“I cannot work under these conditions.” Kids screaming, dog barking, phone ringing. And, worst of all, the flowers on the windowsill are well into their zombie mode.
We all have our little rituals. They tell us that we can relax, nothing bad will happen, world is handled for now. Our imagination can fly free, tangle with the characters on the page, hurt them, delight them, force them to change.
We can write.
One of my rituals are flowers. Fresh flowers by the computer. And since I write on two computers, that means two arrangements: one on the window by the dining room table, the other on the walking desk in the office.
There is something fresh about a few blossoms and leaves, stuck into a simple ikebana arrangement. Nothing fancy, just the three levels. Or just one blossom. The discipline of flower arranging reminds me of other, more martial pursuits. The scent of flowers reminds me that practice makes permanent.
What we do now, we’ll keep doing tomorrow. So I straighten my shoulders and expand them, and breathe. And I write.
In the ripeness of time, the blossoms curl arund the edges and gain a parchment-like quality. Their colors fade. Yet there is beauty in death, in discord. It’s the other side of my Polyanna coin, and so I hold onto those struggling stems and study the veins in the dessicated petals. And I write, and my writing may turn dark at those times.
When I need to boost that energy level and wilted flowers irritate me, I gather them in my hand, together with a pair of shears. Off to the yard we go, off to the compost heap. The wilted blooms of my imagination get recycled yet again and I give them quiet words of thanks. That, too, is part of the flower discipline.
And then, the hunt. What’s blooming next? Azaelas are past their prime. Behold the rhododendrons! The pale pink one with a Japanese name, which I planted many years ago. Profusion of clean cotton candy and joy.
Keep me company. Show me the way of the fresh and the new. Give my writing life. Grant me clarity of mind, so that my characters reflect what we all search for.
And, in the ripeness of time, you too shall be returned to whence you came.