X — Denoument

Montana Answers

“Yeah, our dogs used to get bit by rattlers. You never knew ’til the dog got sick. I’d say to my dad, ‘What’s wrong with the dog?’ Dad’d say, ‘Oh, he’s just been snakebit.’ Sometimes the dogs’d make it; sometimes not.”

“What happened then?” she asked her uncle. He’d grown up on a ranch west of Billings, Montana.

“Oh, they’d swell all up, here, around the neck. They’d be real sick for a day or two, maybe bleed from the nose, seizures. They’d make it or we’d shoot ‘em. It all depended how much venom they got.”

That conversation with my uncle told me what had killed my dog Maggie. The city vets in San Diego wouldn’t expect a dog to be snakebit, but here in rural Colorado every vet would expect that. Now there’s a rattlesnake venom vaccine. I don’t know how good it is — even vets have given me mixed reviews. I guess its one main advantage is that it slows the progression of the venom so a person has a longer to get the dog help. I also understand that the antivenin has to be matched to the exactly type of rattlesnake.

I was out pretty early this morning with Bear. As we walked I passed a dead garter snake. I had probably run over it. I felt bad for a moment then thought, “Hungry birds.” A raven flew overhead. Later we passed a living garter snake. Bear is no longer interested in them, and I’m glad of that.

I thought of all the snakes I saw back in the day. Most often it was one of the three kinds of rattlesnakes that lived there — but sometimes king snakes — the yellow and black California Kingsnake and the rare and elusive Laguna Mountain Kingsnake with his red, black and yellow/white stripes. Gopher Snakes were always nice to see as were my favorites, the Desert Rosy Boas. Ring-necked snakes are small and beautiful. I guess it was lucky that I have no real aversion to snakes though a snake on a trail will make me scream. Even the skinny little garter snakes I see out at the Refuge.

Rattlesnakes will never be my favorite critters, but I learned about them. Most useful is that they are territorial, and I could expect to see one in certain places along the way. As much as I truly miss my little house in Descanso, CA, I don’t miss living in a place where there could be rattlesnakes in my yard.

These are all stories from a folder I found in an old trunk. As I was busy shredding them, I stopped to read. This turned out to be something I didn’t want to shred. I’m sharing it here and I have also put the stories into a little book. The stories are from the very first years I lived with dogs and hiked on my own, with dogs, in the California Coastal Chaparral of San Diego. The stories are a kind of record of the beginning of the best things I’ve done in my life — hiking in nature with dogs. I wrote these stories in my late 30s.

In other news, Tu Fu, Lao She, and Pearl Buck — the Scarlet Emperor Beans — and now Li Ho!!! have emerged and I am very happy to see them. I recently read an artlcle about genetically modified — what does the O stand for? — anyway GMOs. The writer is a farmer and he explained that all seeds are genetically modified just by being grown and harvested. It’s true. I look at my beans, see who is busy pollinating them, and (to me) it appears pretty random. The writer explained the obvious, that hybridization is genetic modification, and people have been doing that as long as they’ve farmed, even unwittingly, just by harvesting what grows. He said that using the seeds that come from the previous year’s crops isn’t such a great idea and that buying new seeds every season will give a better yield. He gave a litany of reasons all of which made perfect sense. But every year my beans (so far) have been very very happy to grow from the seeds of the previous summer. Maybe his assessment doesn’t hold for a handful of beans grown by a lady in a 4 x 8 garden but it should be even MORE true when there aren’t many plants. This is the sixth generation from the TWO seeds I planted from a packet that was a year old. Anyway I will give them my best. They are wonderful beings. Or beans.

Lao She

Tu Fu and Friends Return

This is no furphy. The Scarlet Emperor Beans of Song and Story are in the ground. You can all relax now. Take a deep breath. All’s right with the world again. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, there are still Hell’s own agents wandering the planet telling us that universities and colleges are “Woke” indoctrination camps. It’s common knowledge Hunter Biden’s laptop is the source of all evil in the world, but those things are irrelevant.

So what IS relevant?

It was a hard work getting grass and willow roots out of that small patch, and I was very happy to put that small handful of beans into the ground. Now I must name them. The only one I know absolutely totally for sure is Tu Fu. I even know his poem. I was reminded of it yesterday as I was driving home from the Refuge with Bear. Swirling clouds all around the valley — beautiful. There was one snow covered peak among the immense line of Sangres, hit by late afternoon light, so…

A View of Taishan 

What shall I say of the Great Peak? —
The ancient dukedoms are everywhere green,
Inspired and stirred by the breath of creation,
With the Twin Forces balancing day and night.
…I bare my breast toward opening clouds,
I strain my sight after birds flying home.
From the summit all the mountains look small.

Tu Fu

Mt. Moran, watercolor on paper, done back in 1988 when I could still write a little Chinese. I hung this over my desk at the international school where I was teaching.

The last two lines are the most inspiring and comforting lines from any poem, for me, anyway. I first heard it from my friend and colleague in China, Fu Hong-ling. A student had given me a painting (reproduction) of Tai Shan and the mountains around it. The poem was printed on the side. I asked my friend what it said and he translated it. All I remember of his translation is, “From the summit all the mountains look small.” That hit me. BUT in the poem I can see that in the characters even though my ability to read Chinese is pretty limited (understatement).

Before I left China, he wrote those two lines in calligraphy for me to hang up at home. Rice paper that’s hung on a wall in San Diego might not last forever and it didn’t — I have never found a translation of that poem that says what Fu said and I can see with my own eyes, “Duo shan xiao.” Many mountains small. SO… And Mt. Moran is one of the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen and it has sentimental meaning to me.

Chinese just isn’t English. 😀

Featured photo: Leper Bells blooming in my fairy garden. They are one of the varieties of Fritillaria. I planted them in honor of Martin of Gfenn. 💚

Big Day!!!

You may have been wondering “Where are those beans? They usually show up on Martha’ blog by now? Named for Chinese poets? Where is the poetry? What’s going on?” Well, I decided to put the seeds directly into the ground outside instead of putting them in pots in the house to start them. I’ve put a few directly in the ground it every year, and those beans have done at least as well as the beans I start in the house.

“What is this ‘beans’ of which you speak?” you might also be asking. Well, every year for the past few I’ve grown Scarlet Emperor Beans — a kind of red runner bean. I like them as green beans and as people. I know it’s weird, but what can I say? I like hanging out with them. Now that scientists have discovered that plants have moods and so on, it seems less crazy. But, seriously, I like to go out to their garden and just stand there with them, watching the bees and enjoying the phenomenon of the beans.

“Research suggests that at least one type of plant – the french bean – may be more sentient than we give it credit for: namely, it may possess intent. The issue of whether or not plants choose their actions and possess feelings or even consciousness is a thorny one for many botanists, with the more traditional-minded strongly disputing any notion of sentient vegetation. Although plants clearly sense and react to their environments, this doesn’t mean they possess complex mental faculties, they argue.” (Source)

I don’t know if my beans are likely to write a dissertation on quantum physics, but I do know they help each other grow, and they seem glad to have me around. They seem to know I’m 100% on their side and there to help.

They grow can grow to fifteen feet (!) and I struggle with that for the whole summer, but it’s a happy challenge. They also attract bees and hummingbirds — last year a hummingbird that rarely comes through Colorado enjoyed the red blossoms of my beans while I was working beside him (yes) in my garden. Those beans LOVE to grow — even when I’ve planted them too deep they come up with nary a complaint or even a comment, just the usual “Hi Martha!” Last year, due to some mistakes I made, I ended up with I think 20 some bean plants. I don’t find them very tasty as dried beans, but they are beautiful.

Along with the beans I grow sunflowers — they seem to like each other.

SOME of last year’s harvest — spaghetti sauce jar full… Some of these will go into the ground later.

I finished a draft of the rock art article yesterday and sent it to my interviewee to go over. Then Teddy and I escaped to the Refuge for refuge and found it. The little bug-eating angelic birds of summer are there. Like this yellow-headed blackbird. Teddy spied him and watched with rapt attention as the little guy did whatever it was he had to do there on the ground. His partner was behaving more rationally, perched on an old cattail.

It was calm out there, humidity in the air (????) and low clouds paled the mountains and sky making Mt. Blanca and all the other Sangres look like ghosts of themselves.


A big challenge for an artist like me is money framing a painting. I have another big painting on a panel that needs a frame. It’s not just for the hanging or aesthetics that the painting needs a frame; panels are a little fragile in the corners and a frame protects them. I thought of a GoFundMe for $100 and then laughed at myself. It’ll happen. I just don’t know when.

I’ve also stopped the note card business except direct orders. It’s a gamble at this point to order them printed professionally when THOSE costs have gone up a lot. I have found a way to print them myself — and the quality of the printed image is excellent, every bit as good as Vistaprint. Still, with postage going up so much, I imagine people will be sending less mail — may already be sending less mail.

I experimented with the Rainbow Girls in Wheatland Wyoming (aka The Three Graces) and that came out beautifully. I’m going to have to refine this for landscapes, but I’m optimistic.

I’m not whining. I have an income, few needs and the ability to choose (to some extent). The way I see it, after the past several years of craziness things are naturally going to be fucked up. Like other “bad” times in my life I figure my job is just to hold on. It’s worked OK in the past. I’m just really happy I bought my house when interest rates were so low and refinanced it when they went lower. Meanwhile, I live in a beautiful place, have friends and the opportunity to simplify my life to ride this out. It’s comforting and not comforting to know we’re all in the same boat. I’m a little worried by the recent election in Italy, but, as I’m learning from Fromm, people turn to authoritarianism when they’re scared and have lost faith. Maybe he wouldn’t put it that way, but it seems to me that’s what it boils down to.

One thing that’s doing VERY well are the Scarlet Emperor Beans of song and story. With 23 plants, you’d expect SOMETHING to happen and it has. Several things. One I’ve learned is how much they like living in a close neighborhood. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter if you plant them directly 1 or 3 inches deep ; they’re going to come up and do just as well as the ones you’ve nursed into being in the house. I’ve learned they are just very very happy to be alive, and while they “like” my attention, they prefer it ensconced in their language which is sunlight, heat and water, all leading to a chorus of “Thank you, Martha!”

I’m no Felix Mendel, but these all came from one packet of five seeds. The first year I planted one. I harvested seeds from it and, the next year, combined the seeds from that plant with those I had remaining from the packet and planted three. The next year I planted four. Then six. Then and then… They are all related to each other. I wonder if they’ve naturally selected in some way to do well in my small garden plot. This isn’t their native land by any stretch, though the altitude is. “This species originated from the mountains of Central America. It was most likely cultivated in the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala around 2000 BC.” And more.. Eat the Weeds

The Scarlet Runner Bean has also been called …Aycoctl by the Aztecs, and Ayocote by the Spanish. It’s native to Central America and has escaped cultivation in many areas. This bean is still on the home kitchen menu in its original range but the rest of the world grows it as an ornamental. Lots of folks also use it as a nectar attraction for hummingbirds and butterflies. Historically, Scarlet Runner Bean was in English and early American gardens by the 1600s.

There are some dozen and a half cultivars now. (Cultivars are made by man, varieties are made by nature.) The Dutch Phaseolus coccineus v. alba has white flowers. The “Butler” is stringless, “Painted Lady” has red and white flowers, the “Kelvedon Wonder” is an early variety with long pods, “Sunset” has pink flowers, and the “Scarlet Emperor” …has scarlet flowers. Under right conditions the Scarlet Runner Bean is the most productive of all the planted beans.

Various red runner beans…

I think next year I’m going to try a new system because this year’s system – with all those plants – wasn’t great. It wasn’t even a “system.” It was kind of “Oh shit, what do I do now?” My past methods didn’t work with so many plants. Then, because most of the light is at the top of 8 to 10 foot plants, they got top heavy. Reaching for the sun, a couple almost fell over. I guess I have a few months to research wires/netting etc. Anyway, out of this strange summer, that began with my not even wanting to mess with a garden, I have learned a lesson. Mess with the garden. It might be the best part of the whole show.

Quotidian Update, 91.23.HFS. iv

My article on the fabric artist will come out this week. I got paid $47 for the article and $10 for the photo that they’re using. That’s about two cents a word? I dunno. But, the math clearly proves that a picture is NOT worth a 1000 words. This summer has been a kind of disaster except for two good paintings and a poetry reading which are far, far, far from nothing.

The 23 bean plants have had a very happy summer and have produced more beans than I could possibly eat. There are now dozens of large pods hanging from the “rafters.” It’s very beautiful, a Bean Cathedral, but next year I will certainly plant only six or maybe four. Anyway, if you want to grow your own, I might very well be giving away seeds… BUT you don’t count the crop until it’s in, especially this summer.

I read Gilgamesh yesterday for my “class.” That is a great story. I loved it. Even though the profs are great, I got kind of bored listening to lectures about about the book and just went for it. That reminded me of me when I was in school. When I first moved here I took a couple of online classes — one on Icelandic Sagas and that was a thing, too. Too much talk; too little saga. 😀 More cowbell…

On my way home from the store the other day I saw one of my neighbors, an old Hispanic man, struggling with something large in a hexagonal frame he’d bought at a yard sale and a couple of large plastic bags. The man is no taller than I am and couldn’t weigh more than 95 pounds. He usually walks with two canes, but he was trying to navigate his burdens and one cane. The framed item was easily 30 inches in diameter — half his height. I watched for a moment and saw that what he had was a mirror. He was trying to get a heavy mirror home. It was poorly framed and likely to fall out.

Sometimes he walks down my alley. The dogs don’t bark at him; they’re glad to see him through the hedge. I’ve heard him talk to them. Anyone who is nice to my dogs cannot be all bad.

I offered him a ride and he refused three times. Kind of a custom, I guess. We got the mirror into my car and we went to the run-down 1950s motel converted to apartments where he lives. It’s a slum, but the people who live there are just poor, that’s all. He told me about them as we drove down the alley. I got the mirror out of the car, and he took it inside and waved goodbye. “Thank you,” he said.

“You’re welcome,” I said. “I couldn’t let you…” By the time I saw him, he’d already gone four blocks.

“It is OK. I would go, you know, two, three steps, and stop. I will get there.” He laughed.

And that’s the moral of all the stories.

No Hard Feelings

Even though I wasn’t in a great mood at bean planting time and wasn’t even sure I wanted to deal with it, I planted beans. A few inside, a few outside 3x too deep, a few outside the right depth. ALL of them came up and I gave 3 plants away. There are now 23 bean plants in my garden and they are the happiest beans I’ve ever grown even though none of them were named or got to “write” any poetry.

I guess they knew all along that they were beans, not Tang Dynasty Chinese Poets, and that being a Scarlet Emperor Bean is quite enough, thank you.

Last night I got to eat the first small handful from these plants. It was as delicious as were their forbears.

Today I was out watering their besties — the sunflowers on whom they rely to help attract pollinators and on which they wind the later vines of the summer. The sunflowers seem to like them, too. There were dozens of bees and then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a very tiny hummingbird of a type I had not seen before. I was pretty sure he was a Rufus Hummingbird, but not being a legit birder, how would I know?

From Audubon.org

Hummingbirds love the red flowers. The little guy fed on the nectar of the highest flowers, enchanting to watch. I didn’t move, I just kept watering. Later I did my research (like a good non-birder) and learned that I was right about the type and that he’s migrating. I thought of the wonder of how my beans reach 10 or 12 feet and bloom their hearts out just at the moment hummingbirds are traveling through.

Nature’s clock is so much more subtle and wondrous than spring, summer, fall and winter. Each being has its clock that tells it where it needs to be and what it needs to do. When things go haywire — like the blizzard we had on September 9, 2019 — every being suffers. Bear and I didn’t suffer, and Teddy hadn’t known enough Septembers yet to know it was a little odd, but I did have to deal with downed trees in my yard. That was a kind of pain. $$$

I remember being out at the Refuge and seeing a mountain blue bird hovering at eye level, looking me as if he were saying, “Help!” There was no food for him and he wasn’t supposed to be there. That year was a massive die off and what blew me away is that it took so long for people to see the obvious reason. Millions of migrating tiny birds caught in a blizzard.

But here’s my new “friend.” Audubon.org

I love these beans. They’ve taught me so much. I think they “know” me and my role in their existence. I look on the green pods I pick, cook and eat as a gift. “Thank you, Martha, for saving seeds and planting us so we can grow and do our thing.” After 5 generations I guess they’ve specialized to my yard. Every year they are taller and more productive. Their little garden is a small bean cathedral.

It’s Bean Too Long

Every day I spend a little time with the Scarlet Emperor Beans, and, this summer, which has been rainy and a little cooler (thank you god) they haven’t set on fruit in the same way I remember from years past. Just two during this whole time, two pods that are now quite large. Yesterday I went out to commune with them and saw that most of the more mature among them are sending out LOTS of beans and I was happy.

I looked at how they’re growing — some people cut back their pole beans so they grow in neat columns, but I don’t. For some inarticulable reason I think they need to be free to sort out their destinies. Some of them are now more than 12 feet high/long and they wind around each other in the higher reaches, finding support where they can and where I’ve given them what help I can. There are 23 plants in that small — 8 x 4 feet — garden. Several sunflowers live among them and some bean vines twine up their stems. It’s a happy small garden patch.

Last year I read an article in The Guardian about some scientists who, after long and detailed observation, were convinced that French pole beans grow with intention.

The issue of whether or not plants choose their actions and possess feelings or even consciousness is a thorny one for many botanists, with the more traditional-minded strongly disputing any notion of sentient vegetation. Although plants clearly sense and react to their environments, this doesn’t mean they possess complex mental faculties, they argue.

Guardian article

I think intelligence is an interesting question. What exactly IS it and do plants have it? I guess on a very basic level it’s everything a species does to ensure its survival and the propagation of its kind. Considering that humans (with their much vaunted intelligence) are actually capable of devising ways of destroying their species… Well, that’s a tough one, so I’ll go back to the beans.

As I said, though our summer started out hot and dry, it has been cool and pretty wet most of July. I haven’t experienced that kind of summer since I started growing Scarlet Emperor Beans. I realized yesterday, standing with them, what they seem to be doing. The two most mature plants that get the most sun each sent out ONE pod into which they poured all the sun, all the water, all the energy to ensure that next year there will be Scarlet Emperor Beans. The two pods together probably will yield six seeds if they make it all the way to ripe. That’s not a lot, but it’s a future.

NOW they’re throwing out little beans like they are “supposed” to. “Here, Martha. We had to take care of our future. Now you will get some beans for your supper.”

During my life as a teacher I encountered all kinds of intelligence — devious, survival driven, hopeless, curious, resigned, determined, imaginative, divergent, autistic, questioning, even “I’m not very smart, teacher. I’m only going to college to give my mom a break,” and he wasn’t lying, but he sat in front of class and did every assignment to the best of his very limited ability. I also had to learn about the various formally defined “intelligences” and took a test at Disabled Students Services to determine my fundamental intelligence which is kinesthetic. That explains a LOT about me as a person (and learner, and teacher) but not how I happened to end up an English teacher.

My experience with “intelligence” leads me to think my beans are pretty smart. Maybe they can’t read, write, or run companies, but they have clearly done some math in ensuring their future. They also seem to communicate with each other and assign tasks (or volunteer?) They’ve responded to this unusual summer with wisdom.

And, strange as it sounds, when I’m hanging out with them, I feel a kind of energy. I think I’m part of whatever it is they are. I think they know that I’m a key component in their survival. I think they say, “Thank you.”

Quotidian Update 87.2b.ix

Good news from the back-of-beyond. The Rio Grande County Museum in Del Norte is open again, and the person running it is someone I know AND a person who’s bought one of my paintings. I’m going in later this morning with notecards. Apparently they’ve been doing repairs and cleaning for the past six months (???) and hiring a replacement for my friend Louise. They’re having a grand opening next month to honor the summer solstice. The new director is younger — a woman in her early 40s (I think) — and I think that’s a good thing. Anyway, I’m happy about these developments.

Other good news involves the Scarlet Emperor Beans. They are all in the garden — fifteen of them! I went to visit them before I made my coffee (that shows you my dedication) and they all looked very happy. The weather forecast for the nonce looks good meaning like I won’t have to rush out and cover them.

They do not all have names. I don’t know if they mind or even know “who” they are — well they do know. As for their names? This is the fifth generation and who knows which ancestor pollinated which ancestor. I think they are all each other at this point which is very cool. They are 100% in harmony with their nature as Scarlet Emperor Beans. They are amazing. The packet says plant 1 inch deep. The Internet said 3 inches deep. I did both and the beans didn’t care. They have a strong and joyful inner push to get UP there and GROW. Along with the beans are giant sunflowers. Last year I learned how well they do together and what good friends they are both in attracting beneficial insects and holding each other up.

In other good news, I finished the painting, and I like it a LOT. All it’s missing is my signature. It was a wonderful painting experience because it was a big challenge. I still have a ways to go to be the painter I would like to be, but it was a leap in the right direction. I wish it were bigger, but if I’m going to paint bigger paintings on a surface like this I’m going to have to turn carpenter and stretch my own canvas. The surface — oil primed linen — was wonderful. This is the second painting I’ve done on that material. The other painting was also a wonderful experience to paint and a big challenge. I don’t know if the surface is helping me or what, but wow.

I know there is a lot of random stuff in this hackly post, but after my being so desperately profound yesterday, we all need a break… 😉

Hanging Out with a Friend

Yesterday my friend Perla came to Monte Vista (from Alamosa) to see the eye doc who is two blocks away from my house. We spent three hours talking. It was great. She’s an artist and a thinking person so the conversation was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful and even included a little time spent in my frowzy studio where I introduced her to lapis lazuli ultramarine. She is extremely talented and skillful in a wide, wide, wide variety of things, so I was surprised when I could show her something new. She understood totally when I explained that the paint is like a person to me, a person who wants to help me paint. She laughed, but she got it. I told her about my dream of owning lapis ultramarine with lapis from Afghanistan, and that I’d tried to buy some with my Christmas present money, but the upheaval in Afghanistan meant no one had it. “Don’t feel bad,” I said, “but all I could get is lapis ultramarine with lapis from Argentina.” She’s from Buenos Aires.

That’s when we went to my studio so I could show her the paint. She looked at the painting that’s on my easel drying, the painting of the storm — which she loved — and at the one that’s in progress. “That’s hard. I couldn’t do it.”

“I don’t know yet if I can,” I said. I was, at the time, showing her the lapis ultramarine by putting it on the canvas with my finger. She compared it to indigo which she’d seen growing — and which dye she had used — at her recent experience as an artist in residence at a farm in Arkansas, an experience she’d loved and that had given her great stories and much needed renewal. Jeans are died Indigo. It’s a great blue and in medieval times was used to replace lapis ultramarine for walls and manuscripts. Lapis ultramarine which was expensive and hard to get. There was even a FALSE Indigo, or woad Indigo, that came from a nasty plant that made the ground useless for anything else, it depleted the soil so completely and so rapidly. Still, it’s pretty amazing. Here’s a great explanation and visualization of the difference between real Indigo and Woad. I didn’t argue or “clarify.” There’s no way to know what another person sees when they look at a color AND we look for familiar shades and patterns all the time. The chart below is excellent. The top blue is synthetic ultramarine. They are all great blues. The featured photo of my work in progress is not color true because the underlying ground is not white, but this chart is.

The subject of representational vs. abstract art came up and Perla has always let me know what she wants me to do. I accept that — a push from a knowledgeable person can be helpful in defining direction and everyone’s free to reject it. But knowing her and her work, I listen. Yesterday she said, “You’re obsessed with reality.” That’s true. As a person who lives largely in my head, reality is an important question for me. I’m not a subjectivist; I believe there is an objective reality and that is why I love nature so much. It is what it is whether I recognize it or. not. I WANT to. But as we talked I realized that I don’t see a difference in my work between the stuff I do that’s representational and that which isn’t completely representational. Wanting a tree to look like a tree isn’t, to me, a bad goal because a living thing is only static until you start engaging with it. I quickly find there is more to it than what I recognize as a tree. I realized that I don’t think most of my “realistic” paintings are realistic.

We discussed another artist’s paintings — which are really beautiful nature paintings — and she said, “I don’t like them. Every little thing,” and she made as if she were painting with a tiny brush on a wall. I think his work is lovely, but not exactly what I would paint (obviously). I proclaimed my theory of art, that nothing in nature is what we see, but the life behind what we see. I didn’t add the rest of the idea which is that the life within everything inscrutable and answers to its own demands. The only response I have to THAT is gratitude to nature for letting me in on a little something from time to time.

But the point — to which we both agree — is that it’s all very personal, meaning to the person looking at the work, maybe buying it.

And, of course, we talked about what probably every two artists have spoken about together since the beginning of time. Which is why are we doing this? After looking at my paintings, she became a little frustrated with her work which is felted clothing. I listened while she worked that all out — she makes money from her work and I, obviously, don’t make money from mine. It isn’t that I don’t want to, it’s that no one sees it. So far in my life, when people see it, they buy it. We talked about marketing and promotion — she’s a good saleswoman and goes to shows and has her work in stores. But THAT? In any case if I want to sell at the Crane Festival next year (which I do) she’ll help me by loaning me panels so I can hang my work. Behind the conversation was the immense expense in even getting work out where people can see it and buy it.

It was great conversation, inspiring and fun. Then “What will you do if Trump is elected president again?”

“Perla, remember? We already have a plan. We’re going to Argentina.”

“That’s right Patagonia. Good. Good.” It was a wonderful, wonderful day. And THEN?

Wu Song appeared in the garden and this morning? Two more — Lao She and Pearl Buck. Three have emerged in the house this morning, as well. Looks like I’ll have beans after all. Thank you mysterious forces of the universe that combine a seed, dirt, water and light. They will be growing among several sunflowers who will help hold them up, attract bees and add general amazingness to the garden.