Above is the sketch for a smaller painting I will start soon. If you remember, it’s the conclusion to those animal studies from last week.
I guess I never explained why nature has become so important to me lately. Maybe it was partly the stark cold winter and loss of summer that brought it on. I’m sure it’s partly because of all the books I’ve been reading about zen combined with the loss of my Dad. It’s definitely a fascination with the natural world and how it goes on doing it’s thing regardless of how much we humans like to think we can control it. Flowers in particular are their own universe to me. See the first stanza of William Blake’s poem, “To See a World…”:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
I keep these few profound lines at my desk to reflect on often. In flowers, I see the height of beauty. They are the embodiment of sunlight, water and earth. A symbol of the fragility of life. They grow and bloom and wane and shrivel and die as surely as we will someday. They do not boast–but are proud plants. And yet, flowers do not lament or complain their existence away. They just “are” and return to the earth as they are meant to do. They are a reminder that we will all die one day, so we should take advantage of our beauty while we are able. I have taken up the habit of always having flowers at my desk to take care of and enjoy. I even silently thank them for their service when they die. If you think that’s crazy, I also believe I want to live as nobly as a flower!
Flowers are too precious to be thought of as only sentiments from lovers or gifts for sick people. Buy yourself a little bouquet every couple of weeks. A mere $6.00 on a hearty variety can last a good two weeks. Money well spent, I say! And you’ll be surprised on how they affect more than just you if you keep them around at work.
Go forth and buy yourself some flowers! 😉