Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
Another favorite, originally discovered by the Better Half, is Carrie Newcomer, whose recent production of a CD, plus a book of poems and essays, are each entitled A Permeable Life. The eponymous poem includes this perspective, which I find enchantingly similar to Cohen's:
I want to leave enough room in my heartSuch looseness used to be anathema to me, rigorous and analytical as I frequently am (look up Type A personality). As I get more and more into phenology and poetry, I'm starting to come around to see things as Cohen and Newcomer and similar, well-grounded others have. All of which leads to some explorations about the meaning of "local" and how that relates to phenology. Minnesota's "local" plants are widespread.
For the unexpected,
For the mistake that becomes knowing,
For knowing that becomes wonder,
For wonder that makes everything porous,
Allowing in and out
All available light.
The food co-op to which we belong recently announced in its newsletter that their definition of a local food system includes the five state area centered on Minnesota and includes Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota. Although this shares some overlap with our "shared species," my initial reaction was to compare that statement with my understanding of bioregions, watersheds, local farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture farms and other concepts related to food sheds. It certainly covered more territory than a 100 mile diet allows for. But did that make it "wrong?" How large were the territories occupied by the Lakota and Ojibwe bands before European "settlement" restricted indigenous peoples to reservations?
The 2015 Wisconsin Wildlife phenology calendar notes:
"Hopkins Law The dates in this calendar correspond to data collected primarily in southern Wisconsin. To apply these dates to a different area, apply Hopkins Law, which states that phenological events vary at the rate of 1 day for each 15 minutes of latitude, 1.25 days for each degree of longitude, and 1 day for each 100 feet of altitude."Another source cautions about the difficulty of apply Hopkins Law. This brings us back to the opening paragraphs. I want at least a better working definition of "local" than seems readily available. I'm becoming increasingly permeable to accepting that it may be necessary, and beneficial, to accept more than one, or to work on a set of nested definitions. In fact, we may have to apply more than a little poetic license to arrive at any satisfactory concept(s), but the journey should be enlightening. Any thoughts you want to share?
Letter to the Local Police
By June Jordan
I have been enjoying the law and order of ourcommunity throughout the past three months sincemy wife and I, our two cats, and miscellaneousphotographs of the six grandchildren belonging toour previous neighbors (with whom we were veryclose) arrived in Saratoga Springs which is clearlyprospering under your custodyIndeed, until yesterday afternoon and despite myvigilant casting about, I have been unable to discovera single instance of reasons for public-spirited concern,much less complaintYou may easily appreciate, then, how it is thatI write to your office, at this date, with utmostregret for the lamentable circumstances that forcemy handSpeaking directly to the issue of the moment:I have encountered a regular profusion of certainunidentified roses, growing to no discernible purpose,and according to no perceptible control, approximatelyone quarter mile west of the Northway, on the southernsideTo be specific, there are practically thousands ofthe aforementioned abiding in perpetual near riotof wild behavior, indiscriminate coloring, and onlythe Good Lord Himself can say what diverse solicitingof promiscuous cross-fertilizationAs I say, these roses, no matter what the apparentbackground, training, tropistic tendencies, age,or color, do not demonstrate the least inclinationtoward categorization, specified allegiance, resolutepreference, consideration of the needs of others, orany other minimal traits of decencyMay I point out that I did not assiduously seek outthis colony, as it were, and that these certainunidentified roses remain open to viewing even bychildren, with or without suitable supervision(My wife asks me to append a note as regards theseasonal but nevertheless seriously licentiousphenomenon of honeysuckle under the moon that one mayapprehend at the corner of Nelson and MainHowever, I have recommended that she undertake directcorrespondence with you, as regards this: yetanother civic disturbance in our midst)I am confident that you will devise and pursueappropriate legal response to the roses in questionIf I may aid your efforts in this respect, pleasedo not hesitate to call me into consultationRespectfully yours,
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.