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Watching the Blossom

One of the side-effects of the social media dis-ease I was talking about the other day, is that the invitation to blossom has started to sound, in my ears, like a command.  And a not very nicely shouted one at that.

Blossom! it shouts.

What’s wrong with you? it barks.

Not there yet?  Blossom!

(No, it’s not at all pleasant.  As I’ve said before, my inner critic has a seriously nasty side.)

Somehow or another the idea of what it means to blossom has got caught up with ever stretching, ever growing, another spurt of personal development, a dollop more of self-improvement, a dash more of risk*.

It is always ahead, never here.

* A reference to the much quoted and much loved words of Anais Nin (yes, by me too): and the day came when the risk to remain tightly in bud was more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.

I get the bit about how attached we can be to staying tightly in bud, but I wonder if we haven’t over-consumed the second half of the quote. Wouldn’t things be easier if we dropped the focus on the risk?

Anyway, all these meanderings took me outside to do some blossom watching, which, with hedgerows of blackthorn all round about me, was a task of some serious delight.

I wanted to find a way to share the photos and have just stumbled upon a site / system (ProShow) that I hope might just be the way I can - simply - blend some of my words and photos.

This is a first version.  I hope you like it.

[iframe_loader src="" iframe title="Blossom Watching"]

The words are from ee cummings:

the thing perhaps is to eat flowers, and not be afraid.

The photos, from a few weeks of eating blossom flowers, are all mine :-)


PS if you can’t see the video from your feed-reader or inbox, please pop over to this site to see it

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  1. Bo Mackison says:

    Interesting, considering I have used that Anais Nin quote not only yesterday, but for two days in a row. Yep, the blossom one.

    I also totally get what you are saying about lessening the emphasis on the risk. But sometimes a bit of encouragement is good, too. And for me, my demands were pretty low level. I was trying to re-engage with living, and one of my big “risks” was to reconnect with nature. Because on the days I don’t get outside, don’t take time to breathe fresh air and listen to the birds, my days are way more difficult than the days I manage to leave the house and do a few simple things outside.

    But I do like your idea of blossom watching. I do a lot of that, and it is a great calming activity. Thanks, Joanna, for encouraging blossom watching as an important task, too.

  2. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, the photos and words are beautiful. I have fought mightily this past year to tune out much of the noise around me. I agree that the downside of social media is that messages are amplified and sometimes can lead you to feel like you’re not achieving enough, or not growing. Blossoming is great but there is danger in always straining for what’s ahead and forgetting to appreciate exactly where we are today. There is a time for just being, swaying in the wind, drinking in the sun or drops of rain without the go-go-go that has infected our modern culture. Thanks for the reminder and the visual prompt that helps me to just enjoy the view. xx

  3. Karen Wallace
    Twitter: karenwallace

    Ahhh, Jo. You always seem to get inside my head! I was talking only a few hours ago with a friend about this very thing. About the insane pressure of social media and how we can feel so behind, so inadequate, if we let it in.

    Sometimes we need to stop and take a good hard look at ourselves, to notice that it isn’t what we want to do at all.

    I love your blossoms and the incredibly appropriate words - and love how you’ve put them together! What a beautiful breath of fresh air. More please!

  4. Jackie Walker
    Twitter: jackiewalker

    Perhaps that’s all that’s needed in our own blossoming, a sense of allowing ourselves to take time and feed ourselves with beauty, consciously. The risk is to take the time.

    I got lost in your lovely picture show …. I took the time, drank it in and ate it up and yes, it felt like my heart blossomed :)

  5. Wendee says:

    Love it, Joanna!

  6. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Bo, I think perhaps it depends on where we are Bo… sometimes the invitation to blossom sounds soft, beautiful, gorgeous, colourful, irresistible… other times it comes over in my head as something akin to jumping over a chasm, or vaulting a sky scraper. Which got me wondering if in the encouragement of each other we weren’t also - unwittingly - heightening the sense of something being difficult, when in fact it was more like just… letting go of an anchor, and drifting…

    PS I totally understand the thing about getting outside - I feel soul-sick very quickly if I don’t, though I don’t always remember my need for the medicine before I start to feel bad

    Karen Swim: “Blossoming is great but there is danger in always straining for what’s ahead and forgetting to appreciate exactly where we are today. There is a time for just being, swaying in the wind, drinking in the sun or drops of rain without the go-go-go that has infected our modern culture.”

    Karen, yes, precisely.

    Karen Wallace, I do of course try and get inside all of your heads :-) I know just what you mean, and I wish we could find ways to be softer and kinder to each other as a way to let more material floooow

    Jackie Walker, thank you for taking the time to drink it up :-) I wonder if part of the risk is that this might be it, might be enough: just us, our words, the lens of a camera, taking the time to honour, notice, wonder and record… surely there must be more to it than that? Yet letting that be enough is in itself deeply forgiving, and full of permission

    Wendee, thank you!