When I was working on my Master’s Degree from Antioch, I wrote a paper identifying myself as a “Picara”, the female version of the happy-go-lucky vagabond who goes about living by his wits as in the 18th century picaresque novels of Tom Jones and Moll Flanders. I see myself as a more gentle variation when confronted with obstacles: I go around them, over them or through them achieving my own goals in any way that works (hopefully) without knowingly hurting others. Cleverness, energy and creativity work to the advantage of the picaresque characters. “His motive is neither mastery of the world nor escape from its conditions, but full utilization of his own talents to create a life rivaling the world itself in variety and excellence.” (Joseph W. Meeker, The Comedy of Survival, Los Angeles, 1972, p. 94. Joe Meeker was my degree adviser and an amazing mentor.) My goal now is to be more skillful and a bit more lighthearted in my journey through an adventurous, creative and picaresque life.
I believe in gardens – not the orderly, formal, “don’t touch” varieties, but the ones that have a wild quality about them. I love the tangled profusion and riotous color that comes from a well-planned, but not excessively tended garden. Nature collaborates with Man to create such gardens. It is not wholly man (or woman) made, nor entirely wilderness. It creates a balance of both cultivation and wild where its own growth regulates itself.
A garden is constantly growing and changing. It holds a combination of excitement and surprise, revealing its secrets of earthly delights to an understanding and sympathetic gardener. The garden is an idyllic place, the epitome of peaceful co-existence of many different species of plants and other creatures. My life is like a cottage garden. It is colorful, productive and prolific, and at times unruly, untraditional and at times, uncooperative. However, when it is my turn to blossom, I do so with great enthusiasm.
So, as I venture out once again into “Randi’s Odyssey”, I will do so with a clear head and an open heart, ready for the chaos of colors and challenges along the way. I just have to keep an eye out for the pesticides, GMO’s, weeds, and predators of my life garden who all endeavor to prevent my exuberant blossoming to come.
I hope you will enjoy this blog of my journeys and musings.