Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Truth of Dahlias -- Blinded By The Light

Dahlias always surprise me. Every year I’m sort of shocked at how beautiful they are, a beauty that transcends my memory of the dahlias of previous years. My brain, evidently, is just not big enough to absorb or retain such purity of truth, over time, intact. Each year I am again surprised at how beautiful dahlias are. When we see truth / beauty, I’m thinking, there is always a sense of astonishment. We are blinded by the light.

Dahlias make me philosophical, in part, I guess, because in Ohio the first frost date is October 10. And dahlias don't even start to bloom until September. A dahlia has a short time to reveal itself, and every day after October 10 seems a special gift. In a more perfect world, say, Georgia, the frost is delayed.

Truth, beauty, mortality, drama -- dahlias have it all. I’ve been thinking about the movie, “My dinner with André.” It's an 80's movie and consists simply of two men talking with each other over dinner, at a fancy restaurant, musing about all sorts of topics. It got lots of awards. I’m thinking, just for the fun of it, of making a short Youtube version parody, “My sandwich with Steve,” shot in my dahlia garden. The idea is to use the dahlia as a focus of a conversation -- a conversation, as I envision it, that as it proceeds becomes ever more extreme in its speculations and "logical" conclusions. (I may have to come to Georgia to cast the part of Steve.)

I think I might include in my "Sandwich With Steve" script ideas from an article I recently found, written by an Oxford professor, that speculates that there is a good chance that we are living in a computer simulation. I wonder if the thoughts of this professor helped inspire the Matrix movies?

In the original Matrix movie, the main character, Nemo, is asked, “How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?” Good question.

Can we handle the truth? We all were taken down the rabbit hole this week when, suddenly, our lame duck president demanded $750 Billion -- Immediately. Now. Or else.

Huh? Talk about a teaching moment. Tell me again: How did we get into this mess?

It is no wonder people go crazy. Sometimes, even for those of us deemed sane, everything seems a conspiracy, a lie wrapped within an untruth, enveloped in a spin. Dahlias tell the truth. But, our institutions, leaders, culture, media seem determined to hide the truth.

The $700 Billion demand is astonishing. We've been handed a powerful teaching moment that intersects with a presidential election. What an opportunity. It is almost as if the stars are aligning. Twenty years from now, this $700 Billion demand might be seen as a watershed moment in the vitalization of our democracy, and in the growth of a more prosperous and more just economy.

But maybe my sense of hope or optimism today might just be the dahlia in me that is talking.

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