The Amazing Indoor Pine

My dog Bones and I are amazed by the strangeness of an indoor tree. We ought to be used to this after previous Christmases, but we aren’t.

The room is different. A mysterious wildness is suddenly inside–more than fragrance, more than a lingering bird aura. It’s a feeling we’d like to experience all year.

Could the room have a permanent pine tree? Not one of those evergreen houseplants people keep in pots, but a serious outdoor tree (indoors).

Keeping it alive would require, of course, sawing a hole in the floor so the tree could root in the huge, well-curated compost heap in the basement. I’d carry buckets of rain inside because tap water isn’t the same. Or the rain could be diverted from our roof, via elegant pipework, directly into the house.

Basement drainage would be essential. Earthworms would keep the compost vital.

A ceiling hole would encourage the tree’s lawless vertical growth into the home’s second story, where yet another room would benefit from the tree’s existence.

Squirrels would add crazed vitality to our placid environment. Bones would enjoy an aerobic and spiritual lift.

But would the lack of weather and seasons weaken the tree, however well we nourished it? Might the pine grow depressed?

Would we ourselves tire of its presence, as we often tire of familiarized wonders? It may be simpler, and more successful, to admire the trees outside and, when even they have ceased to thrill us, allow the annual strangeness of a Christmas tree to resuscitate our amazement.

How Can You Trust People So Much?

Because that’s the only way it works…

When you openly, radically trust people, they not only take care of you, they become your allies, your family.

Sometimes people will prove themselves untrustworthy.

When that happens, the correct response is not:

Fuck! I knew I couldn’t trust anybody!

The correct response is:

Some people just suck.

Moving right along.

— Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

Juggling Dinner

Many nights I say to my son Jack, “What do you want for dinner?” and then the two of us do that stare-inside-the-fridge thing and pick something boring and easy.

No more! Well sometimes, but not always! I have this How to Cook Everything book, and Jack and I made linguine with egg/parmesan sauce. Mid-prep, I said, “This is going to be a boring blog post. I’ll juggle eggs.” And Jack said, “No, you can’t. Don’t.” And I said, “Well now I’m definitely juggling eggs.”

It went well until one of the expertly juggled eggs cracked on my wedding band and I got distracted. The linguine was great.

* There are, in fact, three eggs in the above photo. Two are obscured by my motion-blurred magician hands.

P.S. My wife knows how to cook but:

  1. She’s legit celiac and sometimes Jack and I want glutenous food.
  2. She works long hours as the family breadwinner and can’t always cook for everybody.
  3. It’s the 21st-century, Jack and I are progressive fellows, and we’re going to learn to cook, damn it, and cook gluten-free food for my wife sometimes, too.

Broken Egg

The Benefits of Threatened Cataclysm

“I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it–our life–hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.

“But let all this threaten to become impossible forever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! if only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India.

“The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening.”

Marcel Proust

Photo by Otto Wegener