Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's all about making odd connections

I almost feel like this needs an idea tree or something to show when things occurred simultaneously.

While de-selecting outdated consumer guides [weeding],

I was reminded that my dad had said (as part of my instruction for pulling weeds from the yard), “A weed is any plant someone doesn’t want growing there.”

Then I thought how weeding items from the shelves (particularly books) is like pulling unwanted flowers.

That made me think I’d like to write an haiku about “filing away unwanted flowers”

I decide that the syllable count is closer to 7 than to 5 on that phrase, so I plan to write around it.

I’m counting the syllables and changing things around, when I try “file.” “File” looks like one syllable, but as I say the word, it seems to me I say it in two syllables-[fye-ul]. I can’t believe that’s right so I look it up in two different dictionaries (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd ed., and American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed). Both indeed claim that “file” is one syllable. (So why does it come out as two when I say it, albeit a very fragile 2nd syllable?)

While I looked down in the dictionaries, I noticed next the word “file’” which is described as “powdered sassafras leaves used to thicken soup, stew, or gumbo.” Ha! You may be aware in the Hank Williams’ song, “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” has the line mentioning “fillet gumbo.” I thought it was a gumbo with fish fillets in it. But no! It was file’ gumbo, which doubtless any of you southern, not to say Louisiana types, already knew.

But now I’ve forgotten how I wanted to arrange my haiku, except that it had the line
Filing unwanted flowers
In the middle.

Still. I think it is an apt metaphor for librarian de-selecting items.

Hmmmmmm. I’ll try this:

Books sent, shelf to bin
Filing unwanted flowers
past lost tomorrow.