A trip to the planetarium with my kids tonight was enough to set my mind spinning, as if it isn't already spinning wildly enough on its own axis. The universe. Our galaxy. The solar system. Our planet, the only known planet in our universe to hold life. And so here we are, spinning, alone, but not alone in this blackness. For a moment it made me feel a little lonely. Thank goodness my hellebores have unfurled their beautiful, blushing heads, and that their freckled faces have brought me back down to Earth once again. Such beauty in the ephemeral.
The past two weeks here on planet Earth have taught me two things. Well, more than two, but two that are of any floral significance. First off, for someone who was once (or shall I say has always been) terrified of public speaking I think I've realized the solution. I learned two weeks ago, after speaking for the first time on the subject of flowers, that the ticket to overcoming I'm-gonna-throw-up and then pass out public speaking fear is to speak about what you love. For the first 30 minutes of speaking on design and flowers and finding inspiration, I had clammy hands and a dry mouth, but heading into hour two was thrilling...as I peered around to see women who were actually gaining something positive from my teachings, something I hope that they could in turn use to bring the beauty of their garden flowers into their homes. What a relief! My fear going into this mini workshop was that I'd hear a loud sound resembling a chainsaw from the back of the room. And what I learned coming out on the other side of it, was that this was another venue for me to bring joy to others through flowers. Do one thing each day that scares you. There may be a lush valley of vineyards on the other side of that cold and icy peak. I'm ready to tackle the next scheduled talk in April, and am already devising how I can do a hands on work-shop with more eager petals...I mean pupils.
Public speaking is hard for me, but maybe not quite as difficult as being an artist. It's such a romantic title, right? An artist. Some days I feel like a floundering mini Monet of the florasphere...creating here and there and wanting to quickly compost most of my creations before any other human can catch sight of them. Fortunately, flowers compost themselves eventually, whether you want them to or not. So it's easy to move onto the next floral creation when you're driven to do so either monetarily, physically, emotionally, spiritually, or via the boot of someone else. My driving force typically ends up being a mix of all of the above, none greater than the other. And sometimes the boot comes from without and sometimes it must come from within. That is why I've set up a weekly challenge for myself. The challenge (beginning last Sunday, March 22) is to create a bouquet using materials solely found either in my woods, fields or gardens. And that is all. Sounds easy enough, but last week's blender bouquet looked like a mix of dead leaves, fuzzy buds, and short-stemmed, wild daffodils flexing their petals back. I created this challenge for several reasons, first being to stretch myself as an artist and only use the palette that is on hand. I feel if I can find success in making the unbeautiful beautiful, then maybe I'll be more successful making the beautiful more beautiful. Secondly, I love this whole movement of seasonality with flowers. It just makes sense to pick flowers from your region rather than having them delivered from Japan. Don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE sucker for those Japanese grown spring treats such as sweet pea and ranunculus. But, I'm an even bigger fan of knowing that what I use in my recipes, be it flower, fruit, vegetable, or fowl, has come from my land or at least a surrounding land.
Last week's seasonal bouquet was created with cedar, twirly old honeysuckle vine, spice bush, star magnolia, christmas fern, wild double daffodils, and one white hellebore.
Eta Carinae...may your star burst with brightness!