Not a Lot Going On…

I used to try to rescue people. I don’t know if I am “over” that yet which is one reason I am dedicated to a solitary life. I think the trait is deeply entrenched in my personality. It’s a fine line between helping someone and years later looking in the mirror and saying to the exhausted image “Good god, how could I have been such an idiot?” Attempting rescue is a highly egocentric act. It violates the “prime directive.” It’s a Star Trek thing but I think it’s very wise.

As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Starfleet personnel may interfere with the normal and healthy development of alien life and culture. Such interference includes introducing superior knowledge, strength, or technology to a world whose society is incapable of handling such advantages wisely. Starfleet personnel may not violate this Prime Directive, even to save their lives and/or their ship, unless they are acting to right an earlier violation or an accidental contamination of said culture. This directive takes precedence over any and all other considerations, and carries with it the highest moral obligation.

My yard still needs further rescue (it’s OK to rescue a back yard), but I don’t think much more is going to happen out there in terms of construction and pick-action. The dogs have adjusted well to the changes, since they didn’t happen all at once. As far as the season goes, we’re beyond the preparation stage and into the cultivation and maintenance stage. Every year the absurd number of female elm trees let loose their very fertile seeds and gardening turns into the task of pulling out tiny trees before they take over the world. The lilacs and aspen are also trying to take over the world so it’s a war out there.

ALL of the poet beans are doing well so far, even little Liu Changqing — now Wang Wei — in the front yard. His position is exposed to the wind but he’s holding his own. Sadly (though he will not know the difference) I had to change his name to Wang Wei. There are not enough poems in existence (in English? at all?) for Liu Changqing to survive in those great bean poetry competitions.

The tomatoes seem to be thriving, and I think I bought my last “box’o’salad” for the summer. At some point I will have to dig out all the iris and separate them and replant some of them and attempt to find homes for the rest.

In the Hills

FROM dwindling stream white stones emerge;
Frosty the day and few the crimson leaves;
No rain has fallen on the mountain path —
Men’s clothes are soaked by the green solitude.

Wang Wei trans Gladys Yang

A New Bean

Another Scarlet Emperor Bean has popped its head out of the soil in my little garden. I had to move him. The garden is too small for four beans and two squash as it is. The only place he could go was the front yard to keep one of the straggling pumpkins company. His first night in his new home he had to confront below freezing temperatures, but he faced it like the heroic bean he is.

When I planted him, I didn’t have a name for him. I had to do some research on Tang Dynasty poets, having exhausted my existing knowledge (not difficult). I found the perfect poem and the perfect poet. I’m going to explore more.

This bean is now known a Liu Changqing (Lou Changching more or less) and he’s a Taoist bean who was also a government official. So far I’ve only read a few poems by this (to me) new poet but they are perfect for this moment and where this bean will live, in view of the San Juan Mountains, especially my favorite, “Windy Peak.”

While Visiting the Taoist Priest Chang on the South Stream  (尋南溪常山道人隱居)[5]

一路經行處,   Walking along a little path, ;
莓苔見履痕,   I find a footprint on the moss.
白雲依靜渚,   A while cloud low on the quiet lake
春草閉閒門。   Grasses that sweeten an idle door.
過雨看松色,   A pine grown greener with the rain;
隨山到水源,   A brook that comes from a mountain source – 
溪花與禪意,   And, mingling with Truth among the flowers, 
相對亦忘言。   I have forgotten what to say.