Monday, July 12, 2010

Sannah, 1972


Look, the destruction is all around. It continues unabated. The world is an inferno, burning everything to death.

And we all pitch in.

In the Snake Range of eastern Nevada, a student of the University of North Carolina was taking core samples of bristlecones in 1964. He was looking for a way to study ancient warming patterns. He looked around for about five minutes, found an old bristlecone pine, and bored into it. His coring tool broke off inside the tree. Now he was stuck, because it was five minutes into his research for the year, and he was going to have to go home empty handed. He found some forest service guys and explained his predicament to them. 

"No problem." They said. "We'll cut down the tree and get your tool out. There's a million of those trees out here."

So they cut it down, he got his coring tool, and a sample of the trees rings. 

He counted them, found out he'd just cut down a tree that was over four-thousand, five hundred years old.

He'd just killed the oldest living thing on the planet.


He felt just awful about it, but it couldn't be undone.


That's just how we proceed.


Making mistakes that we can't take back. 

Out of ignorance, when we are at our best. Usually, our motives are less pure.


Results are the same, however.


We're all of us shuffling down a chute that might have been designed by Temple Grandin, beautiful and strange, the path narrowing almost imperceptibly, till we are squeezed into a pen and hit between the eyes with the slaughterman's bolt.


It's nice while it lasts, I think.





Anonymous Anonymous said...

shit. this is amazing.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way, i watched that movie a couple of days ago. really something. really, really something.

10:21 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


thank you.

you know, we used to live in Florida, our wild woman of borneo was born there, but it was just a transitional place for us, there less than two years I think...

Not my favorite place.

But there is something wild in it, something primal and untamable. The thunderstorms, the wind, the insects, the sand, the way that life there seems like an assault on the world.


I think of you often and wish all good things for you and yours. I think often of your work and how it is in a lot of ways like mine.

That whole mortality thing.

That knowledge that life is going to get you.

Not that we should give that too much attention. But it can spice things up.

Or something. It gives as much as it takes away from you, doesn't it?

all best-


6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"out of ignorance, when we are at our best. " God, ya gotta laugh, and I did..Sign me , just one more lovable stupid cow! Thanks, I really needed that.

8:51 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


yr welcome!

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

truthfully, i've come to feel i don't think florida wants anyone to stay. it's very hard on anything metal or wood, and if you don't keep the vegetation in your yard at bay, it would cover the house in a shorter time than you'd think. it's work.

not to mention the insects and wildlife. scenes from "jurassic park" pass through my mind several times a week all by themselves.

(i really wish more people didn't like it here, because i love it and want it for myself)

the warmth of the sun costs people a lot too, so i stay inside shade, dress for blazing heat (which i really love) and coat with sunscreen.

that part of me is definitely linked to my job. and IT is going to get everyone, but it's kind of like playing a game. how much can i get away with anything before it catches up to me for real?

i know you see the results of that same thinking in your job.

and honestly? mortality just makes me really very nervous.

1:44 PM  

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