Saturday, July 26, 2008
Hope is a Thing
The sky in San Jose this morning is a canopy of poisonous browns and yellows. Smoke pours in over the mountains from any number of recalcitrant wildfires that portend the end of days. Elderly Asian women ambling through the streets in masks, once a happy source of derision, are being openly worshipped by those with enough leg strength to keep up. Cormac McCarthy described such things and they never turned out well.
Still, amidst the ash and living debris that makes up my back yard, a small cache of tomato plants are finally coming into their own. This year has been hard on them. They are surrounded on all sides by impossibly shaped purple-green weeds; weeds grown bold and nihilistic after generations of heavy metal leeching, acid rain, and American Godlessness. The insects that dare to feed on these weeds become the size of kittens and develop a slathering hunger that can only be subdued by tomatoes and occasional human flesh. The shadows are long, the days are short, and Angels have abandoned weeping.
Like Dickinson's feathered thing. Right there in my garden. Little green orbs of... what? Hope!? No, probably not. Just little green orbs growing on weary vines in a kind of reflexive animal shudder. But they are something that pushes against entropy, if just for a second; and I'll take it.