Lilacs on a bush are better than orchids. And dandelions and devil grass are better! Why? Because they bend you over and turn you away from all the people and the town for a little while and sweat you and get you down where you remember you got a nose again. And when you’re all to yourself that way, you’re really yourself for a little while; you get to thinking things through, alone. Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.
~ Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
Excerpted from Mary Oliver’s poem “Peonies.”
You can find the full version here. If you haven’t read it, please do. It’s lovely.
Often misunderstood, Dionysus is far more than a wine deity. He is the Breaker of Chains, who rescues not only the flesh but the heart and spirit from too much of worldly regulations and duties. He is a god of joy and freedom. Any uncultivated, tangled, and primal woodland is very much his domain.
~ Tanith Lee, The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest
You can’t see yourself. You know what you look like because of mirrors and photographs, but out there in the world, as you move among your fellow human beings, whether strangers or friends or the most intimate beloveds, your own face is invisible to you. . . We are all aliens to ourselves, and if we have any sense of who we are, it is only because we live inside the eyes of others.
~ Paul Auster, Winter Journal
Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.
~ Victor Hugo