Human Flower Project
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Vascular Visionaries Do Georgia
Allen Bush “commences” once more with his gang of indefatigable plantsmen, scouring north Georgia in the funky month of May.
Georg Uebelhart goes vertical, plant hunting
Yunnan, China, 1999
Photo: Dan Hinkley
By Allen Bush
I love graduations that feel like a tent revival: a mixture of triumph and prophecy. I see the light, no more darkness, no more night – and no more college tuition. Hallelujah!
My stepson just graduated with a mathematics degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He’s an algorithm guy. I’m really proud of him. There were close to 400 graduates and each had to do a senior thesis. These papers aren’t cobbled together with consecutive all-nighters; they take more than a year to finish – no cakewalk.
The titles of some fascinated me. Take this anthropology thesis: “Constructing Das Deutsche Wessen through the Native American Other. German Indian Hobbyist Identity Development through the Experience of the Noble Savage and the Pursuit of the Imagined Authentic in American Indian Culture.” I should ask my Jelitto folks, in the German home office, to look at this. Or the history thesis “The Highland Bagpipe: Tradition and Transformation in Scotland, 1600 – 1850.” Reminds me of the joke: What is the definition of the perfect gentleman? Someone who knows how to play the bagpipes and doesn’t. The physics thesis was way over my head: “Accretion Disk Geodesics in Extreme Kerr Geometrics.” One history major’s thesis intrigued me: “The Secret’s Friend: Solitude and Masturbation in American Medical Discourse, 1800 – 1850.” But that was before my time.
And then there was the sociology thesis: “‘But I, Somehow, Someway/Keep Coming Up With Funky-Ass Shit Like Every Single Day!’: Artists’ Collaboration Networks and Success in the Case of Popular Music, 1992 – 2007.” Now, we’re talking! Not the music part, but coming-up with Funky-Ass Shit Like Every Single Day. I get that. It’s the gardening life— one enriched by friendships and collaboration with funky-ass folks who’ve never had a dull day in their lives. I am never disappointed visiting friends’ gardens or making a detour with them for the woods.