Rotted Roots I

Rotted roots…survival…I can see an image of a chopped down tree, of its rotting roots…I struggle with how to tell this story of a time in my life when I considered myself poisoned and lost…

The mother of all Hass avocados, that famous tree. Eventually, some men chopped the tree down – it died – for many years it had suffered from root rot…it took so long to create the vast quantity of avocados of the Hass form and then they chopped it down in just a day.

Today, I feel extremely frustrated – I spent hours reading about the origin of avocados – their exact origin is not known – they’re one of those fruits known as a cultigen, a plant species of unknown wild ancestry, known only in cultivation.

What can I make of that image of rotting roots [in my note book, I wrote “rooting rots”]? Why does that image speak to me? What am I pushing against? What am I trying to get away from?

I sit on a park bench, scribbling – the bus groans, its engine rumbles, the birds chirp in the evening light on the longest day of the year, before the days get abbreviated again. This, from the Times weekend briefing from Sunday, June 19, 2016: “‘Solstice, we call it, the summer solstice, when the earth begins to swing back on its trunnions and the longest day of the year is at hand and daylight begins its creeping abbreviation once more.’ That’s from a short column, with no byline, from our newspaper of June 20, 1954. This year, the solstice, which marks the first day of summer, begins Monday at 6:34 p.m. Eastern.”

That scared me – the day gets “abbreviated.”

You try to tell yourself, “Okay, go!” And you try to just write, memos and moments of discovery, but what’ve you discovered today?

And, now, on June 22, 2016, Wednesday, re-reading the passage from the Times, I think, how haunting that line is – and daylight begins its creeping abbreviation once more – why does it get me? This sense of shadow coming over the earth, enveloping everything, the dark taking over, the light lessening, and ultimately vanishing, again…similar to that line Tom Cruise says in Cocktail, “Days get shorter and shorter, nights longer and longer, before you know it, your life is just one long night with a few comatose daylight hours.”