Thinning Beans. A truly miserable process, but if I call myself Gardener in order to explore harmonies and ancestors, and thereby own some kind of identity, I should at least occasionally attempt to deserve the title. Which is why with Beans I have three approaches to "thinning." One is to insist that Beans are not yet ready to be thinned, this way time passes until it becomes too late to thin Beans, with resulting airlessness that brings on a slow and agonizing stem pox, a Bean Beetle haven. The other two approaches to thinning Beans require granting songs from war permission to wander into the back ground so that mood might be set. One of these songs is 'Erika,' and I have found that thinning Beans to 'Erika' can result in pardon of the weaker seedling, and a sort of ferocity toward the strong, because 'Erika' is a somewhat sappy bit of propaganda, which even contains what I suppose is a pun. A yearning for pretty 'Erika' who lives on a moor far from the front line, but who isn't the moorland Heather that's also called 'Erika.' "Her heart full of sweets." And she's crying for her valiant warrior. Indeed 'Erika,' though tempting to oblige her, is too mawkish, too wishful for the hard work of Tyranny, or Kapital, depending on which of your views has a root in eugenics.
The other war song is called 'Panzerlied.' Which is a very good song to
kill by. It's about fearlessness in the face of just about anything from
yellow sand to ice and sub zero temperatures, from deceit to an "honorable iron
grave." And I have begun to use 'Panzerlied' to thin Beans, because one of the
issues when Beans are being thinned is the six inch gap between each seedling in
a well ordered platoon of seedlings. For those of us who are probably
certifiable, the precision of this six inch gap is necessary for calm, and this
means that a ten inch gap between seedlings becomes a source of anxiety, which
can only be overlaid by the sure knowledge that when the Beans are grown to
shaggy adulthood, I'll not notice the gaps in the line, unless I think
very hard about it, and usually it is very hot when picking Beans so thought
process ceases. And of course, culled seedlings as they shrivel are
traditionally called "The Heroes" then slow marched toward the compost pile
along with the Legions 'La Boudin.' "Let us forget, along with other hardships,
Death which forgets us so little." And I tell you, 'The Blood Sausage'
sounds better when chanted in French.