Monday, June 23, 2008

Gamone plants

In my article of 27 September 2007 entitled Façade at Gamone [display], I spoke about the renovation of the façade of Gamone. Before these operations, I had to sacrifice my rose bushes and the wisteria. And during the work, the earth below the façade was polluted with old mortar dust and sand. Today, I'm happy to find that things are getting back to normal once again.

For the moment, I'm not sure I want the wisteria to invade the entire façade, as it used to do.

Up until now, the flowers were protected from my billy-goat Gavroche by wire netting, which I've just removed. I have no idea how the midget animal will react to the challenge of the flower bed. Stupidly, no doubt, as usual. In case I haven't told you already, my dear billy-goat is, as they say in French, a kind of "casseur" (breaker, vandal), who seems to get high by destroying unexpected vegetation that he doesn't even want to eat. For example, Gavroche hates tomato plants. In fact, I shouldn't use the verb "hate", because I don't believe for an instant that Gavroche behaves with any kind of hatred in his heart. He simply doesn't give a damn.

I think of my billy goat in much the same way that Richard Dawkins talks of Nature in River out of Eden: "Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous—indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose." Gavroche is indeed a more-or-less callous nihilist, on a par with the Roman emperor Caligula described by Albert Camus. But there's a bit of Sisyphus in him, too, in the way he trudges constantly up to the top of the slopes above Gamone, only to wander down here again to the house, a day or so later. To be precise, we should no doubt describe Gavroche as an existentialist goat.

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