Moonflowers grow on my balcony. A flower puffs at night and blooms by morning and dies by the night that follows. If I check on the flowers now I know that they will not be as strong as they were at 9am when Brianna woke up to get the check engine light observed by Jiffylube on Diversey and Elston. “Five moonflower blooms is your new record," she said.
Now they wilt in the breeze. If I were on the porch I would see flies and bumblebees entering and exiting the flowers all afternoon. Bumblebees have our porch on their flight path. They rise through a handrail, disappear behind some petals and fly north east. How long have they been flying that way?
But before I say anything else, I have too share something disgusting. This is what Brianna told me yesterday: there is a rabbit at the zoo who had a sore. (It is already disgusting.) And after days, the sore would not get worse but would not heal either. When they took the rabbit to the zoo vet to get some health, the vet cut open the sore, to let it weep or what have you, and a fly, a Bot Fly (which looks like a winged bear with a heap of trash for a face) hopped out and flew away.
Now all of those mammals get a Bot Fly vaccination.
When I hear about horrors like the Bot Fly I wonder, and so many of my thoughts lead this way so that it almost does not matter, about the existence of a higher power. Is the Bot Fly an argument for the existence of God, who is a terror and a trap-setter, or is it a note that the world is a maze with a mouth at the center waiting to eat you?* These are the big and useless questions of the day. What to do, what to do.
At a library in Seattle I almost bought a postcard with a quote from Cicero, a Greek who I know more as a street name than as a philosopher. The quote said: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Instead of making a purchase, I copied that maxim into my notebook from where I sat.
Tonight I might make a coffee/stout drink and try to finish Eminent Victorians, which is said to be the first book of profiles (think New Yorker profiles, but older). I got lost in a profile of Cardinal Manning b/c of the minutia separating the Church of England from Catholicism, but reading about Florence Nightingale should be easier.
Anyway, It’s hard for me to read about England b/c English writers of old always thought their island and their splintery politics were important, but they weren’t.
Much better to read the Irish, who take walks in the rain and know that not caring outcharms statues and cathedrals, which takes us back to stout beer, which you cannot see through but can walk across; and moonflowers, which die every night and bloom every morning.
*A botched Simone Weil quote. She’s intriguing but reading her is like digging t through bedrock. Here is a quotation I enjoyed from Waiting for God, though getting to it was difficult:
“The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merly turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him.”