Monday, March 3, 2014

in order to break into blossom


by Lisel Mueller

How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness

and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom:

as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lost
and become precious

"It's life that matters, nothing but life - the process of discovering - the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself at all."

- Virginia Woolf

So let's ease into the week with some morning light, which is also precious. It's at this time of the year that it seems I rediscover light all over again. In summer the sun is high and streams into the house. But at this time of the year there is a directness, a more precise reaching in.

The weekend was a slow one. I was feeling rubbish, and the weather was rubbish. (Minus 35c and colder at points with the windchill. Not fit for humans). I only left the house to buy groceries, early Sunday morning.

But there were these moments when the light was pure magic. The consolations of the end of winter.....

It's life that matters, says Woolf, and the process of discovering. And it seems every season, I learn something new about light.

The way it gathers a little after sunrise, at the beginning of March, in a bouquet of grocery store roses. So that the viewer, too, breaks into blossom, sees again that to exist is precious.

And then a little later in the morning, a clearer light. A softer light, gentler.

Here is one thing I've learned about light. It's different every single day. This seems both obvious and impossible. All I know is that if I were asked to recreate any of the photos I've taken, I could come close, but that's all. Light is so fleeting, and the variables, so many. And then our experience of light must necessarily change as we move through time, through light.

It becomes more dear, I experience it more intensely. The mystery of light only intensifies.


  1. Look how much magic can come from grocery store roses and early March light! Beautiful.

  2. The Hebrew poet of Lamentations, in speaking of the "compassions" of creation, of God, says, "they are new every morning." I hadn't thought of light in this context, until you mentioned it. The light you've stilled here, held in these flowers, are compassions. New blessings. Thank you. And I have much love for Lisel Mueller's poetry.


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