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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Reading by the Light of Flowers"


I've spent the morning so far, writing about winter.  Which sounds like one of those hokey writing prompts (which is not to say that I think all writing prompts are hokey) - you know, in winter write about a summer day, or, when you're in Hawaii, write about being in Australia, when it's raining, write about snow.  When it's light out, write about the dark of night.  I think the Kafka quotation might be the only writing prompt a person needs:  "A book should serve as the axe for the frozen sea within us."  A lot to live up to perhaps, but there it is.

The light yesterday was splendid.  I'd picked myself a small bouquet of flowers this time from the garden.  Which honestly is not all that splendid, but filled with weeds upon weeds.  I do love it, and it is lovely in its way, but it's not the best yard on the block or anything by far.  I'm not being modest, but I see it for what it is.  Its virtue, for me, is that everything in it was planted by us with some care and a great deal of hope.  

As soon as I took these photographs I sought out once again Coming to Writing by Cixous. And I wish that I'd included paper, or books in the photos, but that I suppose could be for another day.


"Knowing how to see flowers: knowing how to live them.  It was a bouquet of known flowers that shone, on my table, on my books, on the sheets of paper, and suddenly I understood that I was reading by the light of flowers.  I learned that, for a few hours, seen-flowers give out a luster of transparent milk. Moreover, seen-flowers call flowers to be seen, and we feel moved to run through dictionaries, fields, greenhouses; and our friends differently incarnated come to us with outstretched arms (for we have always known that flowers are women, we have all lived one or two flowers). "  

~Helene Cioxus

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