If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

23 May 2006

You never promised me a rose garden

I was always one of those nontraditional gals. Roses were passe', overdone. Men wooing me instead worked their way through a host of "favorite flowers" over my lifetime: daisies, for a while. A 'birds of paradise' and anthurium phase. More recently, blue hydrangeas.

Now don't get me wrong ... I LIKE the rose. In fact, some of my very best friends are rose breeders. (Okay, not really, that just sounds fun to say. But I do KNOW a lot of rose breeders. Really. None quite well enough to have a rose named after me, but I'm workin' on it.)

But today in my yard, I stumbled across what is in my estimation rose perfection, something that just may change my feelings forever about roses. Not pink or red, though I have plenty of those. This one is pure and deep blazing sunset orange - much deeper than it seems here in the first image - with yellow "tender bits" (the very center and undersides of the petals).

They captivated me, completely.

I found myself wholly unable to let them sit in my yard -- that was too far from my eyes and nose. No, I must have them on my desk - sitting just at my left arm, (though a respectable distance from Blu), so the afternoon sunlight can stream through and hit them just-so.

With the fresh rain still clinging to the petals, I gingerly clipped them. And as I did, a poem -- long forgotten, memorized for something (?), came rushing into my head. It is the one poem that I still know all the words to, and I whispered the last stanza - my favorite - softly to the rose bush, in simple appreciation for its existence.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

-- e. e. cummings


Blogger The Mom said...

Ahhh, the beauty, and the power, of the rose. I wish I had seen them in person in your garden. I can only imagine the beauty that they provide to your incrediable enviroment.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Danza Sorellina said...

I can almost smell them from here!

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too love the vibrancy and richness of the 'sunset orange' rose.

How do you remember these poems from the past...I'm having a harder time each day just remembering what I was thinking five minutes ago!!!

MAD PROPS (I just learned this slang from my son) to you for taking a moment to 'stop and smell the roses!' it's extremely good (and healthy)for you to do this every once in awhile.

Virgin Blogger

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truly inpiring posts lately, Viaggiatore. Reminds me to do a lot more living and a lot less worrying. Thanks!

6:36 PM  

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