Saturday, September 08, 2012

Passion Flower

Biking an alternate route back from the Farmers Market, I passed by a yard sale that caught my eye. I spotted a wire rack that looked perfect for displaying Love's Freeway greeting cards, so I turned around to check it out.  The rack wasn't right, so I carried on.  But having stopped here where I'd never stopped before brought me along a sidewalk I've never walked.  That's how I've missed it all these years:  a passion vine that has been growing, er, with a passion! at least as long (by the looks of its wild sprawl) as I've lived in this neighborhood.  Wow.  I'd never seen (or smelled!) so many of these crazy-exotic flowers, many buzzing with surely drunken bees.  I dashed home for my camera to return to them before the clouds swallowed up the sun for the day.  

I remember a vine of these flowers in Provincetown, on a post-and-rail fence, just around the corner from the Fine Arts Work Center.  I was studying there with Carole Maso at the time.  We were chatting alongside them, in gleaming warm sun.  Her partner Helen happened by so that is Helen.  We made a time for my final conference:  we'd meet on the beach by the Bay in the morning--bring your coffee.  

It was a faceted moment.  It was a little universe, revolving around a rail of flowers.  So it seems to me now, as it returns, of a piece.  But then, this is no easily forgotten flower.  

Who thought of this? I can't help thinking when I see them.  The zig zag of the petals alone:  whose idea was that?  So many other flowers emerge from a tight cocoon and their wrinkles smooth out as they expand.  Not these.  And that's not the half of it.  Their color and striping, the stigmas, the anthers:  suffice it to say, I could look at them forever and marvel at their magnificence.  Or even blind just sniff their sweet elixir, delicious as the fruit that will follow.


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