in a steamer chair, under a manuka tree that grew in the middle of the
front grass patch, linda burnell dreamed the morning away. she did
nothing. she looked up at the dark, close, dry leaves of the manuka, at
the chinks of blue between, and now and again a tiny yellowish flower
dropped on her. pretty--yes, if you held one of those flowers on the palm
of your hand and looked at it closely, it was an exquisite small thing.
Each pale yellow petal shone as if each was the careful work of a loving
hand. the tiny tongue in the centre gave it the shape of a bell. and when
you turned it over the outside was a deep bronze colour. but as soon as
they flowered, they fell and were scattered. you brushed them off your
frock as you talked; the horrid little things got caught in one's hair.
why, then, flower at all? who takes the trouble--or the joy--to make all
these things that are wasted, wasted...it was uncanny.
dazzling white the picotees shone; the golden-eyed marigold glittered; the
nasturtiums wreathed the veranda poles in green and gold flame. if only
one had time to look at these flowers long enough, time to get over the
sense of novelty and strangeness, time to know them! but as soon as one
paused to part the petals, to discover the under-side of the leaf, along
came life and one was swept away. and, lying in her cane chair, linda felt
so light; she felt like a leaf. along came life like a wind and she was
seized and shaken; she had to go. oh dear, would it always be so? was
there no escape?
no one will ever do a better job of creating your future than you -- so why are you modeling your decisions on someone else's? your vision of the future has to come from inside you, organically. you can't tread in someone else's footprints, no matter how deep those footprints might be. so stop looking at what other people are doing -- decide what you want, and then stand firm. pay no attention to what others are doing. you are your own person, with your own destiny.
the third line, divided, shows its subject ashamed of the purpose folded in his breast.
in the fourth line, divided, we see its subject seeking for union with the one beyond himself.
i thought i was in fur it then, mebby, and i felt like some one had whispered to the back of my neck it ought to be scared. and i was scared clean up into my hair. i stared hard, fur i couldn't take my eyes away. then purty soon i seen if it was a ghost it must be a woman ghost.
there was no adorning of them with gold and silver, for they made no use of these for any purpose; they took a middle course between meanness and ostentation.
the law? what claim had she upon it? she was the prisoner of her own choice: she had been her own legislator, and she was the predestined victim of the code she had devised. but this was grotesque, intolerable--a mad mistake, for which she could not be held accountable!