Captured Light

The Scarlet Emperor beans captured a lot of light this summer once they got going. I have four or five pods ripening now on different plants for next year.

The beans seem to have liked being somewhat crowded together. There are so many flowers that the hummingbirds are fighting over who has the right to suck the nectar.

Little Wang Wei, who’s been outside since May (covered from frost many times) is an incredibly prolific producer of beans. Tu Fu — who survived two frosts (covered) — is the tallest, so tall and heavily laden with beans that he broke his support. I went out there and saw it and said, “No way am I climbing on a ladder, Tu Fu. We’re going to have to figure out something else.” We did. It’s not perfect, but…

I think the best thing for them would be trellises, very high trellises, set permanently in the ground. It would be pretty, too. A walkway covered with Scarlet Emperor beans. I don’t know who’s going to build that. πŸ™‚


I don’t know about you, but I feel like the persistent ambient noise from the past year is still droning on. I hoped so much it would diminish this year. I guess that was an unrealistic hope on my part. It’s like there’s persistent background static. I’m a pretty introverted person anyway, so I’m easily overstimulated. I find this exhausting. I’ve dimmed my online activity. Let Twitter throw me off. Avoid the news for the most part, but ambient reality still creeps in somehow.

A couple days ago I learned that there is a legit vaccination ID card (which we should not need because everyone who can be should have been vaccinated by now but NOOOooooooo…..) and I signed up for it on something called “My Colorado.” It really IS Colorado so the legitimacy of that isn’t a concern. But as I accomplished everything necessary to get that information where I needed it and could use it, I thought of how it was to go to the library at San Diego State and do research before computers. Then I thought of the moment that the entire card catalog had finally been computerized and the day I sat there, using the computer to look for books, writing call numbers on the little cards conveniently provided beside the computers. The one I pulled from the stack happened to be the suddenly obsolete card catalog card for Emerson’s Essays. I felt very sad.

Once upon a time, when I wanted to read a book or a magazine, I hopped on my Robin Hood 3 speed, flew down the hill to the public library in Bellevue, Nebraska, said “Hi!” to the librarian, went to the card catalog (Dewey Decimal system) and found a book, or I went up and down the aisles looking for something I might like to read. Then I checked out the book, put it in the basket on my bike and rode home.

Some people say, “Simpler times,” but no, it wasn’t simpler. It was a lot more complicated, but it was three dimensional, an experience involving a whole person. Something is missing from our? my? world and I think it’s that. With “information” so easy to find and the human mind so intrinsically lazy where are we?

I don’t know. I think I’ll go hang out with my beans for a while.

19 thoughts on “Captured Light

  1. You’re beans have thrived true to their poetic nature! I feel a little nostalgic for the active participation in going to the library, searching in the card catalogue, browsing the stacks. You describe it so well.

    • it was a different experience. I guess I could go to the library in my town and do that but when I did, there was little there but western history and bestsellers. I guess it isn’t only the world that has changed! πŸ˜€

      • It was different. There is something about flipping through the card catalogue, just not the same as searching on the computer. I often think of going to the library, but I talk myself out of it because I can search the library on my computer from home. Although, the last time I did venture to the library and browse the stacks. I saved a Doris Lessing book from being weeded.

  2. The noise from last year is still droning on… I feel the same. That little undercurrent that you can’t put your finger on, but you know something’s not right.
    Going to the library…I loved watching the librarian stamping the card and slipping it back in the book. I think I just loved the silence of the room; I would get lost in that silence.

    • Wow. I hadn’t connected that silence with the noise of the moment. Some stream of consciousness thing, I guess. I fear that some people are in love with that noise and it will never go away. I seriously don’t want to see or hang out with anyone. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not, but it seems very fake somehow. I really need it to snow… πŸ˜€

  3. Good for you to lessen the background noise of news and twitters and covID. Do we really need an ID? I used to spend plenty of times in the library just reading and not borrowing. I don’t need an ID for that. Love your garden

  4. I still think those are magic beans on a magic bean stalk…inching toward the sky. But that’s just my miles away guess.
    I sense an anxious vibe/undercurrent in the air again. Now there are more masks on people (and I live where the vaccination rate is 70%). The fear is creeping back and, yes, it is deja vu exhausting all over again.

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