Neither is as drastic as we imagine. A lot changes discreetly during dormancy, a lot stays quietly unaltered during adaptation.
Our desire for drama spawns a lexicon which oversimplifies Nature and is comical to the cosmos. Even the fungus knows it’s all mighty complex. I wonder what Gerald Durrell would think of My Family and Other Fungi.
That innocent-looking button mushroom might just be sniggering at us.
In our unrelenting pursuit of excitement, and avoidance of tedium, we tend to forget that what we are really looking for is just a better story.
Perhaps there indeed lies, around the bend, a better story, a story smelling of sweet heady promise. Or perhaps, that is yet another alluring illusion.
It might descend upon us some day that life is almost entirely about the way we construct our silly little stories – so we can bestow upon ourselves a silly little grandeur.
In our big fear – the unknown – also lies our big wonder, the thrill of surprise and adventure.
This predicament has on tragicomic pitfall: our irredeemable hope that the unknown will ultimately reveal itself in our favour.
Tragic because we hope in spite of knowing that Nature, unlike us, is not a victim of vocabulary. And comic? Well, for the same funny reason.
Indulgence and abstinence – and all the myriad middling paths in between – can aggregate to a life richly explored and experienced.
Need there necessarily be a clash between the Apollonian and the Dionysian? Can’t we allow the versus to exist beside the and?
Perhaps, instead of ceaselessly
evaluating and choosing, we can let it all meld. Just the way it is in Nature.
Nature is perhaps more appealing for all its deviances, which only accentuate – and get accentuated by – the impeccably laid out patterns and proportions.
Many of us seek to arrange neatly the events in our lives, we seek tidiness – predictability, security, stability.
We have been led to believe that we are beyond Nature, that we can control it and improve it, organize it cleverly – no disruptions. Such hubris!
There is this certain disarming simplicity in the intricacies, a calm chaos in what initially looks like order.
I sit there in that one corner every morning, contemplating a new set of motley characters from various perspectives.
Straightforward lines and colours – that’s how they present themselves at first; and then, soon enough, as confounding composites of spirals and shades and layers. Just like people.
Nature, it appears, is a study in paradoxes. The closer you go, the longer you gaze, the more intriguing it gets.
I share with you, in seven parts, a series of immersive everyday meditations.
This immersion has kept me centered and curious, and taught me how to slide from loneliness into solitude.