Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Poppy At Esterháza
"My advisor sent me to find you."
"Your advisor sent you to find the gardener?"
"Uh huh. You are the gardener, aren't you?
"Poppy*. I'm Poppy. They said to give you this. I don't know why."
"Well Poppy, it's a hall pass with a question mark on the back. Don't worry, gardeners don't give tests. It means I should ask you some things. First, what am I doing?"
"Ha! don't you know?
"You're trimming an Italian Cypress into a candlestick shape. I like the little topknot. It looks like flame.
"Thanks, that was the effect I was after. How did you identify the shrub?"
"I have a good memory for patterns...how things grow...but, I'm..."
"Who told you that, Girls League Council? Did they tell you I'm shy, that I didn't make the cut on their Precision Giggling Team?"
"Where they walk around in a group and look at someone and laugh all at once. It makes people feel awful. It's destructive! I thought I could join up and change it."
"Huh? I...did what?"
"You made the cut, Poppy. They didn't. Here, take this rake, get the clippings into a little pile there."
"I'm confused. Is this like work-study? I help the gardener? What's going on?"
"Look, on the giggling team you learned how groups work in unison, achieve power, and you learned how to improve them, humanize them from within, person by person. You live in a world remote from privation, war, injustice and greed, where people may live their lives to full measure. How do you think that happened?"
"Government by discussion?"
"Very good! But the threats of the past did not disappear by themselves. Agents are dispatched into the past to join it, to persuade individuals to make adjustments, private adjustments toward tolerance, peace, generosity and kindness. Here, keep this."
"You just wrote 'Esterházy' on my hall pass."
"You know Haydn? The Farewell Symphony?"
"Yes, from orchestra class."
"What happens in the final movement?"
"It, um, goes about four minutes and then strange things happen."
"That's right, the group changes from within, stages a protest but never misses a note and it will be successful because you'll be there. That's your assignment. Check with me afterwards --I'll be in the garden at Esterháza. Look for candlestick Cypresses."
"This is crazy. That's over a thousand years ago!"
"Which is why I won't know you, Poppy. We will not have met yet. Just grab a rake and show me your hall pass. I'll sign it and all temporal variables will reset so neither of us remembers the other."
"Ok, see ya!"