31 May 2011


I am once again digging up bamboo by the roots.  After spending yesterday cutting it all down to the ground, I started the it-shouldn't-be-this-hard-but-it-really-is process of getting the roots up today.

The nice thing about having it gone is that now we'll have a lot of culms to keep on hand once I finish taking the leaves off.  The tomatoes will be well-staked this year, and any time we need a length of something skinny and strong and long (for cleaning out vertical drain pipes, maybe) we'll be all set.

But those roots...

While digging I couldn't help but consider what an apt metaphor this bamboo business is for the hard work of getting my act together.  What started off as a whim or a lark or an unconsidered decision quickly became thoroughly established with a life of its own and a complete disregard for anything else in its path.  What seemed contained and manageable spread into unforeseen territory.  And when I now try to get rid of it, I not only have a mighty big task on my hands but I have to keep after it to make sure it doesn't try to reassert itself again.

And the most sobering aspect of all is that none of it needed to be.   

How much extra work have I made for myself with my many small (and large) lapses of judgment?  How much time must I now spend undoing what never had to be done in the first place?

I vow to uproot the endless blind passions, but I probably could have made my task a little easier with just a bit more forethought.  "Seemed like a good idea at the time" is small consolation now.

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