Backyard Potterer’s diary: February

Written and illustrated by: Tiit Kändler
Translation: Liis
 Absolute snow-mum and dark snow-mum. 
February 1st
If we announce that there is no absolute truth, is that then an absolute truth?
All right, there is no absolute truth. But is there an absolute lie?
The Backyard Potterer has realised that he is being accused of lack of tolerance. The thing is, he does not like someone or other bulldozing his soul. And occasionally even says outright that he does not like it. That however means that he is not tolerant. But do you think that the yard is tolerant?
Can the yard be absolutely tolerant? The Potterer believes that an absolutely tolerant yard will quickly become extinct, it will become, if not precisely building site for the Academy of Arts, then at least its underground parking space.
February 2nd
The Potterer reads a science news notice: fruit flies gaze into the sky to keep on course. From that he concludes that the sky is as necessary for the fruit fly as, say, air. Air is necessary for the fruit fly to breathe and to fly. All gases suit for flying, more or less, for breathing however only oxygen. Oxygen is the only thing on this earth that is not generally bought and sold and on which there is no price tag for breathing it. The yard just manages to make ends meet with respect to oxygen. It produces during its lifetime as much oxygen from solar energy and carbon dioxide that it uses up after its death to decompose its plants.
Man produces ever more coffee makers and cars. He sets up more and  more appliances in yards – drink stalls and nice, levelled, grass-free parking spaces. Thus the yard manages to produce ever less oxygen and the only thing that the Potterer can put his trust in is this horrible and monstrous radioactivity. The radioactivity from the ground and from the sky dissects the water molecule and whoops! out hops oxygen!
Aah, cool and nice, lets you have a breath.
February 3rd
Between the Potterer’s room and the yard, at a shadowed post, there is a thermometer. A thermometer is a tool designed to measure the temperature. No temperature is warm or cold enough, pleasant or nasty for the thermometer. But the thermometer, however strange this may seem, has a certain measure of empathy. The Potterer has happened to get a friendly thermometer. When it is horribly cold outdoors, for instance, it shows a few degrees warmer weather. And when it is intolerably hot then again it shows a little bit cooler.
Making user-friendly thermometers like that might be a good business concept, the Potterer thinks and goes to light the sauna stove. And turns the lights on inside.  And the thermometer just goes on measuring, what it measures is up to itself.
February 6th
Not only what is there must be looked for in the yard, but also what is not there. What is not discovered, what is hidden. Well, for the cosmologists there is such a thing as dark matter and even such a thing as dark energy. And those two constitute according to them at least 96 percent of the entire universe. Only imagine – we know only 4 hundredths of the possible world. Yes, and why shouldn’t we assume that we only know four hundredths of our nearest and dearest – not regarding more distant beings. And why shouldn’t we believe that the hidden yard, the dark yard, is even larger than the visible and tangible yard? Estonian ecologists recently had the idea to measure not only biodiversity, that is how many species live in the yard, but also the missing biodiversity. The called it the dark biodiversity.
So our ecologists propose to study what is not, or the vacuum so to say in the assemblages of species. Just as virtual little bits slip out from a vacuum and have been quite really measured, so Meelis Pärtel, Martin Zobel and Robert Szava-Kovats propose to measure virtual species.
Indeed, sounds spectacular – to measure the dark yard, the virtual yard. A particularly fertile idea in February when few plants are in fruit and few animals are at the fruit. Maybe one should rather enjoy the dark yard instead of that bright one visible to the Potterer?
February 7th
The Potterer was given a calendar by his love. A tiny one, with views of Rome. One view for each month. The Potterer likes the calendar. Come January, and there is the Colosseum, come February and there is Piazza Navona. Quite clear, February is so much shorter than January, Colosseum would not fit into it. Foretelling the future is a risky business, but the Potterer attempts anyway and proposes that in May there will be the Spanish Steps. We will see then if the prognosis comes true.
So all is well, only one worry remains. The little calendar has a magnet on its back side. And that means that a corresponding magnetic material has to be found on to which the calendar - thump! - would attach itself. Plainly put – an iron object is needed. But however much the Potterer searches – he does not find a single iron object. In the yard, of course, the spade and rake for instance, but how can you hang a calendar on a rake in winter? Maybe in May, in the time of the Spanish Steps.
It could be in the kitchen too, in the kitchen you recognize the refrigerator by it being the thing that has this number of magnetic buttons on its door and behind these magnetic buttons there is food. This is already taught to pre-kindergarten children. Children are smart these days. Get their cleverness with the refrigerator milk. But the Roman calendar cannot be clipped on the refrigerator door, Einstein’s equations are there already. Einstein had to scram from Germany because of Adolf, but the typewriter in Rome’s Piazza Venezia was built by Benito, known as a friend of Adolf’s.
So the calendar may be tiny but the need great. But in the greatest need help is at hand. The Potterer starts to punch holes in the electricity bills with the hole punch, to preserve them in the binder, for future generations of control – and the calendar hop! sticks to the punch. Iron, the thing is made of iron, the only iron object this side of the yard.
The Potterer punches holes in his bills and sees: Rome, Piazza Navone. People walk around, calmly it seems, happily it seems. No electricity bills. The sun shines, splendid houses cast shadows, the fountain casts water.
No Berlusconi, no Eesti Energia - Estonian Power. A magnetic idyll.




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