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the meaning of flowers

There were a couple of roses on our table in the cafe last Thursday, they shined in the candlelight. Here and there around the edge of the North Sea you can find very tiny buds all covered up against the cold wind, don't know how they do it. The icon is from Kiota's series of flower studies, she found these in Idaho. She made a lot of photo art with flowers as subjects, both in Israel and in the US.

Flowers are something that have always impressed me with their colors and beautiful shapes. Also, perhaps mainly because they do not ** do ** anything. They just ARE. They don't take exams, run to catch trains, sign leases, worry about where their next meal or visitor bee is going to come from, how soon will I run out of peanut butter or imported beer, any of that. They open to receive the sun and close at sundown to keep warm for the next sunrise. There are a bunch of wildflowers in the Yard at the VORTEX, my home theatre in Texas, growing right under one of the light towers who do that in the Spring and Summer, attracting lots of bees, who know when the right times are to come visit. It sounds like the flowers are singing but it's really the happiness of the bees.

They communicate. We just had 'Valentijn's Dag' over here too. Lots of people gave and got roses. There are black roses also. They do not communicate love at all, but bad wishes, even hatred. The word 'haat' here, usually meaning sexually hot, is pronounced just as we pronounce 'hate' in English. Very curious. 'Love' in Dutch = LIEFDE, pronounced as we would say 'leaf-duh' and I like to think the leaf is a rose leaf. Red rose leaf. Or maybe red tulips.

What got me all started on flower-horticulture, I dunno --- part of it is the tragedy I'm going to post about next, it happened three weeks before I got here and right across the canal from my window, I met the best friend of the woman who was killed; best friends for like, 35 years, they went to grade school together. Didn't know any of that angle before yesterday. I'm sure there were lots of flowers at ther funeral...

Another part of it is that I am only a short way away from the biggest flower gardens in the world, Dutch tulip beds, hundreds of thousands of tourists come to see hundreds of thousands of flowers in season [which is *definitely* not now!] The Dutch export their flower bulbs all over the world. So you can buy them and plant them in your garden.

So they can look beautiful and encourage you to think of peace and solitude...

Tulips are the big deal, if you speak Turkish you know that 'tulip' is Turkish for 'turban' but I don't, so I just found out by reading it in English lol... Originally it was a wildflower found in Asia. Imported to the Netherlands. In the mid-17th century, Holland went so nuts over tulips that a single bulb of one variety went for ten **years** -worth of a worker's salary, the trick was to buy one and sell it for more. Talk about economic crisis. The market collapsed. Today we are much better off, we have very safe things like General Motors and oil and mortgage banking to invest in. See how far we have come.

So Dutch tulips went back to just being beautiful!

This summer Naatz took me on a tour of the Baha'i terraced gardens in Haifa, Israel, which are the largest terraced gardens in the world... the big features are not so much flowers, but meticulously-tended hedges and trees overlooking the Mediterranean, all with an intensely spiritual background. There are gates and security men / girls checking you for knives and scissors and drugs before you go in. I was very happy Naatz could talk to them in Hebrew and explain who we were. And what we were *not* carrying.

So I like the part about opening to receive the sun. It -does- take a little work on our part, maybe a lot of work for some of us. But it is definitely worth it in the end.

And that last sentence is from Kiota also. She meant it when she wrote it and she means it now.

Flowers are so immediate and joyful and they make thir passages along our days and nights, and always more flowers will come to take their place, in different forms, when they pass along.

We just need to open our petals to see.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
And flowers just stay in one place. Good or bad, sunshine or rain or wind, they stay in their one place, because if you uproot them, unless you re-plant them somewhere else rather quickly, they don't live very long.

Enjoy the breezes of the North Sea and the sun over there. And the rain and winter chill as well. *hugs*
Feb. 16th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
I think the Dutch tulip growers would be surprised to read that flowers stay in one place... since they export them all over het wereld! Also reminds me of dandelion spores which get blown everywhere by the winds and bloom again where the seeds finally fall... something like people? :P
Feb. 18th, 2009 12:11 pm (UTC)
You know, I like that. It's a lovely analogy. And I've always loved dandelion fluff, and blowing it away.

But they do stay in one place eventually. Unless someone cuts them and gives them away. And puts them on a table for Valentine's Day. :)

We could have so much fun with this. :) And wow, I somehow managed not to track this. Good thing I came looking and found your comment!

Edited at 2009-02-18 12:13 pm (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2009 12:11 pm (UTC)
I plan on painting one of Ki's flower photos as soon as I can get myself motivated enough. Part of the speech I was supposed to give last year was also about the photo.
Feb. 21st, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
That's great, Kala. She has an amazing vision, I think that no matter how she dissed her photo art in general, I never saw her work that way [nor did Aperture] and every one of them tells us something about her heart.

So I hope you will share your painting when the time comes, when it blossoms!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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