, or perhaps here the good seed, here the bad. As in all departures, things are left behind. I do this deliberately, as my own form of unsentimental remembering: 'That was the apartment where I left my painting of a tree on top of the fridge'. Also, I do it for a song about diners and long car rides; my own little homage to that lyrical turn. But often things remaining are things forgotten: the water dish, the cell phone charger.

These seeds were doomed when they landed on the top level of this parking deck, I thought. So much concrete between us and the soil, all I was doing was crushing the germs of tiny plants which would never take root, anyway. That which does not have potential can not be canceled. The dog seemed to know, as domesticated pets often do, that change surrounded us all. As if a sign, an offering to the change, you set a new water dish for her, as though the old one had been removed: downstairs, new, fresh water, like a treat. She drank it, and we laughed. Later you suspected she had forgotten about it, and when you sat out to remind her, it seemed like maybe you were right: she returned to it as though it was new.

These seeds reminded me that winter was actually over, we'd been counting our few reliable hints of the coming warmth. This spring will forever be remembered for its cruelty, the way it gave us cold, clouds and rain, only to remind us that spring can not be trusted. There was no telling how long they'd been here, these seeds, how long since they fell from the trees, blown by fitful winds to where I stood. How long ago had this begun, the story that would end with me? How long ago did these seeds land in a place they could never grow? A place where I'd happen along, a catalyst for the inevitable, giving permanent evidence to what was already true: these seeds will not bear fruit.

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