Finding Spirit in Flowers


“When I studied a spiritual form of flower arrangement called Ikebana-Sangetsu, I found I was discovering the connection between all life. I was inspired to create this visual contemplation on the power of flowers to lead you directly into the compassion that underlies the web of connection.” This story “Living Beauty” can be found in Pamela Bloom’s 
The Power of Compassion: Stories that Open the Heart, Heal the Soul, and Change the World (Hampton Roads, 2010).

A rose captured during a rare rainy evening in Central Park, San Mateo, California
A rose captured during a rare rainy evening in Central Park, San Mateo, California (c) 2014, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day), All rights reserved

“It is important to develop and uplift human consciousness through beauty. For that purpose, I would like to encourage people to place flowers everywhere, as the best means of promoting the love of beauty.” Meishu-sama

leaping greenly spirits and a blue true dream of sky

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

– e.e. cummings

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When yet another camera went the way of all things and my eight-year-old flip-phone followed, I decided this is the time to transition to a smart phone. I’m past due and multipurpose tools always appeal. Smart phones are certainty that.

I took these photographs with an iPhone 5c. It’s not surprising that it has a better camera than the Moto G I tried out the week before last. (Photo samples in earlier posts.) The iPhone 5c is a keeper, though clearly I have much to learn about using it as a camera, not to mention much to learn about photography. These are views of the neighborhood and the park, which is so beautiful it puts me right in the spirit of e. e. cummings’ poem above.

© 2014, photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

In the black acres of the night, I dream of herbs …

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Parks and ponds are good by day;
I do not delight
In black acres of the night,
Nor my unseasoned step disturbs
The sleeps of trees or dreams of herbs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-1883), Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950), American transcendentalist, essayist, poet and lecturer

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I’ve grown herbs randomly on the properties we’ve owned over the years, not without great joy, but the thing that often lighted the “acres of night” for me was the dream of an herb garden outside our kitchen. The days for that are past – and that’s okay – but still I went today for a short class delivered by two Master Gardeners at San Mateo Arboretum’s Kohl Pump House, which is a part of the park that my apartment cum writing-studio overlooks. It was pure delight.

2014, photos, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photos taken with a Moto G smart phone.