Someone asked me yesterday, "what do you love to do? "
(Well not someone, but some web form they had written up that I had to fill out in order to enter their playground, I mean, their blog of the same name "Do what you love" as is writ large on the Cheerios box. Don't ask me how I know. For the record I am using real, albeit rolled, oats now. And steel cut oats. Next step will be whole oats ... but why reach the mountain top, when you can admire it?)
Having long forgotten the answer to that question, I deftly dodged to "what does my daughter love to do" and instantly knew it was "play Clue." Indeed I promptly shut off the computer and we played Clue. (I love websites like that that remind you of your priorities. Such a website I encountered long ago made me recognize how pointless it was to buy toys. A bold move on the part of the author, as the website was there to sell toys. And yet, there it said, "your child does not need toys." Exactly what I needed to hear.)
(I get in trouble for my digressions sometimes. It happened to me very recently. By putting selected material in parentheses, I hope it is easier to follow this story.)
It was a special game of clue, kind of At Last We Get to Play Clue ... because at last dh was done solving the Strong CP Problem
. Well he solved it weeks ago, but he had to write, calculate, draw diagrams, find errors, then check to see if those were really errors ... and SEND. We had once valiantly tried playing a two person game of Clue, dd and I. It is not so bad actually. As dd says, "you can just say what is on your card, you don't have to secretly show it to me."
But AT LAST we got to "do what we love" because that Strong CP Problem was signed sealed and delivered AT LAST And then I realized that all along dh was doing what he loved, that is, particle physics. In spite of leaving the field long ago, the field has not left him. And the idea burst forth. It reminded me of Fukuoka, who said, according to Thomas J. Elpel, thatit is ego-centric to think that people grow crops. Ultimately it is nature that grows crops. He sees modern agriculture as doing-this and doing-that to grow crops, but it is meaningless work.
(Source: Green University).
Thomas J. Elpel goes on to say that what Fukuoka does "is manipulate habitat to favor the crops he wants to grow. He works within the laws of ecology to tilt the ecosystem in favor of the plants he wants. Then his crops virtually invade and grow like weeds."
That last figure of speech (I don't know whether to call it simile because I have never been at ease with the word "weed" and maybe crops and weeds aren't so unlike after all) stuck with me as I walked around my neighbourhood, seeing all kinds of grass burst forth through the pavement. Which from one perspective is alarming - since in theory these are actually "weeds" that we do not want growing, like anti-social elements or rotten apples that threaten ruin. But on the other hand, is it not heartening that though we build barriers, nature overcomes? When I compare agriculture to education (as I often do) I think of nurturing the ecosystem (the whole ecosystem) and letting the learning burst forth, invade and grow. But it is also nice to think that even in spite of our shortcomings on the ecological front, green grows. That wild, irresistible yearning to grow, to root, to grasp the sunshine.
Dh says in fact that he might not have written the paper if he were in the field all these years. Maybe because he would then be doing-this and doing-that.
(inspired by "What We Love To Do," the group Pat announced above)