Admiring The Unnatural (Is Natural)

This photo reminded me of the day I’d gone from sixty-five to zero on the highway intending to pick flowers.

They didn’t know why I was slowing down, and I didn’t explain myself. Those yellow flowers were responsible for the smile on my face as I sat in bumper to bumper traffic each morning on my way to work. An aha moment from out of nowhere came to me and demanded I grab some on my way home from the grocery store that evening.

Traffic was heavy, so after pulling to the side, I ran out, grabbed a handful, then stopped for a second in surprise at the fight they gave. Only with concerted effort were their long stems pulled from the ground. I ran back inside the car, and then we pulled back into traffic.

Not five seconds went by before I began sneezing uncontrollably. Dirt, pollen and a scent more rotten than I’d ever known could belong to a flower had drifted into every orifice while attaching itself to my clothes. The sneezing continued with no end in sight, and it took only a minute or two before I slowed down again and threw them out the window.

During those moments, my passengers chose to entertain themselves in that kind of laughter that starts as a slow giggle until light chatter sent them it into a crescendo of bodies unable to breathe, with tears streaming down their faces while doubled-over in stomach pain. It seemed I was the only affected by the flowers unmedicinal properties.

Recently, I told my children that what hurts us the most is the stuff not publicized. It feels tiring to explain the truth while standing in lines formed in fear of our neighbors oxygen, while carts are overfilled with the helium of economic lies.

That’s what got me to thinking about those flowers, and how I didn’t learn until I was far into adulthood, that not all flowers are natural nor meant to be picked.

Sometimes what we admire from afar is planted with such purpose that it can feel impossible to separate the beauty of a toxin from the pleasing intoxication of routine. Just as equally, we can be fed with an ugliness of purpose that aims to depress further awakening of our unconscious processes.

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