The holidays are over, but you wouldn’t know it in the garden I work at today. Red and silver balls and candy canes hang from tree ferns, and lights are strung throughout the garden, including a series of football-shaped ones lining the walk, with a mini solar panel for each set. Oh yes, how comforting buying these little solar systems, but if the past is any indicator, ere long these will join the incapacitated ancestors in the junkpile. When I lift them out of the ground, the little lights glow. Maybe the effect is charming at night, but in daylight, who can tell. Why do they spark on and off anyway?
No, just more crap.
The big Christmas party, 4 floors of merrymaking, a black tie and gown affair, happened when I was in Denver. I went a couple of years ago and it was fun. I was talking to a Swedish man of about 70 or so, the father of one of the 3rd floor tenants, when the live band struck up something particularly danceable, and I asked him to dance, but he declined, aghast. Him, dance with a man?
I said, geez, this is San Francisco.
Clearly the garden was well used. There are cigarette butts in the potted plants, on the patio, in a terracotta saucer. As I rake the leaves, I rake the butts. Should I put them into the recycling bin with the leaves? Am I expected to pick up each and every one and separate them out, as indeed, they should be? What toxic components are in the filters?
Moral dilemmas. I think of those happy partygoers, flicking their butts into the ferns, and hate each one individually. Enlightenment starts when you know how to deal with other people’s crap. At least that’s what I am thinking as I sweep my funky broom.