10.18.2009

Collecting: Day 1

I went collecting with Joseph and Carl today. We collected wishes, or the flying strands of dandelion hair, from the yards in the blocks around our house. I took a few pieces from the dandelions I saw as we walked past in our church clothes and set them lightly in a glass vile I’d bought for the very purpose. We walked for almost an hour, stooping on the fronts of lawns to press our fingers into the damp grass and pluck a few wishes. Each lawn was so differently kept, some were long and thick, and full of small, purple flowers. Some were shorn tightly to the earth, but still had spindly, brave dandelions sprouting proud and high from beneath. I took those wishes because they seemed like they had worked hard to be there, wanted someone to take them and blow them on the breeze, wanted to make a journey into the unknown. We walked, following the cracks in the asphalt on the quiet back streets and Joseph, our friend, told us about a British man who became famous because he has the world record from memorizing pie. He apparently has a great affinity for counting all things. He says he sees the numbers as landscapes, and colors, and notices when something is not right. We stopped to count the purposeful holes in a parking sign posted in someone’s yard. Joseph counted 86, Carl counted 94. We then stopped and tried to count the boards making up a house. Our untrained eyes undulated between the lines and we couldn’t get an exact count. I wanted to dump the dandelion strands into my palm and count them. Count how many possible unused wishes lived on the lawns of my neighbors and community. I pushed them down to the bottom of the vile with my thumb, and the mass condensed into a thin fluff with thin black pieces sticking out in no particular order.

3 comments:

shelly said...

Wow. The way you put thoughts and words together truly amazes me. I got goosebumps!

Lindsey P said...

the dandelions at my parent's house are HUGE. you can't even make then budge when you blow on them. you have to take the whole thing and swing it around like you're making bubbles, which I love doing. Since they are so big you can watch them float for a really long time. I don't ever even feel guilty about spreading seeds to the neighbors lawn by the millions.

k. double-u. said...

Wow. I think you pay better attention to the world than I do. My new goal: slow down and be more attentive.