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Stop Time   Leave a comment

Robert’s watch has always run a bit fast, about five minutes. Lately it’s been expediting, running twelve hours, 24 ahead of where we are in this time zone, Eastern, daylight saving. I pull the stem out and stop its relentless race forward. I set the watch, a Perry Ellis with Roman numerals, black leather strap in a ceramic dish and wait a day until the time and date catch up, meridians matched. We recalibrate. That’s how Robert lived, worried there wasn’t enough time, running too fast, moving too far ahead of himself. So he died too soon, five minutes before midnight.

Blanca is another kind of time clock. The white face of her blooms mark a kind of midnight or noon of her day when meridians line up and the elaborate flowers punctuate a kind of urgency. Procreate. Pollinate. Propagate.

“The creative process is overcoming the doubt,” one young novelist recently said. Robert worked against the clock, rising early before his day job to write chapters of DeKooning’s Bicycle. A year after it was published, he died.  Yet it’s one way he’s still around. His words on the page. His voice still audible.

I’ve not yet seen the fruits of the night-bloomer. Apparently they are edible but take almost a year to ripen! Such a rare fruit must taste very sweet, yet I read they can sometimes taste bitter. All that waiting.  They are said to be reddish or yellow, or even green. Elusive flesh.

Still Blanca keeps trying. Perhaps one day a seed will set,  an “egg” will take within her ovary. And once that fruit begins to swell, she will begin to die. Her work completed.

Posted August 23, 2010 by Canio's in about time, on writing, Uncategorized

Only White   Leave a comment

One of the effects of living with Blanca these several years and of only lately seeing her bloom, is that my visual color preference has simplified.  I find  white flowers mesmerizing. I have developed a devotion to them and hope one day to create a small white garden. Who needs color when white contains them all? Color  seems excessive, over-much, as if the natural harmony of all-colors has tilted out of balance. There are varieties of white, of course.  The deep purity and creamy richness of the gardenia is incomparable. A priest friend recently explained these are “St. Anthony’s flowers” associated with the saint of lost causes, origin unknown. So be it. We lose things in the depths of white, we suffer snow-blindness, and squint in white summer sunshine at noon when it’s just too bright to see. The simplicity of the lily-of-the-valley, Emily Dickinson’s white cotton dress; the extravagance of the Casablanca, even the elegance of an egret in golden-green marsh grass show us white is Everything. I’m fond of an old jasmine vine, its fragrant white whirls the perfect complement to its shiny dark green leaves. A friend gave me seeds of  white campion.  It’s classic contrast of simple white with silvery leaves seems to harken back to antiquity.  The whiteness of our night bloomer is a sheer white, some petals translucent, silken, delicate. One gets lost looking deeply within. One thereby enters eternity. For just  one night.

Posted July 1, 2010 by Canio's in Uncategorized