Thursday, August 27, 2015

Celery Update: Because Of Course You Care ...

I've felt the hunger. I can sense the urgent need to know. "How is the celery end doing?!", I hear in the zeitgeist. Relax, dear zeitgeist. I'm here to let you know.

Regular readers of this blog – all three of them, give or take – will remember that on August 9, I posted this pic:


And then, so gleeful was I with the celeriness of it all, I posted this two days later:


And here we are, more than two weeks hence.

As of moments ago, the little celery plant looks like this:


He has been joined by a celery friend:


The celery friend is a bit showy in the rib department:


His end is bigger, so he has more energy to put forth, I suppose. He's like The Rock of celery ends.

I am learning that growing celery ends is not a means for gathering copious amounts of celery leaves but they're happy little companions on my kitchen counter. And I love this shade of green.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Whither Integrity? ...

I am far from perfect. Far, far, far from perfect. There's me, sitting on this stool at my kitchen counter, click-clacking away, and perfect is somewhere, I reckon, near Pluto. Or maybe through a wormhole and in another dimension. Did you see "Interstellar"? Perfect may be on one of those planets, where an hour is equivalent to seven years.

The perfect I'm referencing here is internal – personal perfect – not external, not the perfect home or the perfect car or the perfect haircut or the perfect outfit or the perfect makeup or the perfect whatever, but rather, how I exist in the world, how I interact with others, how I conduct myself, how I treat those around me as well as myself.

The Golden Rule is an exquisitely simple life philosophy, so I try to keep that in mind each day. Turns out, it's pretty simple to not behave in ways that would make me feel shitty. And I am a big fan of not feeling shitty and also of simple things.

I am paring back my life in many ways (even as I've been giving in to my nesting instincts of late). Some things really do require me to add to my possessions – I realized yesterday that my favorite knock-around pair of gym shoes are so bald on the bottom that I really should avoid tile floors – but for the most part, I want less. (The tiny-home movement fascinates me, though I'm not quite ready to live in 100-some square feet.)

And a part of that lack of materialism means that I'm not very much interested in money. Yes, I need it. And I'm learning some very interesting things of late about my relationship with it and how and when it shows up in my life and when and why it doesn't. But the pursuit of money in and of itself holds no appeal for me. I've never wanted to be worth X amount by Y date. Money does not equate to worth in my world. Money is a tool.

But there are others who do not share my thinking. And the pursuit of money, to my mind, drives them to do some shitty, shitty things.

Which brings me to the title of this post: Whither Integrity?

"Whither," if you're wondering (and weren't an English major), means "To what state?"

Or, put another way: what the hell happened to integrity? Where'd it go?

I've been thinking about it a lot of late, thinking about how fundamental it is, how foundational.

Without it, does anything else matter?

If you have to step on people to get where you're going, can you appreciate the destination?

Maybe some people can. Maybe some people lack fully developed consciences. Maybe some people just don't give a shit. Maybe some people are able to justify their behavior to themselves for the sake of their bottom lines. Maybe some people really can sleep soundly each night and look themselves in the mirror each morning.

Or maybe they can't but they don't realize it just yet. Maybe the day will arrive when they'll be aware of how they've behaved, the pain they've caused, the terrible trade-off they've made.

And then what? Is integrity recoverable? Renewable? Or is it a one-way street? Once you've sacrificed it, is it gone forever?

I guess it depends on your sphere, how willing others might be to forgive you, how willing others might be to give you a second chance. It's a tough proposition: if you screw someone who trusted you, how can they ever know that you won't screw them again? What if screwing people is simply your nature?

But then, what of those who've been wronged? Their guards go up, rightfully so. But how unfortunate. It's a double violation: the betrayal and then the guardedness, though at least the response is in their control. Still, how very human to trust a little less the next time. How very human and how very sad. For all of us.

Mistakes happen, sure. But malice? To willfully hurt someone? To sacrifice something so meaningful for something so fleeting?

That, I don't understand.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Little Celery End That Could (Because It Can't Not) …

This makes me inordinately happy!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

What's Meant To Be ...

I've been on a bit of a chicken-salad tear.

And as such, I've been cleaning and chopping a lot of celery. I like a lot of celery in chicken salad. I like the freshness. I like the crunch.

My mom makes a recipe for chicken soup that calls for a lot of celery leaves. When the recipe was first written, celery leaves were probably a lot more common than they are today. Today, stalks of celery are light on leaves. A lot gets hacked off and left in the fields.

But as I cut the bottom off of what was left of a stalk of celery (the whole bunch is a stalk, one piece is a rib), I remembered seeing a post about regrowing vegetables from root ends. And I thought of Mom's dearth of celery leaves when she needs them. So I thought I'd try to grow some for her.

I sliced a sliver off the bottom of the end, plunked it in a little ramekin, and added some water from my Brita pitcher. Filtered water seemed a better idea than tap.

I set it on the edge of my sink, and then on the counter on the other side of the faucet, lest I splash it with soapy water when rinsing dishes.

And the top began to dry out and turn a bit of brown. But barely. More like beige.

And then, a day or two later, I noticed that the middle was higher than the edges. The innermost ribs were up to something.

And then yesterday, I saw tiny leaves beginning to form.

And this morning, I saw what you see above.

I'm delighted by this easiest of all houseplants.

I'm delighted by the pale green color. I love spring greens. They're so hopeful.

I'm also reminded of what amazing things happen when we simply allow them to happen, when we get out of the way, when we're patient.

I add a bit of water to the dish every so often. That's my only role in this celery adventure. The celery knows what to do and can't help but do it.

There's a big life lesson in those little leaves.