mardi 22 septembre 2009

If you didn't see it, you probably weren't

Baby frog recently helped back into the "pond"
clinging to a plant



You know the end to this one, "looking". How many times did your mother tell you that after you came running to her to say your sweater wasn't right on top of your bed, or the orange juice wasn't in the door of the refrigerator like she said it was? And it was. How many times have you told your own children, the man sharing your home (you know what I'm talkin' about, unh-huh), -- or, if you are that man, have you heard-- that very same thing?

The problem is in the question How can I know, though? In other words, maybe I saw them because they appeared between the last time I looked and this time. Or, maybe they really were there the last time, but my eyes didn't see them because I wasn't expecting them. Them being the tiny baby frogs and what appeared to be the absence of tadpoles, but which wasn't true because there are tadpoles. Several of them.

I knew rationally that there had to be tadpoles still because when the first ones I had seen back on June 24 were getting bigger, there was a new batch of tiny little black ones that had hatched.

I thought I couldn't see when they sprout tiny little forelegs, but this isn't true, either, because now that I have seen the tiny baby frogs, I am also seeing the tadpoles with tiny little forelegs and tails. They are even right next to each other.

No one is even hiding. They are right there in front of me, it's just that their behavior has changed, so they are in different places, doing different things.

For example, now that they are little tiny frogs, they like to be on the plants sometimes. Or, they cling to the inside edge of the basin wall, just above the water line. Except that, now that I think about this, that's not really entirely new at all. It's what they did when they were tiny little tadpoles -- with the exception that now they can do it just above the water, rather than having to be in the water --, when they weren't swimming around. I found it surprising that they can do this, and then I remembered what I noticed when I hold one on a finger or my palm: they are sticky.

This has not yet led me to deduce that they can, in fact, climb back up the immensely tall (for them), 40 cm wall and into the "pond".

What they do do less of is swim around, but they are there, just under the edges of the floating aquatic plants. And, if I spend enough time looking, I can see them swim still from here to there. There are merely fewer of them doing it, so they seem to have disappeared.

Lessons in looking. In observing.

They fascinate me, these small creatures. The fish, too. They are alternately cute and beautiful, darting and then gliding about in the water, gathering near me to be sure there isn't food in the offing, and then dispersing again to play among themselves when they have determined that my purpose in being there lies elsewhere.

If I place the tip of my finger on the surface of the water, some will come and nibble it. Just in case it isn't food. It doesn't take them long to figure that it is not.

Fish kisses, as I prefer to think of them.


....


No workers again today. Georges told me Friday that we would have the windows Monday.

"Je ne suis pas contente, Madame Sisyphe," he said, appearing for all the world to be scornful of the window guy. "Il m'a dit aujourd'hui, et les fenêtres ne sont pas prêtes." He shook his head to prove to me that he was dépassé by the attitude of the window guy. "Je lui ai dit, 'Imagine un peu, ils n'ont pas de fenêtres et il commence à faire frais'." Yeah, imagine that. It's Tuesday and we still don't have any workers here installing the windows that were supposedly ready for installation yesterday.

The work is definitely being held hostage again. I find that dishonest. Tactical. Cowardly. I am, in a word, disgusted, dépassée by Georges and his cohort. Joaquim. (I feel friendly toward them when they are here, Georges and José, but when they do this, Georges and Joaquim, I wonder how I can feel as friendly as I do. Taken in again).

Sigh. I'm off to strip the frame of the window in the petit salon. There's so much to do that I feel impossibly small before the task.

Can someone put their eyes on me in a way that makes me bigger? Please?


....
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