It is with sex, as with money, or time, or choices, or influences, or friends, or zucchini: in surplus they become meaningless and while they are best left somewhat untamed and unregulated, still it is our nature to attempt to control every aspect of each of them. There is no real difference between enough and too much, because not enough is too scary to even consider.  That reality is surely what drives us to attempt to control scarcity and achieve surplus.  But don’t we forget the surplus causes distress too, sometimes to a nearly equal degree as the scarcity?

The melons, squash, okra, that were left to the fates while I perused intellectual interests in London are still haunting me.  Surplus is considered a success.  But why?  It comes with just as much baggage to handle.  In your career surplus money always leads to scarcity in time.   In the home my fridges are so stuffed that each mealtime requires an elaborate unloading of frozen packages to the counter to get to the desired item, always in the back. Every table, counter top, chair, or other viable surfaces are covered with melons and squash and okra and a half dozen culinary herbs, so that surrounding me at every moment is the visual image of my success, and then the nagging reminder that this all must be processed.   Melons, once adored, are threatening to give me a gag reflex on sight.

Success is over-rated, just like money, and most work actually.  I take double notice now of all those around me not only driven, but damn near obsessed with success.  I’m not trying to say there is not a certain joy in good work, yes even hard work, but who is to say what is good, and what is hard, and for that matter, how much of it we must do to claim we have achieved something?  Where others often see success, I am apt to call it ego.  Goal-setting, schedule keeping, personal growth, it’s a veritable carnival of over-achievers out there.  I feel I need to remind them all, and myself while I’m at it, that there really is no achievement in surplus.  The achievement should be rated not by the façade of success, but by how many others are able to appreciate and grow in that success with you.  And looking around my kitchen I see I have sorely failed somewhere along the season.

Do I control the surplus? What about the scarcity?  When the work, people, zucchini are in abundance we are stressed, but when they are rationed we are downright scared, bewildered, dismayed even.  Well, o.k., not for the zucchini.

Enough is enough!  I do not want to choose between the city or the country, intellectual pursuits or physical labor, kids or quiet, time or money.  I don’t even want to choose surplus or scarcity, because they both pretty much suck!   I do not have the nature to choose.  I am American after all; I should not have to choose.  I want the best of both worlds, I mean, all worlds.  I want connection with the natural world and connection with the man-made world and I do not understand why the status quo is continually insisting CHOOSE!

Why?  Why choose?  Why must I choose between two worlds that fit so logically together.  The city is inspiring.  It is a tribute to man’s illusion of control.  Function is paramount.  Control appears achievable.   Achievement rules.  But nature is true reality.  There is no ego.  There is NO control.  ALL control is illusion.  And achievement is far more relative, and personal.  Because, simple as it is, if nothing else fails, there is still the weather.

Weather is the environmental equivalent of emotion.  Feelings.   Both we are trained not to trust and have little skill in predicting.   But I am convinced they both have a far deeper logic in them than we realize.  In the modern world we believe logic can rule nature, but that’s like believing man has triumphed over weather, or emotion.  There are still tomatoes growing out of the gutter, but the book about the complexities of growing tomatoes costs $12, and the course will run you $250.  Is it even necessary to have so many books about growing tomatoes when so few people actually do it?  Man plays his achievement-driven game, but nature doesn’t play along.   She really couldn’t care less about all our big plans.

When there is a surplus of choice, I hate choice.  When there is a scarcity of it, well, what on earth is worse?  So it goes on and on, everyone’s afraid of scarcity, but surplus is no picnic either.