Thursday, December 22, 2011

Big Hair

Scott Bradley

The late summer grasses
dance in the wind,
nodding their grainy heads,
each according to its nature.
-- Chen Jen

Lie down here in the grass beside this high mountain stream. The air is idle; even the trees have ceased to whisper. Yet all around you the many grasses, their fruited heads atop the most slender of stems, dance to a stirring you cannot feel. And each one moves in its own special way. What does it take, but one more seed, a slightly longer leaf, a damaged stem?

One of the greatest wonders of things is their seeming contentment in being precisely what they are. And it is for this that we call them 'things', and ourselves . . . something more—something self-aware and divided within.

Imagine, if you will, these grasses, also self-aware. This is to likewise be aware of 'others'. This one has big hair and a long slender stem. She knows it, too. Look at her showing off, nodding as if the queen of the ball. I wish I had big hair. But that one, hardly a leaf worth the name. Mine are bigger; and size does matter.

But we are not grasses, and we cannot hear their thoughts. For us, lying here beside the stream, they are each one amazing, a mystery beyond all reckoning. They are all equally wonderful. Ours is a more transcendent view — at least of grasses.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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