This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 5/18/13 (Volume 37). I hope you enjoy them too. Feel free to share your favorite quotes, poems or videos in the comments.
This set on “May Flowers” includes a few special treats: Extra music selections, a video of Mary Oliver reading her poem The Sunflowers, and a selection of tulip garden photographs taken by fellow blogger Mariner2Mother who graciously allowed me to share them with you all (Thank you M2M!) You may view more of her spring tulip photos HERE and HERE.
* Edited to add: UPDATE: Last night, May 20th, the body of Nichole Kristine Cable was found just miles from her home. An arrest has been made.
HAVE YOU SEEN NICHOLE? She’s missing and was last seen May 12 in Glenburn, Maine. Please visit MSFowle for more info or to reblog, or simply click on the photo below:
And still I refuse to throw them away
Some of the bulbs never opened quite fully
They might so I’m waiting and staying awake…
I’ll never know if I go to sleep…”
~ “The Flowers” performed by Regina Spektor, available on “Soviet Kitsch” Video HERE (I really love the Russian-esque ending to her song! To get a feel for what a sweetheart Regina is, view this live performance HERE)
“I grew up fast and wild and I never felt right
In a garden so different from me
I just never belonged, I just longed to be gone
So the garden, one day, set me free
Hitched a ride with the wind and since he was my friend
I just let him decide where we’d go
When a flower grows wild, it can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow”
“The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind.”
~ Katherine Mansfield
“These flowers will be rotten in a couple hours. Birds will crap on them. The smoke here will make them stink, and tomorrow a bulldozer will probably run over them, but for right now they are so beautiful.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor
“Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be…”
~ William Wordsworth
“I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals.”
~ Anaïs Nin, The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1920-1923
“Still I can’t get it out of my mind what a discrepancy there is between ideas and living. A permanent dislocation, though we try to cover the two with a bright awning. And it won’t go. Ideas have to be wedded to action; if there is no sex, no vitality in them, there is no action. Ideas cannot exist alone in the vacuum of the mind. Ideas are related to living: liver ideas, kidney ideas, interstitial ideas, etc. If it were only for the sake of an idea Copernicus would have smashed the existent macrocosm and Columbus would have foundered in the Sargasso Sea. The aesthetics of the idea breeds flowerpots and flowerpots you put on the window sill. But if there be no rain or sun of what use putting flowerpots outside the window? ”
~ Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
“All flowers in time bend towards the sun
I know you say that there’s no-one for you
but here is one, here is one… here is one…
one that can never be known
either all drunk with the world at her feet
or sober with no place to go…
it’s ok to be angry
but not to hurt me…”
Jeff Buckley and Elizabeth Fraser, “All Flowers in Time Bend Toward the Sun”, video HERE. (While the duet is wistfully passionate, Jeff also did a heart-wrenching solo version of this song. I debated back and forth which one to share, so I share them both. Which one do you prefer? Solo video HERE.)
“I hated roses. I hated them for being so trite, so clichéd, a default, all-purpose flower that said I love you, I’m sorry, and get well soon. Give me peonies and tulips, orchids or gardenia. Those were flowers with character.”
~ Justina Chen, North of Beautiful
“She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
“Made up my mind to make a new start
Going to California with an aching in my heart.
Someone told me there’s a girl out there
With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair…
To find a queen without a king;
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings.
La la la la…
Side a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin’ to find a woman who’s never, never, never been born.
Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams,
Telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems”
“If I had my life to live over, I would start
bare-footed earlier in the spring and stay
that way later in the fall.
I would play hookey more.
I wouldn’t make such good grades except by
I would ride on more merry-go-rounds.
I’d pick more daisies.”
~ Nadine Stair, 87 (Full poem found HERE)
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
I HAPPENED TO BE STANDING — by Mary Oliver
I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.
While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t pursuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.
From Oliver’s newest collection of poems A Thousand Mornings available via Amazon HERE. (For an interview NPR conducted with Oliver including three new poems, an interview sound recording of the interview with interview transcript, visit HERE.)
The Sunflowers — by Mary Oliver
Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines
creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky
sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy
but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,
the wandering crows.
Don’t be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,
which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life!
hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,
is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come
and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.
Mary Oliver reads her above poem “The Sunflowers” HERE: