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January 18, 2021


The terrarium is a deceptively tricky environment to manage, as is our world. In the mid-70s, I worked in a plant store, and terrariums were the trendy thing to buy. Customers often wanted to cram the terrarium too full of specimens; to the owner's credit she advised against that, but people wanted them to look lush from day one. Then plants would fail and they'd be back for more; they cycle kept repeating till they became frustrated and threw them out.

I think of your metaphor and extend it to that behaviour, and the obvious parallel: do we have a sense of 'enough', and are we habituated to having more than we can take care of?

You have a fascinating desk. But do you think you will eventually move on to cultivating bonsai?

Oh, I like your little world. You make it, and it grows as it can and changes. And then you take watercolor--so mutable itself--and make it unchangeable and set a little guard on it.

Good cheer despite all!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.