Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flowers From Alex Lopez

She showed me her flowers, plastic roses in a waterless vase, sent by a student that was moving away. She was justifiably smitten with the gift and, of course, the gesture's undeniable sweetness and sincerity took a back seat to very few other gestures that she'd enjoyed. It made for a sweet story -- flowers from Alex Lopez -- I'd have to remember that. It sounded like the title of a book, or an after-school special.

The conversation soon steered toward how I endured long days without flowers, even fake ones, but I enjoyed my own moments of subdued sincerity, occasionally even sweetness, many moments, in fact. They just occurred in a different space than the ones that involved waterless vases. I got shaky hands and eyes half filled with tears, and faces that somehow managed small smiles as things fell apart around them. I got the sincerest of conversations, in fact they got no more sincere than that, and I got to watch the space between me and literal strangers fill with the most sublime emotional energy. I didn't need flowers, or any such gesture. I had trust, and that's how I endured those long days. I had value and meaning packed in tight alongside every conversation.

How often do you measure your relationships, or interactions, or perhaps your conversations, in terms of meaning? How frequently is the space between you and others filled with value? I'd venture to say that, depending on your definition of meaningful, that we are most frequently surrounded by thoughtless, subconscious driven interactions, not unlike forgetting how you got home from across the city, through ten sets of lights, countless stops, and dozens of turns. Many of our relationships, conversations, and daily connections with others fall under the category of forgettable...mine don't. She can have her artificial flowers. I'll keep the very real space between me and all those strangers. We don't stay strangers for very long

Flowers from Alex Lopez are nice, but I wouldn't trade my flowerless days for anything.


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