Sunday, January 07, 2007

Winter, Wherefort Art Thou?

[Here are some of my favorite flowers, cyclemen. [I wish they were real. They look real enough to fool visitors.]

Thinking about forest flowers is not so odd this January, at least not in NYC. Yesterday when I went out it was over 70 degrees. A few minutes ago when I came in the sun was bright, the breeze very light. I think it's about 50 outdoors -- very lovely. So far we have had no winter. I think a few furtive flake drifted down one day ... could have been feathers from someone's ruined pillow.

I've been trying to find the poem that contains the line, "in the cyclemen woods" -- which may be the title of the poem. I understand one can find anything on the Internet ... if one knows how and where to look. Well, I can't find the poem!!! [grumble, mutter, fuss, cuss] ... I would love to see a cyclemen filled wood. Once I was lucky enough to be in London at daffodil time and went to Hampton Court where a wood behind the palace was full of glowing gold daffodils. Very beautiful. Once, in Brooklyn Botanical Garden I saw a wooded area covered in bell hyacinths, very delicate and ethereal. Once upstate in New York I walked through a wood with many, although not a carpeting, of trilliums -- which are an endangered plant, but there were abundant there, at least that spring.

Well, I cannot find the poem no matter what I type into the search column. But I don't have to do anything mechanical to make those memories surface among the how-many-gazillion memories in my brain, the association works. The pictures pop up and with them the feelings of pleasure that accompanied those visions .. and in the case of sitting in St. James Park in London one spring on a bench beside an enormous bed of fragrant hyacinth, the scent returns too -- so much more beautiful than that scent one gets occasionally in an elevator with a woman too liberally doused herself in perfume de jour.

Yes, the internet and the world wide web are wonders. I'm such a late adapter I barely begin to grasp, let alone use, their potential. But I do when quietly doing hand sewing, or taking a walk, or doing the dishes watch the memories flow through my mind. I don't have to scroll down 54 pages of stuff that doesn't relate, I don't have to click here and click there ... Those memories are ALL mine ... I can, Buddhist-like, simply watch them flow. Or I can, Freudian-like analyze why this led to that and what further personal insight I might gain if I follow the associations with X and Y and Z. It's wonderful that we are equipped with all those storage cells and the incredible complexity of synapses that make them available without a mechanical click or having to find the right words to type in. I hope they'll keep on working 'til the end of my days. And I wouldn't mind if this became "The Winter it Didn't Snow in NYC."

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