The gardenias bloomed again.
We have four in the backyard. H. and I picked them out during the beginning of summer when we were settling in and making this house our home. They were lush and green and the blooms smelled, to me, just like slowing down — a bit thick and heavy, a lot delightful. It is impossible for me to catch the scent of gardenia and not exhale for a few beats.
They bloomed pretty immediately after they were safely snugged in their heavy pots, and I thought that was it. I didn’t think we’d see any more blooms this summer and I’d already begun thinking about how they’d do when the winter temps roll in. But here they are, all but whispering to me to stop worrying about that, to enjoy these last few days of new, pretty white flowers and heavy, summer fragrance, and to cherish the absolutely miraculous collision of soil, seeds, sun, and water that ultimately fill my senses with the notion that there is indeed a God — because how can anyone see a flower of any sort and think otherwise — and that there were more blooms waiting. There almost always are.
When I think of collisions, the first thing that comes to my mind is something dangerous — a car accident, a knee hitting concrete, a water glass dropped into the sink from a slippery hand — but a collision, an instance of one moving object or person striking violently against another — can be something beautiful too. I think of art making as collision, especially when it is collaborative, for there is usually at least a little violence involved somehow — that of piled up feelings, crashing chords, wood and wire vibrating, magnets and tape making history, the spark of electricity charging everything up, the air that is moved through desire for meaning or at least one worthy chorus or lede — all of those little mysteries require that the bud, if you will, push through a protective cover. Like the gardenia, the potential bloom of creation and imagination waiting to reach its full fruition is always there, anticipating and looking for the right mixture of sun and water in whatever form it comes, to help it burst forth.
I just finished a record I didn’t think I’d ever make. I am deeply grateful to those who helped me realize my vision, who knew I had more blooms in me even when I all but refused to acknowledge them. I am in awe this morning. There is nothing so glorious as a second act.
Peace and love and happy Wednesday,