Saturday, July 26, 2008

First of all, tomatoes...

I accidentally poisoned them with undiluted plant food. It's not quite as stupid as it sounds, but almost. Two of the 36 original plants have survived, though I don't know whether they will actually produce any fruit. Five other plants were dead at the roots and lower stem. I cut them off, pulled up the dead part, and replanted the stem in the ground along with a dousing of rooting hormone. Here's to whatever comes. Meanwhile, I had a whole tray of unmarked seedlings that wouldn't fit into the original tomato bed. These I've planted in all the empty holes left by the first wave of poisoned plants. They are quite small and spindly, due to having their roots bound, but some of them are already beginning to grow a little. If our early fall stays warm, I may be able to nurse them long enough to get a tomato or two out of them. Of course, I have no idea what varieties I've planted, now! I guess I'll know them by their fruit...

If you've read my early post, "Why I garden," you know that I'm more than a bit metaphor-happy. So, what does my literary heart do with dead tomatoes -- dead at my own hand? It's not very pretty. As Puddleglum likes to say, "It's enough to steady a chap!" I can't help but feel that God was displeased with my last post about the tomatoes. My tenderness can remind me of God's tenderness, perhaps, but God likes to remind me sometimes of the distance between his tenderness and my own, which is subject to well-meaning but disastrous mistakes.

So, my restless humanity, steady thyself!

5 comments:

Emily said...

Did Mr. Krim survive?

clairity said...

Such is risk. But I am sure you will be surprised yet by this little crop.

Justine said...

Oh, Suzanne! How sad! And yet you made a lovely post of it.

Suzanne said...

Mr. Black Krim actually has three small tomatoes on one branch, but he's been paralyzed from the waist down for over a week, and so today I amputated his lower extremities, replanted him at his waist, and gave him a nice long drink of rooting hormone. All I'm really hoping for is that one of the three tomatoes will ripen enough that I can collect seeds. The two official survivors are a cuore di bue and a purple cherokee. I must have forgotten to "feed" them.

Thanks for the encouragement, guys!

Emily said...

I thought all along that two of them looked basically "untouched" -- but I figured perhaps they were of a hardier variety that wasn't affected so severely by the plant food.

And I just started referring to him affectionately as "Mr. Krim" that week you were gone. I hope that he can survive as an amputee.

Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."