Saturday Morning

My desert cactus has five spindly branches spread untidily in the pot. Each time I water that cactus I wonder why. I see no progress in how it looks; I water it all the same along with the other potted plants around it. It maintains a nonchalant brownish, greenish, and trace of yellow that appears anemic, as if on the verge of turning brown all over and withering up, if not for my regular water. Once afternoon, I pass it and what catches my eye makes me stop in my tracks and look again at the source of that stimulus. There on the end of one of the five tentacles of the cactus is an enormous flower, yellow with dozens of bristling stamens, and layers inside like a catacomb in miniature. I take photos with my phone, I call everyone from the house to come and see the miracle of a flower where I thought no such thing could occur. Thank goodness I kept watering that cactus after I dismissed it as ugly and unproductive or at least unresponsive to my care of it. The cactus flower proves me wrong. Nothing else in the garden comes near that flower’s majesty. By evening it shrivels and lies limp on the end of the thin branch of cactus. Next morning I give it an extra drink and apologize to it, and encourage my dear, ugly, surprising cactus to keep on doing whatever it does and to ignore me.

—  Fred D’Aguiar, Year of Plagues: A Memoir of 2020 (Harper, August 3, 2021)


Photo: Mike Grant, Desert Bloom, Phoenix, AZ

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Rise!

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Source: Slow Motion Dandelion bloom by octomoosyey (via Newthom)

Death Valley Bloom Explosion

“About once every 10 years, Death Valley is coated in millions of flowers, becoming the valley of life. The conditions have to be just so, in order for the flowers to bloom, including the perfect amount of rain combined with conducive temperatures. About 20 species of wildflowers are currently blooming in the desert, northeast of Los Angeles. Those interested in seeing the super bloom should go sooner rather than later because if temperatures reach above 100 degrees, the flowers will wilt and die. Strong winds can also dry out the flowers, nipping the super bloom in the bud.  If the temperatures stay under 100 and no strong winds come, the flowers will likely stick around until April.

The last time the blooms exploded on the desert floor was in 2005.”


Inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem “To Make a Prairie” (1755):

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.

The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.


Video & quote source: Grindtv

With each step, the wind blows

dress-wind-woman-black-and-white

The mind can go in a thousand directions,
but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.
With each step, the wind blows.
With each step, a flower blooms.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh


Credits: Photography Source – Colombadoro. Poem Source – Thank you Make Believe Boutique

Yes.


James Joyce - Ulysses


 

Interpretation of passage in James Joyce’s Ulysses by shmoop.com:

“…The prose in the last few pages of Ulysses is breathtakingly beautiful. Throughout Bloom’s day, we’ve been forced to see all the banal unattractive parts of life: boredom, hunger, despair, the need to go to the bathroom, broken trust, small-mindedness, unrealizable dreams, apathy, our own insignificance. Joyce gives us a lot of very good reasons to think that life is a pretty tiny and horrible thing. Of course, we read this and we think that our life isn’t going to be like Bloom’s. I mean, he’s one pathetic guy, our life will be infinitely better than Bloom’s. But, truth be told, we have no way of knowing what our life is going to be. It’s quite possible that one day we’ll find ourselves in Bloom’s shoes, in a marriage based more in fondness than in romantic love, in a place where most of our dreams are stretched out behind us rather than laid out in front of us. And for all that, Joyce is telling us: Do not despair. He’s telling us to say yes to life, to swallow it whole, to find happiness wherever we can…”


Quote Source: proustitute.  Image: wallquotes.com.

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