The red-white carnations rest in the pint glass; they look all the more beautiful for being held by something so crude. When first I felt disappointed that my one vase was occupied, I now feel grateful. Against the plainness of the pint glass the flowers can brazenly display themselves from petal to stem without vying for attention.

The conical turquoise vase atop the bookshelf contains a handful of wintry, brown-beige pussy willow. Here the flowers insist on the vase’s beauty; here, in contrast, the flowers hold the vase.

It is so wonderful that there are things in life that step-back and allow other things to flourish and shine. Without ego. Without longing. I have spent too long in my life wishing to be the flower that someone plucks with joy. But right now I long to be something solid and essential; something that requires neither praise nor admiration. I wish not to be the rose but rather the soil in which it is rooted.

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