another day in paradise

“Here’s looking at you – cheers.” 

The pyramid on the back of a dollar bill with the eye in the centre. What a strange symbol to use, nothing to do with everyday life unless you’ve a pyramid somewhere near by – I don’t know of any in the U.S.A. – ‘In God we trust’ on one side with an open ‘all seeing’ eye within a pyramid next to it. Which God, what God, do we ‘trust.’ 

It isn’t the only eye which comes to mind as I watch something on a T.V. screen - a single eye into which I look. Lucky me, it’s not looking back but the next generations do, courtesy of a camera. Why a camera watching me, in my home, would or could be of benefit to me isn’t explained but not much is. 

“Here’s looking at you – cheers.” 

Facial recognition eyes, eyes in the satellites whizzing by, eyes in the dashboard cameras and the eyes in the phone. Are we so interesting? … I’m not. 

A continuous clean up of gardens takes place as a lull in the bushfire threat gives breathing space. I look after a bit more than a quarter of an acre here and it’s as clear of combustible material as makes sense. A neighbour on one side looks after an acre of mostly cleared land while the neighbour on the other side, now dead but nothing changes, was a hoarder living on three adjacent blocks, all of which present a massive threat to me. I haven’t grumbled much about it but helped to clean up, over decades, as best I could. His family, now that he’s gone, make no attempt to rectify the situation and leave me with no option but to report a bushfire hazard and trust that this will result in positive change. 

It’s like appealing to the United Nations if I take that universal notion of ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’ and expand that out to tribal boundaries and then to national boundaries. 

As a gardener, the edge of this Empire are the fences between me and my neighbours, corrugated iron in this case and buried into the ground which is a great help in keeping out invasive plant species. As a human I aim for good relations with my neighbours just as nations do the same. Or so you’d hope. 

I can’t help but see the parallels between the local and the national, the way in which neighbours interact, what one considers important another sees as trivial and that this carries over into cultural matters, national concerns and power struggles. 

I didn’t assassinate my hoarding neighbour or his family for his complete neglect of any responsibility for prevailing conditions in his garden. 

Scaling things up and why on earth would Trump behave in such an asinine manner as to behave like the Emperor who knows no limits, assassinate and speak as though this is acceptable …  and expect to get away with it. 

Shades of Monty Python and “He’s not the messiah – he’s a very naughty boy.” A bit more serious and it’s not a movie. 

Fire threat here and everywhere else in a military sense and very heartening to witness so much that is wonderful and resilient in the human spirit.

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