Thursday, February 4, 2016

Saying nice things clears your mind and makes it nicer for everyone.

This is an excerpt from my novel of Sri Lanka, "The Longest Tweet."


Saying nice things clears your mind

Yes. Right. Saying nice things clears your mind and makes it nicer for everyone. Everybody likes nice. Everybody likes smile. Responds to smile. Is smile a way to truth? I don't know. Truth is as small as a grain of rice. Maybe as small as a grain of sand. Maybe as small as a molecule? A molecule of what? Agar wood oil? Water?

You needed strength to eat this much. A constitution of iron. An iron constitution. Iron jaw muscles. Iron muscles. Iron stomach. So much onion. You had to eat your way to the truth. Is the truth information? You can disseminate the truth like you disseminate agar wood smoke in front of your Buddha shrine. Some people in the cinnamon village have the real thing. Grow their own agar wood. Other people. Maybe? Use fake. Eat your way to the truth. How? Might one of those ten lakh of rice grains in front of you at the table (if you are Batapola) or on the mat on the floor (if you are in Kattankudy) be the real thing? Be real. That's not the rice grain of truth any more than it's the bluebird of happiness. But sometimes if you shovel in that rice too fast and too hard a grain may fly up your nose. Get serious please. You've said nice things. You've smiled. You've told a little story about the bluebird of rice grains flying up your nose. What you contribute here. What you submit here. May not be tweetable. So get crackin' with the real deal. 

Science. Disseminate information. Semen contains information. Lots of it. Is that related to dissemination? Sowing the seeds? So a rice grain may also be information-packed. If you eat your way to the right one, as if there were some single right one. In nature there are sperm that have to eat their way to the egg. Sperm meets egg is a one time deal. The real deal, as they say. The money shot. They have to worm their way to the egg. They eat and worm through the nutritious material of the archegonium. Is that still the phrase? Lotta water under the bridge since those botany lessons. Pine sperm do it. Spruce sperm do it. If you're in the tropics I think cycad sperm do it. Can someone do a fact check for me on that? Wikipedia! But you can't find the facts of Matale there. Just saying. So. Sperm meets egg, information is exchanged. Nice model.

Fungal cells also worm their way through a nutritious matrix though not necessarily to "mate." Can fungi "mate?" There aren't male and female, female or male. So let's say for conversation's sake they are gender-free which is a very provocative way of putting things. At least it was that way when the visitor studied botany those many many years ago. Fungi do it (worm their way through, work their way through) by exuding enzymes that break down the wood or sawdust or cellulose or soil or jet fuel, whatever they find themselves in. The small molecules that ensue are absorbed by the fungus and provide nutrition. Lecture almost over? Not yet.

Part three. Worming their way through is also a practice of worms. Long tubes of bacteria. They ingest the soil or whatever and the bacteria in their gut break it down and they excrete a bacteria-rich, could say information-rich excreta. Garbage in. Information-rich excreta out. Then they eat that stuff again. Gross. But.  That's just biology. Worms don't search for truth, fungi don't search for truth, gymnosperm sperm don't search for truth. Humans digest somewhere between the way fungi and worms do it. Do we search for the truth? Rather not, thank you. Truth is such a human construct. 

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