Tag Archives: self-isolating

cairnal knawledge

Rock Arrangments

Stacking rock is the latest here at Self-Isolation Central. Building a rock wall is an open-ended three-dimensional chess match. Out in the arena, also known as the front yard, there in the field of dreams the player towers like the Grand Canyon over the rocks.

Procrastination might not even be a word if we were not suddenly having self-isolation thrust into our lives. Still with a snazzy past life now at full stop, and having all the time in the world to idle away arranging and rearranging rocks the reverse of whatever a blessing might be gets to the essence of what the rock stacking sport is all about.

Baby Rocks

Having admired more than a few gifted, more patient rock stackers I approached the challenge with humility. A rookie rock stacker has to earn their stripes.

Here’s the first thing to know. A good course of stacked rocks starts at rock bottom. Got that? You want a foundation that the higher rocks can count on. After a few stacking sessions you knew the moment would hit you like a ton of bricks. Once all those ideal rocks, all those born to be stackable rocks have been used up what a rock stacker is left with is all those other rocks, the unpopular rocks, the rocks nobody wants, you’ve seen those rocks before, they’re all scattered across the rocky road of life.

In the Sierra foothills as you approach the gold country’s Sutter Creek from the west Chinese immigrants worked stacking rocks. To appreciate the enormity of the Chinese wall stackers talent all you need do is pick up and carry one fair sized rock from one side of your yard to the other side of your yard and set the rock down. To appreciate Chinese rock stackers continue this rock moving exercise sunrise to sunset, day in and day out, for a decade.

Amateur Rock Stacker’s Lament

Meditation may not induce the level of serenity a rock stacking consciousness requires. You’ll need to self- appoint yourself your own chain gang guard. Eat boiled eggs, smirk, and recite this line over and over, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” A stacking mood is rare.

The contemplative life I have come to learn consists of both concepts in the abstract and objects in the concrete. In both the abstract and the concrete things get heavy quick. Toss a potent mushroom into the mix and you’ll regret having ever thought what you wanted to do was stack a wall of rocks straight and plumb. A straight line as all of you know was discovered by the earliest rock lovers, the Sumerians.  

Tribal Rock Indentation Discovery

Still with the vaccine so far off in the future and rocks and time being what they are I’ll probably not only stack the remaining rocks into a wall but I can see that I’ll also be getting involved in deconstructing rock walls and launch my career as a rock wall rearranger.

Think of rock stacking as a leisure activity, the ultimate stealth thinking man’s game. Since this pandemic has hit so too has arrived at our location the penetrating inviolable truth. Take each day one rock at a time.

Beer swilling self isolating friends

opportunists among the hard rock

Compassion for weeds is misplaced. Weeds have depended upon my having better things to do. Procrastination works in direct proportion to distraction.

Plucking the tops of weeds will not be tolerated. Tools that get to the root of the thing are to be used and officers disguised as wives will be inspecting the offenders for proof of proper subterranean extraction.

In the brochures published by the International Association of Weeds advertising focused on the yards in my neighborhood. Until the coronavirus sheltering in place craze hit weeds could count on multiple generational reincarnations right here. Visitation packages promise sunlight, water and fecund soil. Disclaimers regarding gophers, Roundup and wildfire were necessary due to litigious nature of weeds.

Imagine a few good plants

Freeway driving time constrained homeowners are the poster child for the wide wonderful world of weeds. Weeds in Green Valley near Tucson watch YouTubes of distant relatives in Northern California thriving in abundance.

Here we find quackgrass, lambsquarter and dandelion. A constant watch is stood against blackberry vine and milk thistle. Overcrowded populations of weeds dream of moving to Texas in another life and coming back as saltcedar. Saltcedar isn’t a mere weed why it has been identified as an invasive species.

Innocent enough but still guilty

We have a whole green bin full of fresh pulled weeds. Like in-laws to fend off their visit we deploy groundcover where we can. Sheets of plastic and cardboard cover over soil that to a weed looks more like a destination resort.

Fingers raw, knees are sore, but the will is strong. Weeds like so many of the people you know are stubborn things. Like a bad idea they will return again and again. Weeds are relentless. If you could dissect persistence out of the weed and inject it into the bloodstream of the unmotivated, humankind would walk in a litter free world.

Paradise would be all potting soil and plants. Why gardens would be wisteria, gardenias and prairie blue grass from horizon to horizon. Watering bills would be lower and all those places you’ve wanted to visit in your post pandemic bucket list will suddenly be within a nematode’s hairs breath reach.

Weeding for Buddha

Committee has been formed, a weed sympathizer up the street was indignant over this reckless disregard for weed life. Beer swilling self-isolating friend called them “a bunch of noxious tenderhearted pseudo botanists, wouldn’t know the difference between bed of straw or a flake of Timothy hay.” Beer bellied loner snorted through his N-95 facemask, pointing his latex gloved finger up into the sky, “They’ll be sorry if they come try take my Tibetan prayer flags out of these cold weed pulling hands. Who do they think they’re trying to bamboozle? Why I’m old enough to remember when the only kind of weed anyone knew was the one you smoked, and the only thing weed smoking made you do was laugh, eat cheeseburgers and put Visine in your eyes. Hell, what kind of no-till- carbon sequestration- save the world- urban farmer do they think they are messing with?”

Where fern bar ferns come from

Since this dust-up most of what passes for time in the neighborhood has settled into a familiar only in California multicultural truce. Neighbors are talking through fences, bragging about their house wrens, vireos and honeysuckle. Life’s not too awful and by looks of things most people in these parts have found a place in their hearts for both weeds and weed pullers. It’s as if Fox Television no longer exists and Jerry Hall has dumped Rupert Murdoch. Life could not be looking any better.