Our Garden is an Opera


The way out for discontented souls, is to settle in a beautiful garden. The sustenance that greenery gives, is at times preferable to other contacts. Respite from turmoil and Executive Committee Meeting trauma, needs again to be sought. Emanuel Kant knew that. “We have to be the active originator of experience rather than just a passive recipient of perception.”

Temporary relief might be given by a good discourse with dogs and in some cases even cats. But a good garden is for most cases the only way to regain composure and the soul becalmed. Some peace has returned in our living compound and Body Corporate front. No more thefts but we did notice the instigator of all the turmoil, the Chairperson, talking to the gardener. She was waving her arms about, perhaps in support of more residential parking embargos. Who knows and is it important compared with the beauty of our flowering Clivias?


A lovely silence since. The little sparrows are twittering about in anticipation of some breadcrumbs. The local Council has put posters up on telegraph poles warning people of diving magpie birds. Some children are wearing helmets with large angry faces painted on the back of them. Some adults look angry enough and don’t need helmets. Many also swing branches about or umbrellas. Life is not dull if you know and are perceptive to the things that might go around you.

This is why an outing to shops can just be as exciting as going to the opera. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve shopping or buying things. Nor does going to the opera needs music to be heard in exclusion to other sensational things. In my case, it is my hearing impairment, whereby I have to improvise and make sense of whatever else is going on. This sense at times might have to move away from the auditory factor. In fact, with imagination and some deft improvisation one could say, all around us is opera. Opera is a dramatic work in which music plays some role but not all. Thinking of some of Gustave Mahler’s music I am right now hearing his famous Adagietto from Symphony no.5 and it sounds as beautiful as when I had my full hearing.

That is not to say, hearing the music played live would not be even better, especially with a nicely dressed audience within the splendour of the Wiener Staatsoper.

Of course, if we accept that opera is al around us, including even, or perhaps especially at Aldi, one really needs to ramp up a willingness to let wonderful experiences be absorbed, wash over us, and take on board that even the little things can grow into big things. Last week, I think it was Friday, we were patiently waiting for the conveyer belt to bring our goods to the cashier who was seated on the special ergonomically designed seat. All cashiers at Aldi are seated on those chairs. (Please note that the personal at Woollies and Coles stand up all day behind the cash register.)

When it came to my turn, the previous shopper presented me with a mauve coloured walking stick. ‘Is this yours’, he asked? ‘No, not mine,’ I replied. It was one of those walking aids that had a four pronged foot at the end of it. I suppose it gives greater balance and security to those not so confidently fleet footed!

Now, what the drama or opera of this story is that it begs understanding and a great deal of musings, on how someone in need of this special walking aid could leave the shop, continue his/her normal live ( the mauve colour might indicate a female, but ….?) and be unaware he/she lost a vital piece of medical equipment. Did his disability miraculously got cured after paying the cashier? Did he /she walk out risen from the near lame? A more cynical person might well surmise it could be a case of someone claiming an invalid parking license, giving it convenient parking spot permits near shops.

Now, this story goes a full turn. The Chairperson, responsible for the mayhem about non problem parking issues is pretty good footed, but…I did notice she has now a disability sticker on her car.

Who knows?


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18 Responses to “Our Garden is an Opera”

  1. lifecameos Says:

    1enjoy your peace while it lasts. I hope it does for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yvonne Says:

    That reminds me of a relative by marriage who thought nothing of parking in a handicapped or parent’s parking spot. I cringe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres Says:

    Your tale of your experience at Aldi does pique my curiosity. On the other hand, I have two friends who use canes from time to time. One is forever losing hers, and having to sit down and think over where it might be. The other seems to have it surgically attached somehow, and never has left it. Both keep the canes around “just in case,” so that might explain a tendency to misplace one.

    I appreciated that line from Kant: “We have to be the active originator of experience rather than just a passive recipient of perception.” When I considered PokemonGo through that filter, the reason for my discomfort with it became clear.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It is interesting that the word cane is used in the US yet here in Australia it is stick. I tend to lose my hearing aids and I wish there was some kind of electronic device that could pin point where it I left them last.

      My Grandson has run out of Data and tries to charm me in buying another thirty days of recharge on his iPhone. I have to remain firm and tell him the thirty days are yet to run out before his next recharge is due. He said: ‘Thank you Opa, for listening to me.’

      I have heard about Pokémon and people getting run over by large Diesel fuelled trucks and houses burn down because of this game.


  4. Patti Küche Says:

    A garden of many delights!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    What an original idea Gerard: to think of all the noise and traffic as “opera”. Hereafter when I become annoyed with all the pushing and shoving in Costco, I will wait for the Fat Lady to Sing.
    I have spent many lost hours searching for my cane. It’s usually hiding in plain sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      ‘Hiding in plain sight’ is easier said by others than the person who has lost something. My life is spent looking around for what is right there. It gets worse. I crankily blame Helvi for hiding it and this is cause for great marital whiplash and fighting.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    The clivia is lovely, but where is the opera excerpt?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Big M Says:

    Yes, Gerard, there is nothing like a garden, or even a short walk in the bush, to settle the soul. We find it reenergising walking home through the bush, and finding our own little garden at the end of the walk. Always a bonus to see some native birds, or even the odd echidna,or kangaroo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      A large black crow must have been busy trying to steal Milo’s chicken wing outside near the front door. I was upstairs typing away. he kept jumping up against me. I let him out and he bolted towards this crow. How did Milo know his food was being stolen while inside. Amazing.
      He hates black crows, fully justified I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        I agree, they are pretty clever and ruthless, those black birds. Plus they have the most repulsive ‘birdsong’ of any species. Non-operatic!

        Liked by 1 person

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