The first blog post: seeds & Ai Weiwei

How exciting, everyone! This is it — the first post. It’s taken me a while to get here. But you know, after I sat through an open mic on a Friday night and witnessed a woman unabashedly singing along off-key to a YouTube video — and everyone applauding her efforts afterwards — I realized writing a few thoughts on the internet shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I had been setting the bar much too high. At least when it came to singing at open mics, I guess.

Either way, I’m here to think some thoughts and write them down and share them with you, mostly regarding Chicago, my hometown, nature, culture, and food — both eating and making. So let’s get started with some thoughts, some cultural thoughts and a quote about seeds.

The seed is a household object but at the same time it is a revolutionary symbol. 

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist who risked his life to criticize the Communist Chinese government, said these words. How simple, and how true. A seed, a sometimes tiny, sometimes large, but often seemingly lifeless thing much like a pebble or a speck of dust, can be easily overlooked, ignored, underestimated. But with a little sun and a sprinkling of water and a small foothold these creatures — dormant and patient  — come to life. Seeds turn into plants that can flourish almost anywhere. Seeds hitch rides on animal fur, the wind, inside birds that poop them out miles away. Think about that — seeds can live through digestion, being encased in shit, and falling from the sky. And I know you’ve seen some sort of unnamed, spiky-leafed plant growing practically upside down and sideways from a crack in a wall. Even coconuts, those fat-headed bowling ball looking things, fall off the tree, roll into the water, float for days or even months, and wash up on foreign lands to grow and begin a new colony.

Once seeds sprout their power is more obvious. Vines climb over buildings. Flowers become fruit that feed nations. Leaves and roots heal ills. Trees can crush cement with their roots. How beautiful and marvelous and terrifying.

But what does that mean for you? For us? If a seed, a tiny, defenseless, dormant and patient seed, can leap tall buildings and crush rocks and survive free falls to earth with just the tiniest encouragement, then what do we need to flourish? When is it time to end our dormancy, to take in the sun and water and to stand on the small foothold waiting nearby, to start the revolution, first within and then who knows?

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