japonisme: why are there flowers?

25 April 2009

why are there flowers?

i was in the large waiting room shared by two teams of doctors and a testing lab, reading in a ten year old issue of natural history magazine an article entitled 'why are there flowers?'; the answer, which the magazine clearly thought would shock its readers, was quite obviously sex.
as it is, perhaps, for us humans as well. is it any wonder that we all, men and women alike, admire being, and/or seeing, the flowers? and when the hormones are flooding, we women often feel it of ourselves too: the lightness of purpose and the dance of life.
but most of us women know, or learn sooner or later, that that's not it; gender falls away in the face of substance. we are all quite more, men and women again alike, than the pursuit of the sum of our parts. (i remember suddenly realizing, at the age of three, that all the songs on the radio were love songs. how absurd! i thought.)
that's why when i come across an image of a woman who is not being portrayed for her loveliness first and foremost, it catches my attention. images of women who are thinking of something, who are complex, who have more knowledge than they are expected to have, sadly, often fall into the categories of dejection or exhaustion. but wait -- is there a glimmer more?
Each cell has a life. There is enough here to please a nation. It is enough that the populace own these goods. Any person, any commonwealth would say of it, “It is good this year that we may plant again and think forward to a harvest. A blight had been forecast and has been cast out.”
Many women are singing together of this: one is in a shoe factory cursing the machine, one is at the aquarium tending a seal, one is dull at the wheel of her Ford, one is at the toll gate collecting, one is tying the cord of a calf in Arizona, one is straddling a cello in Russia,
one is shifting pots on the stove in Egypt, one is painting her bedroom walls moon color, one is dying but remembering a breakfast, one is stretching on her mat in Thailand, one is wiping the ass of her child, one is staring out the window of a train
in the middle of Wyoming and one is anywhere and some are everywhere and all seem to be singing, although some can not sing a note.
Anne Sexton from “In Celebration of My Uterus” from The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981). Copyright © 1981

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Blogger John hopper said...

It would be interesting to know what percentage of the world's historical design work has been based on florals, I expect we would be talking the high 80%s at least.

However, I am intrigued by the thoughtful woman. I wonder why that seems such a rare sight in art? Maybe men didn't think women were capable of deep thought, which is odd really, as there are many men out there who've rarely had a thought, let alone a deep one!

29 April, 2009 15:59  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

interesting leaps and thoughts, john. check moda for percentages--or a wallpaper or textile book. i'm sure you're right, though.

well, on top of that, for women, intelligence has always been "uncool"; it was on top of all the other reasons to keep us uneducated, the thought that nobody would want a smart girl. so we colluded with the myths about our own lives.

29 April, 2009 17:35  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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