Flying Hat Ranchito bursts with grass and flowers this late afternoon in March. With snowfall this winter, greater amounts of nutrients lobbed onto tiny snowflakes already formed around dust particles, so that natural fertilizer fell from the sky — snow and sleet, not Monsanto. The grass appears greener, more vibrant. Certainly, an abundance of flowers bloom that we’ve not seen since homesteading in 2003.
The springing to life, lately dormant, continues in The Grove, and I want to go down there and take photographs — mine are more documentary than artful, but so? — for you and my record. There are willow trees and wild Mustang grapes in The Grove. A large oak tree that we have dubbed The Council Tree will surely have shade so that we can spread a red-checkered tablecloth on the tailgate of the pickup and have a sandwich and wine or beer. Definitely, spring in Texas.
In this second photograph, you see the greening of the trees to the southwest. If you enlarge the photograph, you can see the Desdemona windfarm of British Petroleum beyond the ridgeline in the distance. Those windmills are approximately twenty (20) miles or more from us. I have yet to look upon the windmills and be calmed. Not that technology should be calming, but the monumental size of these windmills evokes a slight fear, a fever, as it were. I am glad, however, that the wind is collected and that diminishes our dependence on finite resources. In a sense, there is a greening in our region along with the greening Flying Hat.
Then comes “The Grand Inquisitor,” chapter five of Book Five: Pro and Contra, The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky. Shortly before turning out the light to go to sleep two nights ago, I mentioned to Brenda that I was going to read one more chapter of The Brothers Karamazov. The book is not light reading, I knew that. But, I wasn’t prepared for “The Grand Inquisitor,” for god’s sake, and I’m not trying to be punny. The sheer length of paragraphs in that chapter overwhelmed me, not to mention the nuances of religion so stretched out that I thought, You can’t wring anymore out of “bread” than what you have already done, Fyodor! But he did. My bed lamp did not go out as quickly as I had hoped. I finished the chapter and have reread it. Why, you may ask, am I reading The Brothers Karamazov? First, I want to read the 100 best pieces of literature ever written. That’s why. (There are several lists of the “best and greatest.” I’ll post the lists eventually.) The Brothers Karamazov is considered one of the greatest compositions. The second reason is that I am curious about what makes great literature, the writing of a person that brings you into their inner world of comprehension.
There is a lot of idiocy and mindless rant on television, the internet and in the newspapers. So, in order to bring a sensibility of order and art to my world out here in west Texas, along with my horses and land, I read good things and I think about those things — even the Grand Inquisitor — as I work with horses, unload hay and plant native grass seed in the soil. I intend to wear out, not rust out, in this great land of ours, the idiocies of the day notwithstanding. We all need to continue to green in some way, even if it means reading “The Grand Inquisitor” before turning out the lamp. Do choose another chapter, however.