It was a wasteland she just tolerated seeing. Her neighbor owned it. It once bore rows of plump rice grains, and even lotus. But now, it was dead soil, littered with glass, rock, and ceramic debris. She got to know the neighbor and asked about the old field.
"Do you ever use it anymore?"
"Of course not. It’s a too much of a bother for me, and such a waste. There’s space for two houses, but the area’s not fit for construction."
"Would you mind if I planted some flowers there?"
"I’d be delighted!"
4:30am would do. For an hour, she could work on the soil, before needing to become presentable for a classroom. It was more work than anticipated. Arduous work, turning an old teacher’s hands into hardened farming tools. It was work that took place after leaving the classroom, even on holidays.
Tending the soil itself was a task for many people. Destroying the weeds and sifting out the sharp, unwelcome shrapnel. That process alone took ages. Chemicals and machinery were unbecoming of a small, traditional community.
The first tiny flowers appeared. They were her favorite. Small blossoms in abundance. Like an Obon firework whose climax has been caught in shimmering stasis. Soon, they were accompanied by competing displays of illumination. This merited a few trees to shade the frequent admirers.
Standing-out in this old-fashioned town was nothing new or shameful for her. People saw her working all the time. She told her students. They came to see. The hairdresser brought it up. It was a point of pride, but the project and its progress were enough to sustain her.
When her hairdresser came to see it for the first time, he said,
"You should host a wedding ceremony here. It’d be perfect."
So a year later, they did. Her hairdresser and his coworker got married right in the thick of the garden, with friends and family and their dog enjoying the moment.
The garden grew and matured, hosted many picnics, and the attentions of passersby. She worked just as incessantly as she had at the beginning. It required so much maintenance, but she relished it. Her dreams for the garden, after many years, had truly bloomed.
People began to take pictures. It caught the attention of many people around the country. It was on tv, competing as one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan.
For over two decades, she kept the garden in pristine condition. But it was then that her neighbor passed away. With all of her property now belonging to her surviving family, it was surrendered to her brother. Around the town, he was best known for wearing consternation on his face.
"You’re the one who’s built this garden on my sister’s property?"
"With her gone, you’re going to have to clear this away. Of course, I’d be willing to sell this portion of the property."
"Twenty million yen would do. Then you can do whatever you’d like."
This was far too much for the gardening teacher. Even for her garden, it was impossible.
"In that case, you’ll need to remove all of your things."
And so the day came when she stopped fertilizing and began uprooting the flowers, just has she had done with the weeds, so long ago. The roots ripped and popped and flung black soil. The trees were most reluctant. They were torn and hacked-at and ripped to pieces by she who planted them, with the very muscles hardened and honed by their planting.
Days later, it was nearly in its original state. The brother wasn’t satisfied. The property would still need to be sold.
The teacher sometimes stared at that void. She sometimes tried not to look. She searched for another place to live, another place to tend a garden, but there just wasn’t enough money to buy a new house. Even the disposal of the garden waste had been costly.
"You should sue him for all the money and labor you put into that. You couldn’t lose!"
She didn’t want to get caught-up in all that. It wouldn’t make her feel better, anyway.
In its wasteland state, the land remained for years. Even now, its once-vital soil still bakes in the sun, scattered with usurping weeds, across the street from the ex-gardener’s home. But she doesn’t long for it. If you ask her, she’ll tell you,
"I’m past missing it. It was a dream fulfilled. Now, I see that I’ve got room in my life to pursue other dreams. In all honesty, I’m relieved."
Weblike sheath covering developing egg chambers in a giant grasshopper
Kevin Edwards, Johny Shajahan and Doug Whitman, Illinois State University
The lubber grasshopper, found throughout the southern United States, is frequently used in biology classes to teach students about the respiratory system of insects. Unlike mammals, which have red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, insects have breathing tubes that carry air through their exoskeleton directly to where it’s needed. This image shows the breathing tubes embedded in the weblike sheath cells that cover developing egg chambers.
A day in Munich. The relics housed in Residenz were incredible and horrifying. Necromancy called Christianity. All of them are various parts of human corpses enshrined. The coffin-like one holds the desiccated corpse of an infant.
The guns and swords and pretty girl on the stairs were from a nearby hunting museum.
Mt. Kinkaazan, on the way to Gifu Castle, and stuff. Have some Japanese quotes of Galileo and Shakespeare.
- DC: Wonder Woman is too difficult to find a movie audience for-
- Marvel: YO YOU LIKE BLACK WIDOW? HERE SHE IS IN THE NEXT CAPTAIN AMERICA MOVIE WITH A TON OF SCREENTIME AND MAJOR ASSKICKING SKILLS
- DC: We can't allow the lesbians in Batwoman to get married in the comic, sorry.
- Marvel: HEY GUESS WHAT WE'RE GONNA FEATURE A GAY WEDDING ON THE COVER OF AN X-MEN ISSUE
- DC: The new direction for storytelling needs to be dark, gritty, mature and cynical.
- Marvel: DUDE CHECK IT OUT LOKI GOES SPEED DATING IS THAT NOT THE BEST SHIT EVER
- DC: After years of rumors, the Superman/Batman movie is finally coming, but with a new actor and suit for Batman and MAYBE a cameo from Wonder Woman.
- Marvel: PHASE 2 MOTHERFUCKERS EVERYONE IS IN EVERYONE'S MOVIE AND THERE AIN'T NO STOPPIN US NOW
- DC: We can try to add maybe one or two 'people of color' to our lineup...maybe...
- Marvel: NEW MS MARVEL THAT'S MUSLIM AMERICAN, BITCHES.
- DC: We feel no problem with Batman's vengeful personality being like wet cardboard.
- Marvel: NEW LATINA GHOST RIDER WHO SEEKS VENGEANCE WHILE TAKING HIS SWEET LIL BRO FOR ICE CREAM
- DC: We can't mention any superhero titles in our movies, that's ridiculous.
- Marvel: FUCK YEAH YOU WANT A RACOON VOICED BY BRADLEY COOPER WITH A GIANT GUN? YOU WANT VIN DIESEL PLAYING A TREE? AMY FUCKING POND PLAYING A SEXY BALD SPACE PIRATE? HERE YOU FUCKERS GO
- DC: Our fanbase is mostly white males, I'm sure our focus is-
- Marvel: NEW SHE HULK LINE WHERE SHE GOES TO COURT THEN SAVES NEW YORK
- DC: Wait-
- Marvel: NEW FEMALE THOR
- DC: I didn't-
- Marvel: NEW BLACK CAPTAIN AMERICA
- Marvel: TAKE ALL THIS COOL SHIT MARVEL BE OUTIE
- Marvel: PEACE
Humpback Whale | Megaptera novaeangliae
(by Penti’s Pics)
A beautiful name for this.
Partisan of the “Gardes De La Manche”
- Dated: 1679
- Maker: Jean Bérain
- Place of Origin: France
- Medium: iron, wood, textile
- Techniques: wrought, chased, engraved, gilded
- Creation place : France
- Measurements: height: 2,58 m; width: 0,10 m
The marriage by proxy of Charles II of Spain and Mademoiselle d’Orléans, niece of Louis XIV, was celebrated on 31 August 1679 in Fontainebleau. This was a chance for the King of France to welcome representatives from Europe’s leading figures and sign treaties with Sweden and Denmark, following the Dutch War.
On this occasion, the Gardes de la Manche (King’s guards) were given new partisans, whose decoration expressed the royal ideology and world view of the King of France. The Gardes de la Manche (literally “guards of the sleeve”) were the closest guards to the King, so close they touched his sleeve.
In 1679, they were given new tabards and weapons. The Herculean symbolism, inherited from Henry IV, was replaced in their decorations by the solar symbolism adopted by Louis XIV circa 1662. Indeed, the iron of the partisans represents the world (a globe) above which flies a chariot driven by Mars, the god of war (the King).
This chariot, drawn by four horses, crushes the eagle (the Holy Empire) and the lion (often associated with England but representing Spain in this context). The King is crowned with the victor’s laurels by an allegory of Renown, under the radiant sun surrounded by the motto "NEC PLURIBUS IMPAR".
Jean Bérain (1640-1711) was entrusted with making these weapons. In 1675, he began designing the costumes and decorations for the events - carrousels, funerals as well as parties and operas - held at the Court of France.
Too fucking cool.
I just read that hummingbirds usually only live for one year, but occasionally that cycle is broken and a specimen lives as long as 8 years. Can you imagine being one of the random people that gets to live to the ripe age of 600?
Went to an art exhibition of Japanese ghosts and monsters. Saw these and many others…
There was a “passenger injured by a train” at my station after work. The line was stopped. This express train normally just flies through little ol’ 有松 station. In retrospect, it strikes me as odd that so many people were standing around the front of the train, the culprit, as emergency workers toiled and the front of the train jutted out into the middle of the crossing. There was heated conversation there, with plenty of subject matter at hand, but my coworker, students, and I just enjoyed the weather for a moment and tried to figure out a way to get home. That night, I had a dream that I couldn’t remember. It seemed important.