Salvage

I love flowers. Especially roses, orchids, and hydrangeas. Amongst my favorite flowers I favor certain colors–white orchids and hydrangeas, and roses in all colors except red. Which is strange because I love red. Of roses, I prefer palest pink and sunset orange.

Last week I asked my husband to buy roses. We don’t enjoy fresh flowers in our home nearly often enough. I can’t remember which day my husband bought the roses. I think it was Tuesday. The day of the election. That seems about right.

The twelve roses were red. I didn’t want red roses. I was looking forward to roses in palest pink. My husband claims the store only had red roses. I’m not sure I believe him. I think he messed up and he didn’t want trouble.

I don’t know why a dozen roses is right now making me think of the twelve apostles. And Jesus. Jesus discredited. Scorned. Betrayed. Crucified. I think it’s nothing to do with the roses.

I haven’t hurt this hard in a long time. Not since three years ago when I lost four family members over eleven months. I feel too deeply. I’ve always been that way. It’s a gift and a curse. These nights when I can’t sleep, when my heart is racing, when I struggle to breathe, I swear I can feel the fear and the pain of all those millions of others the nation over who are also hurting right now and it’s almost too much to bear.

So much coming at us. What to believe? What to do? My heart beating out a message like morse code, cutting through everything else. Spread love. Stand up to hate. Open the hearts that have closed like a steel gauntlet. I don’t feel strong. Or together. I feel worn down and coming apart. So I’ll have to start slow and tiny. But I will begin and I will persist. As an adult, I’ve always tried to be kind. But I’ve never been kind on a mission. Until now. I’m going to do good, every chance I get, every way I can.

Over this past week, the roses dried, and darkened, and withered. Just as I was throwing them into the compost, I noticed not all the flowers had bowed their heads to death. Who’s to say why these six outlived the other half dozen? How they turned ever more beautiful in their decay? Beautiful and noble. Or is that just me? Maybe I’m seeing in them what I want to see in myself. In each and every one of us.

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2 Responses to Salvage

  1. tanita says:

    I haven’t had much room in my life for a long while for handcrafting. I used to paint and bead and make all sorts of things. I stopped – having been sliding into a profoundly dark place for awhile. This week, I’ve made myself come back; I’ve tried crafting with scraps. Remnants. Wisps of this or that, leftover bobs… because for a long while I’ve felt like that’s all of me that I have left. For a long time, our society has deliberately ground away civility and goodness and it’s a deliberate, living act to move reshape it, and reattach it to our sense of being, and living.

    I put it in the category of “hard but possible,” like everything else this week.
    ‚ô•pax

    • Ethel Rohan says:

      Thanks, as always, Tanita, for visiting and commenting. I’m sorry you’re hurting and struggling, sorry that countless are, and I’m glad and grateful you’ve found solace in creating–and how perfect to make art from salvaging that which would be cast aside and forgotten. That’s a theme, and an impulse, that’s front and center in my novel, and in my heart. I wish you could feel my hug.