I begin to doubt again most of my/our uses of language. This is spoken in the utter irony of putting thoughts down in words, because one questions (or is questioned) about the content behind the forms of a p and q, and this process of moving from what could have been imagined to be an idea, to an expression or representation of such is broken, delayed, placed on the blinks of doubt. To use the phrase “design life” is perhaps too pompous, too contrived, too strategic. But why hold me to such fixities if words are so ambivalent anyway, and why cannot a larger thinking about our forms of organisation be pointed to in the close-up photograph of a bubble of spit on the street or the details of planting which seeds in which places? Are these merely illustrations or the desiring of a wannabe editor? And by “editor” are we referencing forms of control or a just a way of seeing matters of scale? Edward‘s limbo could be a misuse of the word just as design life is, but both are trying to refer to processes that necessarily implicate questions of scale. An end product will always also point to a system and ethics of thought, but an unfinished product does so in a manner that opens up a different degree of spacing or questioning of said system. Or you could follow the route of the fallible everything any-which-how, and no one is responsible. One can simply wallow, like she, in a days’ long vat of pointlessness. We’ve been talking a lot lately about the meaning of “style”, passing through one too many misunderstandings, so “style” may just as well be the passive sister to the silly designation of “design life”, but as F says, it’s a question of accessibility, and either you are intrigued for more or bored to death. CHOOSE, you choose!
Yesterday under the warmest weather yet this year, we began our “front stoop beautification” work, which included first asking FAN laoshi about the best way to go about planting the flower seeds we bought: 柠檬薄荷 lemon balm、鸡冠花 common cockscomb（曲哥的选择，高蓓说很重口味）、小猫草 catnip （给我们小点点的礼物）、鸡蛋花 egg flower、红叶景天 stonecrop、驱蚊草 geranium (mistranslated and mispictured on the package as chamomile—we’ll see what we get). There were also two free packages of 羊角椒 sheep horn pepper seeds with purchase. Included in this undertaking is a consideration of various forms of local expertise in ways that one may not be familiar with, country-kid versus city-kid jokes, plus a tender amount of 凑合 improvising for our flower pot anti-theft system, which failed miserably in the past. “Design life” secret à la Twist: connect several pots together with iron wire that is bound to each pot through the bottom hole, anchored inside the pot with a long screw or half of a chopstick.
Design Technique No. 002: patching old underwear
Logged: 27 March 2012, 13.37; Jiaodaokou Beiertiao 6
Also inspired by the visit earlier in the day to 刘家奶奶 our granny neighbour’s house, an old clove of garlic that someone left on our window ledge a few days ago was spontaneously thumbed into one of the pots. Jam instructs, “不要把土！直接插进去就行。Don’t dig into the soil! Just pushing it in there is enough.” Expertise is hearsay. We’ll see what we get.