I recently wrote in a discussion of cyber-surveillance that any veil of anonymity can be pierced for a price, so my anonymity is only commensurate with my unimportance. Unimportance. That got me to thinking about my search for a piece of land in the early 70’s and what that taught me about the value of unimportance. All I could afford was marginal land, land that was ignored or rejected by people with more money. It gave me a new perspective on “the waste land”. As I think T. S. Elliot suggests in his poem of that name, there is often good in what we tend to take for bad and vice versa.
|APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding|
|Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing|
|Memory and desire, stirring|
|Dull roots with spring rain.|
|Winter kept us warm, covering|
|Earth in forgetful snow, feeding|
|A little life with dried tubers.|
The most frequent use of the term “marginal land” that I find is in relation to plant habitats. This or that will grow on marginal land. What one notices about plants that thrive on marginal lands is that most of them are “weeds”. The weeds of humanity are the peasants, paupers, and peons. I suspect that if the meek really do inherit the earth some day, it will be the marginal parts of the earth– the waste land, the junk yards, the garbage dumps, the forests that grew around nuclear plants that melted down…
If the meek inherit the earth, it will probably happen because the rich and powerful have inherited the wind. (Proverbs 11:29, “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”)
Is Paradise hiding behind the palisades of the wealthy, or are those gated communities more likely the gates of hell? I think the real Paradise is hidden in plain sight. Paradise for weeds is the waste land. And that is the value of unimportance.