Weeding the cliff edge
Back in 1996 a band called Summit released an album called ‘Weeding the cliff edge’. Their label call it ‘down tempo/ambient’. One of their fans described the You Tube version as ‘one of the strangest techno albums I’ve ever heard.’ Lady Muck reminded me of this truly obscure musical event – she knew about it because she shared a house with one of the band members back in the day – when we discussed the current lockdown and its impact on us. She was referring to the title, rather than the music itself, as a metaphor for how we feel right now. I had been explaining that my growing season, despite the utterly glorious weather and all the time available, hadn’t been as successful as I’d have hoped and that repeat sowings of beans were going a bit awry. Especially runner beans for some reason. So I’d placed some more in an improvised sprouter to get them on their way. Three days later on checking to see how they were getting on I’d looked at them and thought ‘Those aren’t runner beans. They are broad beans. I’ve got lots of sprouted and planted out broad beans. What am I doing?’ Minor panic. Am I losing my marbles? Not exactly, but perhaps the subconscious is still fixating on the bigger things of life – like will I still be alive in three months time? Will my loved ones be? What about my neighbours? When will all this end? Actually most of the time I’m like everybody else – fretting about the length of ‘socially distanced’ queues at the shops, wondering who is in that ambulance that raced by the house ten minutes ago, but otherwise enjoyng the sun, the time to read, write and think, and missing the closeness and interaction with Lady Muck and daughters. (Actually, lucky me, at 66 I don’t have to worry about if I will have a job to go back to, or where the next meal is coming from, like so many people) But this response is rather like weeding on the cliff edge. It is a perfectly reasonable past time. Until you look over the edge to see what is there over the cliff. Then suddenly you question what the weeding is for.