Love is the power of inclusion. The opposite of fear.

Sometimes it’s helpful to know what things are.

For example, in music, a perfect balance of happy and sad equals hope.

There are some people who see things in terms other than light and dark. Or even in decimal for that matter. They’d rather, for example, see things in sevens, like the days of the week. Or in triads. Or groups of four. Personally, I have a soft spot for seventeens. Which is a Tim Koenigish kind of thing to say. But that’s what I like about Tim. Intellectual obscurity.

Tim wouldn’t get on very well with my boss Sam, even though they’re both gardeners. Sam doesn’t indulge in intellectual arguments. He merely likes to wind people up. It makes him feel better. He’s been at it with me for over a year now. He despises Christians. He thinks I’m an alcoholic. He mistrusts musicians. I’m a dissolute. Any imagined weakness is sought out and relentlessly explored. I can’t complain though, given that I have played along with this game the whole year, endeavouring to keep my end up. But Sam is a master of this sort of carry on. His genius is that he refuses to put one and a half thoughts together. He’s untouchable. Unless, of course, someone were to tell him the truth.

But he knows no one will.

Last Monday I finally cracked. Taking Sam aside the next morning, before we’d driven off for Freyberg Park, I asked if we could slow down with our tit-for-tat verbal sparring. I had started saying things, I told him, that I wasn’t proud of. It’d gone too far. Sam was very quick to come to the party and actually thanked me. He had a sheepish look.

Naturally, I was proud of myself for handling the thing in such a mature way, given that maturity is not my middle name.

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