The Garden Hat Finds The Answer

Daily Draw May 8th, 2012

I found my garden hat in the bottom of my cupboard. It is about 27 years-old, and periodically has to be re-blocked. As you can see, it has taken on the shape of a flat-topped, obsessive hunter from the outback, although I did buy a new long, white shoelace to tie it on during windy days. Some sunny day I will wet it lightly and stuff the crown and lay it down with rocks on the brim to keep it flat and then dry it in the sun until it has taken on its proper shape. It lost its flower one year but still retains its jaunty grosgrain ribbons.

This is true—when I was out sketching my Fragrant Snowball bush on Sunday, I had the hat on despite its embarrassing shape, and a bird tried to land on it. I could hear and feel the bird’s skittering little feet through my head.


This is very apt because I have been obsessing over looking at adoptable dogs online. I woke up this morning with a crashing headache, always a sign that I’ve been clenching my teeth in bed at night, and always a sign of obsessing over something. I take my cue today from Louise Hay and say “I release my need to obsess over finding another dog.” My monthly overview a few days ago with the Playing Card Oracles told me this, but I am rarely good at releasing.

I knew a fellow online once who had orchids and seemed to enjoy them. I would never have the patience to fuss over them or pay huge amounts for a plant.  I think I remember either an Agatha Christie book or perhaps an episode of Columbo dealing with an obsessive orchid grower/collector and murderer. Obsession is like a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a grip on your neck; you can see or feel nothing else. It’s a bit like rage that way, only quieter, buried in the nerve ends of the body and agitated neurons in the brain, dancing on the stovetop burner of the mind.

Whew, well we can’t be having that. I thought I’d find a random poem today and browsed through my big edition of The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers to find…

The Answer
by Robinson Jeffers

Then what is the answer?—Not to be deluded by dreams.
To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence, and their
     tyrants come, many times before.
When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose the least
     ugly faction; these evils are essential.
To keep one’s own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted and not wish for
     evil; and not be duped
By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will not be
To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear the whole
     remains beautiful. A severed hand
Is an ugly thing, and man dissevered from the earth and stars and his
     history…for contemplation or in fact…
Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is
Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty of
     the universe. Love that, not man
Apart from that, or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions, or drown in
     despair when his days darken.



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