The Flower Phone
I had gone to the next neighbourhood to ours after the big snowfall. I took some photos of leaves and berries and all the small snow hats on them. But what I really went to photograph was my favourite tree. You've seen her here on TwB before, so I didn't want to write another tree post quite yet. When I came home I once again opened To Breathe with Birds by Václav Cílek, the Czech writer. In his essay, “A Tree as a Family Member” he talks about how when he goes on a trip to America he tells his daughter that “maple trees have long roots that reach all the way” there and that she could talk to him on the “maple phone.” He also quotes from the following poem by Robert Frost:
by Robert Frost
“When I was just as far as I could walk
From here to-day,
There was an hour
When leaning with my head against a flower
I heard you talk.
Don’t say I didn’t, for I heard you say—
You spoke from that flower on the window sill—
Do you remember what it was you said?”
“First tell me what it was you thought you heard.”
“Having found the flower and driven a bee away,
I leaned my head,
And holding by the stalk,
I listened and I thought I caught the word—
What was it? Did you call me by my name?
Or did you say—
Someone said ‘Come’—I heard it as I bowed.”
“I may have thought as much, but not aloud.”
“Well, so I came.”
Receiving messages from flowers on the window sill and sending them back via hyacinth and snapdragons seems like a civilized thing to do. Breathing with flowers and birds and maple trees also feels very reasonable.
Of course I'm reading these things while having my yearly blog crisis. Is this really viable? When I count up the hours I spend on blogging vs any return, how mad am I to continue? And then there's the fact that a lot my traffic to this space comes via Facebook, and they're making it so that 'pages' are less visible....what to do with that. Honestly, I don't know. Facebook is increasingly messy and often (often? lol) feels unhealthy. Though obviously, there are some fantastic and lovely people there that I would miss without it. And maybe, as has been said, the answer to FB is really just Instagram. I keep thinking maybe it's Google+. I'm even sort of serious about that.
How to best communicate our thoughts to one another? How to speak to each other? This is one of my favourite quotations:
Sometimes I think the best way to communicate with people is to write a long and poetically mysterious novel, written in extreme solitude over 5-10 years.
Maybe we should talk to each other through the roots of trees, through flowers. Let's use the flower phone. Let's use poetry.