Tuesday, June 2, 2009


but what kind of seeds?   This ecologically-spirited bit of graffiti is to be found on one of the pillars holding up Route 18 as it crosses over Route 27, just by the Raritan River (yes, I did walk in from Highland Park, for the second day running).   In the midst of the wasteland of road construction, stenciled onto the base of one of the monstrous faux-castle crenellations that for some inexplicable reason has been deemed to give grandeur to this entry to New Brunswick (which, so far as it knows Castles, is surely only familiar with NJ's home of the mini-burger, White Castle) - to whom is it addressed?  

Perhaps the seeds in question are the grass seeds that accompany - now that we've hit slightly torrid summer - the wording?   Perhaps they are the seeds in - what? - watermelons?  Whole Food's Seedacious loaves? The flowers in our back yards (unless poison ivy)?   And then what do we do with them?   Plant them?   Create mosaics?   Or perhaps the seeds are of a less legal variety? In which case good luck to the saver: I still possess, somewhere, a matchbox containing some seeds given me by a student - and since these didn't grow when I tried germinating them back in 1982, I can't imagine why I think they could work now.   But there again, I suppose I did obey the mantra, and saved them.   For perhaps saving seeds represents hope for the future, the potential promise of green shoots and future flowers.

Or there again - perhaps this is an anti-masturbatory, or anti-coitus interruptus text, an indictment of all those who, like Onan (Genesis 38:9) would spill their seed upon the ground, as opposed to more humanly fecund repositories?   It's hard to know, in such a context, whether the heart is to be read as a Purity movement symbol.   But - despite the decidedly artificial, peppermint-green-food-coloring shade of the color used to mark the pillar - my own vote remains definitely with the ecological: a call for thrift and careful husbandry of all vegetative things.

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