about bliss

Thursday, May 07, 2009

daily bliss: blossoming

“Wow--you’re a builder?” Lily said with admiration.
“So to speak,” Sam said quietly, trying to hide his excitement at doing a real building project, however small. Building things out of wood, with his own hands and carefully selected and cared for tools, was Sam’s untapped passion.

Ugh. BAD.

In my defense, I wrote this cliched dialog and character info in 2003.

In my defense, I've written much better scenes, which I'll share with you another day.

I'm now trying to decide if I can salvage anything from this 213 page silly story, Surprise Developments, and craft a compelling manuscript. Will this long and rambling seed of a story blossom into something real and good? Only time--and many hours collaging, drafting, and revising--will tell.

Back on St. Patrick's day I wrote about my geranium, which was sending up spindly branches, reaching for the weak sunlight of those late winter days.

As the one spot of growing green inside my house (the lucky bamboo is fairly static these days), the geranium has captured my attention. Every day I check to see if it needs water, if it needs to be turned around for more even exposure to the sun. Such careful tending and constant affection have resulted in a plant that has filled out and is beginning to blossom indoors.

It's about time to start hardening the plant off, setting it outside during the warm, sun-drenched days, and bringing it inside during the frost-flirting nights, but somehow I can't send it outdoors before the first flowers come into bloom.

And so each morning I check the buds, and each morning they're one step closer to full flowering. This is not a task for the impatient. My geranium, perhaps feeling comfortable and safe inside (yes, I realize I'm anthropomorphizing), is in no hurry to bloom. Perhaps it will flourish even more when set outside. There's a certain risk at this liminal stage, nicely expressed by obsessive diarist and fascinating writer Anaïs Nin:


And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.

It's kind of like writing. And kind of like life.

As cliche as it is to wax poetic about the magical transformation of Spring, every year I'm struck with wonder once again: the dull, barren landscape slowly wakes up, shakes off survival mode, and thrives with a steady diet of sun and rain. We--plants, humans and other animals--take those risks to blossom out of our comfortable, winter-worn interiority into something more beautiful and whole.


  1. That flower clearly wants to bloom. All of your care will be rewarded! I hope your joy in this plant continues once it leaves the nest. And boy do I wish you were here to tend a few of mine...

  2. i'm usually not this patient with plants, but this one might change me forever:)