Many of us were raised to think of abundance as something desirable. The cornucopia, the horn of plenty, the allure of inexhaustible gifts. In practice, however…well…be careful what you wish for. Once we shifted the collective locus of our attention to smaller and smaller screens, abundance was no longer as appealing, and needless clutter became the enemy of useful content.
―Andrew Essex, The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come
You must know nothing before you can learn something, and be empty before you can be filled. Is not the emptiness of the bowl what makes it useful?
―Lloyd Alexander, The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen
Public Domain Image via the US Agricultural Research Service
Ol’ man Simon planted a diamond,
Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.
Sprouts all growin’, comin’ up glowin’,
Fruit of jewels all shinin’ in the sun.
Colors of the rainbow,
See the sun and rain grow
Sapphires and rubies on ivory vines,
Grapes of jade, just
Ripenin’ in the shade, just
Ready for the squeezin’ into green jade wine.
Pure gold corn there,
Blowin’ in the warm air,
Ol’ crow nibblin’ on the amethyst seeds.
In between the diamonds, ol’ man Simon
Crawls about pullin’ out platinum weeds.
Pink pearl berries,
All you can carry,
Put ’em in a bushel and
Haul ’em into town.
Up in the tree there’s
Opal nuts and gold pears–
Hurry quick, grab a stick
And shake some down.
Take a silver tater,
Fresh plump coral melons
Hangin’ in reach.
Ol’ man Simon,
Diggin’ in his diamonds,
Stops and rests and dreams about
I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.
― Tom Waits