Sunday, October 17, 2004

The eye of the beholder

The sound of running water is what gives serenity to a garden. I have always had a tiered pond with water gently cascading over it. Some years ago, with the help of dear James, my mother's staunch and talented gardener, we built a real grotto - a large, enclosed stone arch in which a Buddha statue stood amid shade plants with a pleasant cascading fall of water into a small pond. Because The House of the Raising Sons is a colonial house with a central hallway leading from front to back, feng shui ordains that running water is the proper seal for wellbeing. So, when the pump gave out, I started to nag the kids, who now have possession of the garden, about the importance of getting it up and running again. They were pretty slack and indifferent, so I asked James to give me a hand and get something organised. This put a bomb under the kids - and off they went. The result is - no pond, no waterfall. Instead, we have a mahogony-coloured ceramic head, a sort of gloomy Easter Island head. Water runs from his eyes! He weeps in the grotto. But worse. Smoke comes out of his mouth. He is the most dismal and afflicted creature. Anything but serene. He is clearly deeply depressed.
The kids, however, love him!! The are proud as punch and have restructed the interior of the grotto to complement him.
I really don't know what to say. So I say nothing.
After all, the only thing I specified was running water. Water runs.

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