Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Silver Moon

Yes, I know the economic news is bad and that we're all terribly concerned. But panic won't change a single thing about the future, so why do it? Am I worried that Walt and I are going to have to live on a diet of pecans, carrots, and eggs in our retirement? Yes. Can I change anything by losing sleep over it? No. As a certain perky, blonde singer-philosopher once opined, "Que sera, sera."

Let's take a moment together to breathe deeply.

I heard this interesting story on NPR the other morning about what happens when people start feeling a lack of control in their lives--apparently they start seeing patterns in things where there are none. That people see bizarre images of of the planet Saturn in static and buying into conspiracy theories when they feel anxious and powerless is in itself interesting, but what really caught my attention was at the end of the story--I almost missed it:

"In short, people who felt that the world was beyond their control became so hungry for patterns and connections that their minds started just making them up.

But Whitson also found one way to help people who are feeling powerless to see the world the way it really is. In a different experiment, she asked volunteers who were feeling a lack of control to talk about a personal value that they consider important.

When these people were shown fuzzy, meaningless images, they did not see imaginary objects.

Maybe this could help in real life, Whitson says. When you're feeling powerless, maybe you should stop and think about what you really care about — something you do have control over."

I think the last line bears repeating now: "When you're feeling powerless, maybe you should stop and think about [a personal value] you really care about — something you do have control over."

It is also worth noting (for me, at least) that it is in times of panic that I most tend to forget what my values are. I'm thinking that it wouldn't kill me to reflect on them a bit, in the hopes that I remain true to what I believe even if Old Man Crises comes knocking at the door.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

Sunday was rainy, so I couldn't divide the irises, as I had planned (Amy Stewart, blogging on Garden Rant, recommends doing this in election years--a terrific idea for keeping the garden timetable straight); I did, however, manage to sneak out there between raindrops to do something I've needed to do for a couple of years: tie up my antique climbing rose, "Silver Moon," in a proper way.

This is what it looked like before:

As you can see, a pathetic, hodge-podge attempt to encourage the rose to climb up and drape over the pergola. And a bit tacky looking, to boot.

I cut the supports, and then used poultry staples and zip ties to wind the canes around the post, like this:

I think creating a lattice of the canes turned out rather nicely. Here is a close-up:

Simple. Clean. Orderly. A pattern that is true.

Personal value thought-note for the day: There is beauty in simplicity.


  1. Eggs, pecans, and carrots? What's wrong with that. Sounds like a rich life to me.

  2. Oh, I so want a rustic pergola! They remind me of those Central Texas arbors often used for church and community functions. I think my grandma and step-gramps met under one the year before I was born.


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