9.02.2011

WHAT IS SLOW LOVE? ONE FLOWER AT A TIME


How often do we really look at the single blossom that, mingled with many, brushes that swatch of color across the garden, or imbues the air with a heady fragrance that greets us when we come home?  We appreciate the whole. Time to gaze at the individual blossom, or even the petals, strewn on the ground, nestled against the bride's veil. May her path be ever so beautiful...

The florescence of throats, the fuzzy saffron pads of pollen on the lily... the way the evening sun makes the thorns of the rose glow. (Rosa sericea f. pteracantha.) Do we stop to appreciate how hard the flowers work--how much they give us? Quick now, before summer ends...pay attention to the flowers!

I placed a wide bowl of water on the table; it was much too large to fill with lilies. But that made me look at the water, and think how that, too, was beautiful. We let the water run from taps, we gulp it down, we bathe in it. But how often do we stop to look at water--in a humble glass, or a dish, not a dramatic lake or an ocean--and see it for the everyday thing of necessary beauty it is?


One day I laid out bowls of flowers on the table. No one sitting there, at their computer screens, looked up to see them, much less thank me. I was disappointed.


And then I thought, why does this upset me so? Did I put the flowers there so that I could be thanked? Or did I put them there as an offering, come what may?

One way of putting the flowers on the table is pure, and open, and simply alive, free of judgement and expectation and free of that tension that comes of wanting to please, and be noticed. That way is all about the flower.

10 comments:

CLAUDIA said...

Thanks so much for these beautiful words. To me, slow love means living deeply with open eyes, rather than blindly skittering across the surface of life. It means slowing down enough (or better yet, even stopping) so that you can let life in... feel it, taste it, savor it.

I appreciate your daily reminders to live with slow love!

Claudia

Anonymous said...

And it also works with "one leaf at a time." I've just finished up a summerlong slow-love-leaf project of gathering leaves on my neighborhood walks, pressing them under heavy books til dry, mounting and framing them. They're now hung wall-to-wall in the dining room, 24 in all. A friend came by and made the comment "I just wish I had that kind of patience." I tried to counter that the project had nothing to do with patience, rather it had to do with reverence, with the process of slow discovery, awe, utter joy in each of the thousands of steps. I'm not sure I conveyed in words the power behind what I received from the project, which of course is what you're laboring to convey to us, how do you put it into words....

-Flo

Dominique said...

Wow, Flo, wish we could see a picture of this. I remember pressing leaves when I was a child, it was so much fun, and the results were so beautiful, to me.

Around here it looks like late November, leaves fallen from trees, all brown and curled with salt spray from Irene....

Deborah A said...

Yes, I too fill bowls or vases shaped like lrg bowls with colored stones or glass and some seashells, at the bottom then filling them with water, even putting them outside in the garden so the sunlight hits them.
I started this first, with gold fish or betta fish, then skipped over too just water...still very pretty to look at.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, Flo, wish we could see a picture of this."

I have a few. Where shall I e-send?

"Around here it looks like late November, leaves fallen from trees, all brown and curled..."

That's when I usually bring them inside, and pin them directly to the sheetrock walls!

Thinking back how difficult it was to comprehend whichever professor was lecturing on the Emerson/Thoreau writings on Transcendentalism at the time, I now [finally!] get it firsthand because this leaf project has caused me to actually live the moment of intuitive, emotional connection w/ nature. Indeed, I think perhaps the T. movement might have been an earlier version of Slow Love?

Dona M said...

Please keep going as strong as ever, you have a powerful voice of a gentle warrior!

Judith Ross said...

Oh, yes, I can definitely visualize the scene you describe with the flowers. That is why I came to the conclusion you did, long ago.

I am doing it to please my own need for beauty -- and to enjoy the flowers as well.

profA said...

thank you, Flo.
Of course, flowers are working so hard to attract pollinators so that they can reproduce. Such an arduous and worthy struggle. Sometimes they seem so desperate...like those dahlias at summer's end and asters, who produce so many dainty blooms with yellow polliniferous (my word) centers. The bees love them so.
This was a beautiful post, Dominique, with many lovely responses. Thank you

Peony said...

Dominique, Forgive me, please...I used your magnificent lily photo as my screen saver for several weeks--and never thanked you...it made me so aware and contented to be greeted by that simple, crisp, yet lush image when I turned on my computer each day. I feel badly that I did not express that to you before reading today's post.

jayneonweedstreet said...

I've had the same experience with bringing flowers to work, and came to the conclusion that the person who would enjoy them the most, would be me! Lacking comments from my co-workers shouldnt dampen the spirit of sharing and who knows maybe they enjoy them in some deep place that isnt expressed - maybe!