Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain

I don't know much about Spain. I've never been there. I heard, though, that Spain was once convered with broad, rich grasslands and savannas before we got a taste for angel hair pasta, pistachos on the full shell, and Pinot Grigio. (What the hell do I know? I don't even drink wine, much less know where they grow that kind...)

That's the thing about the description of this place where I live: the plains; the great plains; the big flat. (It don' madder, Professor 'iggins, 'ow she sayz it!) What does that mean? Words derive their meaning not only from their original connotation, but the meaning they inherit from their use. *Goodness me, that's why 'gay as a jaybird' now means something more than your happy little pasttime in ornithology!*

Let's just look at what 'plain' means. Shall we?

1. Would you like chocolate, rocky-road, or mint ice cream, DeAnn? No thanks. I just want plain.

2. Dearie me. She used to have such curly locks, but look at her now! She's so plain-Jane.

3. No, no! Sonny! If you wanna make it flat you gotta use a wood plane! (So, it's a homonym...sue me.)

4. Well, anyone can see that! Of course his hand is falling off. That's rather plain to see, isn't it?

The Great Plains = The Really Big, Boring Place between the two coasts. Sometimes has buffalo in it. A place of obvious little cultural value. After all, here's where we put our nukes!

Looks like this: does! At least it did in the movie 'Fargo'. (May I remind the blogreader that the psychopaths came from MINNESOTA, as most of the film was made there, too.)

'Image' in the collective opinion, of course, does not reflect reality. Which is really okay with me. My hunting, fishing, birdwatching, and my xeriscaped garden are all the better because of this. I wouldn't mind if you visited, though.

Do you know that Bobolinks have a particular dance that they do in the spring of a mixed grass prairie? You don't read that in books. It's sort of a flying, jumping thing.

Do you know of the green flash? It happens almost every night in late June in the Northern Plains at a quarter to eleven at night.

I've never been to the Kanza, but a buddy of mine has. He said the prairie chicken's booming made him laugh and laugh and almost cry for 15 minutes. He wasn't even stoned at the time. (Which is sort of amazing, in itself...)

Tah-Kah-Uh-Kuty was the place where the Sioux "Killed the Deer". There's a hole at the top that is magic. I'm not kidding. It's the same place the Hidatsa called Singer Butte, where the medicine hole opened up for the spotted owl to name creation forth.

Andropogon Gerardii (my namesake) covers Eastern Montana on the cutbanks of the Yellowstone and Missouri. It's a tall grass species. What the hell is it doing there? (And it's not because of global warming...)

There's treasure in that-which-America-will-never-call-treasure. I'm glad...because if it were any better (or at least not so ball-bustin' cold) 'it' wouldn't be. It barely is....


JC said...

Your blog looks really great (you commented on mine w/ the beach pic). It has a great mood about it.

Anonymous said...

Loss of place is something that is happening everywhere, but that does not mean the only places there are, are in rural areas with luncheon diners. There is more to life than 'place' being the outdoors and pretty sunsets.

Anonymous said...

Seeing is considered, if at all, by most people as some kind of biological camera, steroscopic in some cases, that sends continous cool videos when we are not sleeping. Ah...but consider the signals the brain receives are digital, preprocessed signals from the retina that are then interpreted, and then Perceived by the other parts of the brain, correlated with memory, current physical senses of smell, sound, temperature, context, etc. But the most mysterious is the emotiona and feelings arising from this perception. I don't wish to imply a mechanical process...rather a spiritual one!

Anonymous said...

Luncheon diners should be left to their own devices.