Gardens in Bomb Casings

The picture in my blog header right now is of a bomb casing which is being used as an herb garden. I took the photo in Laos in 2003. It is interesting to me on a couple of levels. First, the people that put it there were my countrymen. They dropped millions of tons of ordnance on this tiny country, and we weren’t even at war with them. Just had too much too carry, in some cases and wanted to try new things in others. It’s embarrassing, still, forty some years later. Does “embarrassing” trivialize it? I don’t know. Probably. Shameful is a better word, I think.

But the other part of this commentary is my admiration for the recipients of the bombs. They are extremely resourceful people, due in large part, I imagine, to their extreme poverty. I was entranced by the things they make of bamboo, the complex textiles they weave on looms built under little bamboo houses built on stilts. They do far more with far less than I can even imagine having. And use bomb casings for gardens. Of course.

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