“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy all the time to have such things about us.” Iris Murdoch
These roses on my coffee table are several days old. Sumptuous and velvety, they have yet to come into their prime. They smell sweet but in three days the odor will be more pungent. Mustier, more of an acquired taste perhaps, of something good turning to bad. Like an artisanal developed perfume as opposed to a mass market scent. Until they are without odor at all.
Elsewhere in my apartment there are examples more beautiful to look at. This one is from a past Valentine’s Day and an old boyfriend whose bloom faded much sooner. The boyfriend’s, that is.
In the bedroom, these ones are wilting to perfection. Their petals are crepey like granny’s skin, their tips are curling and age spotted. Stiff wing-like outer layers make noise like tissue paper while those at the core are still soft, fragile in a different way. The outer petals will snap off and disintegrate into dust motes. All of stooped posture, unable to raise their heads.
“Deep within their roots, all flowers keep the light.” Theodore Roethke.
Know that if you give me flowers I will cherish them for a long time. The leaves in my kitchen echo the ones that are falling from the trees outside. But they have been here for many seasons and will stay until I move out. They will not, however, withstand transplantation.
“The fact that flowers don’t last forever makes them beautiful.” Damien Hirst.
This one’s head is always turned to the bookshelf. A literary rose. But he does double duty as security guard of my I ❤ NY piggy bank.
“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” Georgia O’Keefe.
But some, unfortunately, I have to turn away. There are no more available plots in the flower cemetery.
But those whose physical stay has been fleeting remain with me for posterity. In their gorgeous decrepitude they resemble chiffon dresses, pulpy fruit, Gaudi towers, fleshy human limbs. In photographs they retain all their diminished splendor. And on my blog now too.
My novel is now available. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.