If You Think In Terms Of A Year, Plant A Seed

Wednesday 20 May 2009, by Michael Ryan Wiseman

Ohh, seed money. I only
caught the first part.

I have never understood why people
make such a production about birthdays.
On the face of it they are utterly
meaningless, mere symbols; excuses
to celebrate, intoxicate, evaluate, and—
finally— become disenchanted and
disillusioned with life for one all-too-
short day of a year that, somehow, has
always passed quicker than the last.

All birthdays end the same way: with you
waking-up the next morning writhing in
pain while pleading with a Higher-Power
to whom you now steadfastly subscribe
(a day before you were, paradoxically,
sure of your agnosticism) and begging
desperately for fewer wrinkles and
another chance at everything that you
have decided that you are entitled to
but were, of course, cruelly deprived of
through absolutely no fault of your own.
No? It’s just me then.

Besides the weather, little ever
changes in the time that it takes for the
Earth to spin around. Indeed, besides
the weather, little changes in the time
that it takes for the Earth to spin around
the Sun.

So, as the sun does all of us here at
Alternatives International Journal the
dubious favour of rising for the three-
hundred-and-sixty-sixth time over our
tempestuous universe, why this entirely
unnatural and unnerving sense of

The world, a year later, seems little
better. Economic catastrophe has
joined the ecological one that was
already in progress; olive branches are
few, far between, and in dire demand the
world over; the pigs have finally made
their move (Four Legs Good...) and are
clearly intent on spreading pestilence—
thus far they have been held in check,
but if we insist on keeping thousands
of them under the same roof with lax
sanitation protocol and non-existent
oversight, a barnyard rebellion will be
the least of our concerns.

And yet hope, ever last into the casket,
endures— and will do until the sun
grows cold. Says one, concerned, “The
shadows are creeping in, let us move
over there to where it is still sunny.”
Says the other, “Stop cursing the sun
for sliding across the horizon— climb
the trees that are casting the afore-
lamented shadows. Find me a cloud
and I’ll share your concern.”

If a fire on a beach can lead to the
discovery of glass, if fruit juice left
out in the sun can uncover a form of
intoxicant, if the mould harnessed from
an unwashed Petri dish can go on to
save countless lives, then why couldn’t
we combine forces to create something
never before known— all the ingredients
are there. It requires only the wisdom to
recognize potential.

A heartfelt thanks to all of our inspired
contributors, to our extremely talented—
and patient— graphic designer, to our
tireless and brilliant editorial board, and
to you, Dear Reader, for if an incorrigibly
clever tree falls in the middle of an
inordinately dim forest and nobody is
around to scoff at it, why doesn’t it just
get a haircut and a real job?

Photo: Matt Gibson

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