Becoming Plant-like

February 13, 2013

Emerging bulbs

Emerging bulbs

Daring to open to the light

Daring to open to the light

“To be a good human is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame.  That says something very important about the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertainty, and on a willingness to be exposed.  It’s based on being more like a plant than a jewel:  something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.”
— Martha Nussbaum, quoted by Oliver Burkman in The Antidote:  Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking

I just read Oliver Burkman’s The Antidote:  Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.  One of his key premises is that if we can only learn to live with and embrace uncertainty, we will be able to live happier lives.  The discomfort caused by uncertainty too often motivates us to cling too tightly to goals (and their implied certainty) and to make decisions simply to have things settled instead of waiting for what’s right or best for us (illusion of control).  I think there is something to this idea.

“Uncertainty is where things happen.”
— Erich Fromm




Mystery Plant

February 22, 2012

While I was out and about looking for early crocuses, I came across this dense patch of blooming bulbs (or possibly corms).  The petals resemble irises, but the plants were dwarfs, no taller than crocuses.  I can’t recall seeing them before.  But they are very pretty!

Do you know what they are called?

Dense, early blooms

Tightly wrapped bulbs and freshly opened flowers in the same bed

The colors of Spring

Ground-level view

Restored by Green

February 8, 2011

“A single green sprouting thing
would restore me . . .”
     — Jane Kenyon, “February: Thinking of Flowers”

Early primroses and bulbs

Maybe we’ll have April in February again this year.  I am starting to see green shoots from the early bulbs already.  Can Spring be far behind?


April 10, 2010

Bulb book by Anna Pavord

Enjoying the images in Anna Pavord's Bulb book

The book Bulb by Anna Pavord is a visual feast of flower photographs.  Although I already have taken many photographs of flowers, I am still captivated by them and seduced into capturing their images over and over again.  And when I see books published with beautiful photos, I am inspired to keep trying to use my eyes to frame them in a new way.  It’s difficult.

Pink tulip

Detail, pink tulip with a hint of orange

Tulip, Volunteer Park Conservatory

Purple flame, detail of tulip