A Francis Meilland rose
It would be appropriate to levitate softly after sniffing a Francis Meilland hybrid tea rose. No bold gestures for this subtle bloom please. You get a hint in this photo of the elegant coloration — seemingly a very pale pink, but in close-up rich tones warm up its many curvaceous shadows. Change your angle of view and the rose lushes-up other wombs and shoulders. It reminds me of exhibits San Francisco’s Exploratorium used to have — some of the beauty of this rose is from the reflection of colors, optical perfume.
Prestidigitation. A rose bred to send tones echoing among its surfaces and yet never be those tones. It presents as a simplicity. Yet here are: subtle and profound.
On this same day I stood still in the rose garden and favored my ears. That trick where you toggle a background into the foreground. Songbirds, many and busy, focused in the canopy of vines that roofed a gazebo. Further south from where I live and rich in birdsongs I never hear at home.
The sun was perfectly enclosing as a cloak.
I’ve been struck recently by life’s everyday extremes. Yes, there’s laundry, but down in the foundry of myself are metaphors. The ordinary cracks open and that infernal internal drone opens out into a feeling, an image. A meaning that was never there before.
This is the payoff for owning a rife imagination.
On the same day that I wrote about the rose, commotion began across the street. New owners of that house are having old paint ground off their shingles.
What gets to you are the rhythms — four men, four methods of attack. So one grinder shrieks in one cadence, the next will start and stop at other intervals, and each will bear down in a pattern native to him core. Short-short-short-looooong. Looong-looong-loong-looong-realShort. Exactly like hornets buzzing in a mob, the sound you hear is a summation of their many separate selves.
Giant Asian Hornet via abcnews
On the first day of sanding I willed it begone, but I woke next morning and recalled a news item about Giant Asian Hornets in China that had begun attacking humans. 42 have died. A cloud of them swept into a schoolhouse — four dead, many badly wounded.
On the second day of sanding it ground into my pores. The ear-splitting sounds across the street were hornets, malevolent and better armed than me. When the workers paused for lunch, unknown clenched muscles relaxed in me.
This is the payoff for owning an active imagination, and emotions that throb in tune with it.
Which brings me to a final point. About imagination and creativity and the package I was born with. I suspect many of my readers were born with it too. It’s a taskmaster with a hickory rod — and it’s the elixir that makes life worth living. I’ve kept this quote from John Barth handy for years. I share it with all who Art.
I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I write and I understand.