Sunday, February 27, 2005

seeing something for the first time

Celia at Clearcandy Daily, feeling nostalgic for childhood, asks: when was the last time you saw something for the first time? What a wonderful question.

I see things for the first time every day: in books, in my head, on the web, in the real world.

Books: just yesterday I "saw" that the medieval Greenlanders, starving, refused to eat fish, which were plentiful everywhere around them; Jared Diamond muses they may have developed a taboo very soon after arriving on that icy island.

My head: I realized that the older I have gotten, the more I use only one criterion to choose friends: "will these people do what they say they're going to do?"

The net: I was knock-me-down amazed by "The Somerville Gates" and "The Brick Testament."

The real world:

L.A. El took us to see "The Garden of Oz" when we were performing next to the Hollywood Bowl (we were too bush league to play IN the Bowl, natch). "The Garden of Oz" is a long, very steep hillside in Laurel Canyon, behind a tall fence, which has been completely terraced and tiled. It is some kind of shrine and is more spectacular than any one picture can convey.

At the base of my mailbox I saw this wonderful pool of water, frozen in concentric circles. I went back to the house for my camera even though I was already late.

How amazed and amused we were when we saw, for the first time, an "elegant stinkhorn" fungus, poking gloriously out of the leaves near the house. That first time there were actually two. Then it was seven years till I saw another one, just this fall. Sadly, my step-dog broke it. The brown stuff is sticky and, yes, stinky. Flies queued up to hover around it and amorously plumb its depths.

Another thing I recently saw, for the first time, was an appaloosa deer. That is to say, it looks exactly like this picture except it's a deer instead of a horse. It lives in our neighborhood. With boldly spotted white hindquarters, it looks like a mistake, or something designed for target practice.

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At 3:17 AM, Blogger Cecilia said...

I am very much humbled that a question in one of my entries provoked you to write some more answers to it. The pictures and description you show in your entry are fascinating. It is also my first time to see these and I am grateful to you for sharing these with us, with me. I am honored.

Thank you.


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