Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plants are not Dasein


Last night we went for a barbecue at Amida's. It was a nice Memorial Day party, with a laid-back group of Anglos, Africans and Latinos. Imagine an exuberant subtropical garden with dashes of reddish lights coming from behind the vegetation. Uttered words linger in Babelian, fused with the beats of late-60's rock music. There is a curated selection of imported beers with vegetarian hamburgers and other tidbits. The main attraction? Ami's garden.

Ami was kind to give us a "mini-tour". Flashlight in hand, he walked us through the winding straights of his garden -more like an urban forest amidst Miami's Little Havana, as it appears from the outside. At each stop of the way he would nimbly lean over and show the given specimen. He'd explain its Latin root and go over provenance, care, growth process, local climate conditions, aesthetic preference, etc. Meanwhile he compared the banal, the exotic and the endangered. You could tell that he knew his plants. Suddenly the garden had become a wonderful, rich-in-detail, reservoir of pure "in-itself" beingness.

What's first, plants or Dasein?