Sunday, November 18, 2012


I try not to make promises that I can't keep.

Sometime earlier this year I commented on one  of my dear friend's Rouchswalwe posts to the effect that some day I would write about my Iris plant.

Well, it no longer is. I only have one window in my apartment near which I can gather plants for their light feed. She was not happy with her spot.
She was handed to me at Christmas 6 years ago with a lovely note attached introducing Neo-Marika, a bit of pale green peeking out of brown. I should keep her near an east-side window and carefully watch her grow and develop as to not miss the 'one day bloom' event.
I did so.
My niece Iris who lives far away and only visits me once in 4 or 5 years announced her arrival. Aunt Ellena's joy was overshadowed by Neo-Marika's. She opened her arms with a triple bloom on the day that Iris and Mr. Iris arrived and became the centerpiece of the table.

This is how she greeted me when I got up on the morning of this special day.

And, I told 'Young of Heart' that I had a fox story to tell.

It felt like coming back to the fold when I moved to the country. 40 years of city life was enough and, I wanted to be close to Moselito.
At first I was afraid to cross the road by myself at night. It was so dark. Slowly I got used to the darkness. How exiting to rediscover the Great Bear and the Little Bear. Grandma had named them for me while I sat on her lap at the window.
The farmer way back across the road complained that chickens were missing and felt that something needed to be done to protect his hens from the fox. "What, a fox around here, that frightens me". Yes, he came to visit me.

                                             Sorry, no chickens to be had here.

And then, there is the story of the cow.
I'll never know how she made it across the street and up the hill nor what made her think that the grass was greener on my side of the fields.

Oh, how I miss the house where all this came about.


Rouchswalwe said...

Oh what a handsome flower, Ellena! It interests me to ponder the connection of memory with place. As a child, I spent time in five places before the age of ten. I've just counted, and there have been nine more since then. As I revisit each one, certain memories spring to mind. Amazing.

Roderick Robinson said...

Let me brutal; I've just read your iris/fox/fear-of-the-dark post and it's time you changed your blog's strapline. No more bleating about lacking a voice (which is straightforward mendacity, anyway) and/or, even more important, lacking a vocabulary. And here's why.

If I exclude the two years I spent learning how to repair radio sets and then going down with incurable athlete's foot (ie, RAF national service) I used up the remainder, between 1951 and 1995 trying to teach myself how to write. Like everyone else with these pretensions I took the wrong fork in the road. I read a lot of books, learned a lot of fancy words and then passed decades showing off these fancy words writing about, inter alia (a typical example of fancy words) about bike racing, hi-fi, civil engineering and much else.

In my late forties I found myself on the road to an updated version of Damascus, struck dumb by a secular Jahweh who whispered in my ear: "Write more simply." Recognising the biblical precedent I changed my first name from Roderick to Boderick, changed it back again when I realised this wasn't the key issue, and embarked on the task of ridding my prose of the encrustations of polysyllablism. As you can see from the previous sentence the healing process is not yet complete, but at least I'm aware of my weakness.

If in fact you're telling the truth and you haven't been seduced by the God of Fancy Words (which seems to be the case, given your writing style) be thankful and get on with writing more. Eschew adjectives and adverbs in favour of more precise verbs and nouns, deny yourself false modesty (eg, the strapline) and be thankful you don't suffer, every so often, from the need to use the word "rebarbative".

From now on I shall return to your blog as a conventional reader and not as Jahweh's surrogate on earth. My responses may well err on the side of robust (another way of saying you may find me ruse) and I apologise in advance. No need to urge you to KISS anyway.

Roderick Robinson said...

That's "rude" not "ruse".

Rouchswalwe said...

I'm going to chime in here! Yes, Robbie has it ... not using big long fancy-schmancy words is a desirable writing style if you ask me. Prost!

Ellena said...

Not only interesting writing but also challenging word games could come about using memory hints. If you and your soul friends work on this and become successful I'll buy one share.
Thank you for the first paragraph. Much appreciated in spite of it's brutality of making me look up three words.
You seem to embrace your weakness of using fancy words regardless of the fact that it makes you inaccessable to many if not most of us. Nothing wrong with dealing with bright persons only and that's why I thought it would be wise to pick you and a couple of others from Rouchswalwe's Webseite'Woanners. Stay your robust self.
You are welcome to chime in anytime.