Look how my little babies have grown. Granted not much, but they're jus' lil' things to begin with. (Check out their baby pictures, I'll wait.) Clearly, Beans [left] has grown the most all around. Pickles [center] has gotten taller but remained skinny. Scooter [right] . . . well Scooter's a little tubbier and still the shorty of the trio. But bless his heart, he's still my favorite because he's safest to pet. Quite the snuggle-puff by comparison, actually.
Meanwhile, what have I done in two months? I love my cacti, but darn if they haven't made me feel stunted. Have I grown at all? Girth-wise, let's just say I'm like Scooter minus the shortiness.
But I'm not here to talk physiology; I'm here to talk poetry, philosophy--of life's riches and dearths. Have I made progress in my understanding of the world? No. In fact, I have been in retrograde motion in that regard since I was 25. Have I grown to know myself any better? Well, I have grown to bore myself more, if that counts. Hopefully that's just the contempt born of familiarity and not the 4D image I project on the world.
Have I learned new things--unnecessary but beautiful things? Have I chiseled any marble-nudes? Are there any tempera frescoes on my ceiling? Perhaps, I expect too much of myself. Maybe I should measure my success in ounces and millimeters. One poem at a time. Paragraph by paragraph. In doses of modest improvement. Horizons expanded by the merest thread each day.
All things considered, it may be my only choice. Which is no choice at all but one, nonetheless, I must choose. Or not. There's the philosophy. Here's the poetry: Cacti are green/ Roses aren't blue/ Both will prick flesh/ What else is new?