I write you from Joshua Tree. There’s 8million stars splattered across the sky, and the quiet is dense enough to make sound. I was last here three years ago to The-Day. Time loops similar to this have caught me up enough times this year to scratch them down on a tally sheet.
With them, the memories. Scent sound vision patterns repetition; in large scale and small, physical and spiritual. For as blatant and plain-spoken as they often are, they leave me in a heap of bewilderment. Again?! Gotta look at this stuff - AGAIN? Didn’t we just do this last month/year/quarter life crisis? “We” the preferred pronoun for what’s grooving in the Physical Plane and the wild entity that’ll travel on long, long after I shuck this earthbound outfit.
It’s impossible to not be deeply curious about the whole cycle, and our multi-dimensional place in it, when you’re in this particular line of work. As a florist, nearly every day I yelp with glee over the re-emergence of something. The peony shrub is budding! Unicorn anemones are back at Blue Heron! The trembling delicacy of the desert bloom - I stare at their tiny faces so fiercely it makes my eyes water..
And every day, I watch it all die. Crushing the slug from the peony shrub. Toss the faded anemones into the bin. I drag out the compost and feel relief that the studio is reset.
Flowers as a medium are one that, after some time, you discard what you made and begin again. They demarcate a moment, a fleeting experience, a tie to the temporal. People enjoy looking at flowers because it helps them remember the past, and are a soft finger-brush on the concept of our own, inevitable, mortality.
Joshua Trees do not bloom every year, but when they do it is universal, synchronized, mystical. Makes me think of the synapses of the brain, and the larger concept of the mycelial network we are all connected to. That is a whole other post, brother.
Next March 30th I’ll remember these, where I stood, who I was.
I’ve had an on-going conversation about the identification of nostalgia - particularly when it applies to the American South. I’m closing in on a decade in the West, yet I continue to identify as a southerner - why? There’s much shadow that holds the notion of a place against hot, muddy ground under a high noon sun. But there is also mystery there, a whisper from the unseen, a giving over to what Nature aims to take back. It’s good to remember.
I’m back in ol’ Virginny first week of May. It’s when the bearded iris are blooming in my father’s garden. My mother turns 65. The Derby runs, and I suppose I’ll have a bourbon. May 4th I’m teaching a class in Richmond, aim to fill the whole of Dear Neighbor up to the brim with local blooms, and listen to all the long-vowel sounds of my students under the Taurus new moon. If you’re in the area, you should come. Not often do I just share flowers for the fun of it - I mean, you’re reading this…shellacked with diatribes on transformation, inner knowing, knocking on the door of the basement-level of your key soul, (ready for a nap yet). Who cares about all that today? Let’s just drink rosé, smile at each other and make something pretty for a time.