Planting, etc.

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Last night I went to a concert at St John’s; a classical performance on violin and piano. During the course of the performance I was reminded that: a) I find it very difficult to actually enjoy classical music, and even more difficult to enjoy violin for a sustained period of time, as the loudest thing in the room, but feel that this shows lack of taste on my part so I try to appreciate it anyway; and b) my susceptibility to musical overstimulation is not limited to to rock concerts with flashing screens; when it comes to listening to complex violin music and watching the violinist at the same time, after about half an hour I want to go sit on the floor in a corner with my eyes closed (and did so after the intermission) — only I’m not in that situation more than a couple of times a year, so it isn’t so problematic as one might imagine.

Also, I got a box of baby shrubs a couple of weeks ago, and planted them. This was difficult, because our neighborhood is constructed on clay, and then compacted for building purposes. It really wants a pick-axe, which I don’t have. Or formidable muscles, which I also don’t have. I have got a shovel and some gloves, so I uprooted most of the prickly weeds, and dug up little holes for the shrubs, which took quite a lot of time and energy. One of the shrubs wasn’t in when the original order came (and there are a lot of bulbs that are still set to arrive), so they were supposed to mail that when they could. Someone misunderstood the instructions on that, and sent a repeat order, with the missing shrub, and 23 others that I already had. Today, after looking around for (and eventually finding) a little party put on by the neighborhood association, I planted 15 of those extras. In the process of searching for the get-together, I was reminded of how many attractive, well tended public areas exist around here, and how under-utalized most of them are. In the course of an hour walk through the suberb, where I passed two playgrounds, three grassy fields, and a number of other little public areas with grass, plants, and benches on a Saturday morning, I only encountered one other person.

Afterwards I got to planting some of the extra plants. Perhaps it’s for the best — if half of them die, then I’ll still have nearly the right amount. I’m tired of digging, so I’ll plant the rest tomorrow.

For church book club we’re reading the life of Elder Paisios, a modern ascetic of Mt Athos. It’s a good book, but not one that I’m in love with — or at least not one that I am very interested in reading right now, though I’ll try to finish it, because I enjoy the book club.

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