Seventeen years ago, I went to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for a three-week session with Marilynne Robinson which was an all-around wonderful experience. She dispensed much wisdom, mostly about reading and writing, but also about life. And this morning, as I looked at the lilies I received from Zippy five days ago, I thought about something Marilynne said during one of our workshops:
People after the age of 23 realize that they’re in the iron fist of gravity and will collect diminishing returns.
At that time, I was 40-years-old and only heard her message on an intellectual level. The thing was, I didn’t feel very far removed from 23 years of age; my returns weren’t yet greatly diminished. After all, every morning I got up and ran fast along the river!
Today I’m feeling more akin to these lilies that, after five days in a vase, broke from their stems in the main bouquet and fell to the countertop. These lilies whose petals are fading and wilting. Lilies in the iron fist of gravity and time.
Flowers still fierce and beautiful in their own way.
The roses are dead
but daisies not quite that blue.
Roses are red
violets are blue
my phone took this photo
and I haven’t a clue.
On a related note, Zippy just abruptly left the house after receiving two small tokens of love plus a handmade card from me. Unless he returns with, say, a tequila-pouring cabana boy or a box full of kittens, I’m thinking maybe it’d be better to let this one slide.
Bouquet from the spouse
They’re beautiful, says Tracy
Cat food, says Loki
Roses are red,
violets are blue.
Guns have more rights
than children do.
It’s that special day again, when children and adults are encouraged to put their heartfelt emotions on public display, whether those feelings are authentic or not.
I appreciated my son’s sentiment years ago when he made and shared this Valentine with his classmates:
But this one from Wildebeest is my all-time favorite:
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL OF YOU! (AND I REALLY AND TRULY MEAN THAT FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!)