Perhaps it is here that we learn to not forget
how to live as we grow old. It is standing in front
of these irises in full bloom and knowing the secret
of their brevity. You might see them as a smudge
of bruised purple – a careless brush stroke. Or perhaps,
you see every sharp-edged delineation and every faded
periwinkle blush. How you see beauty is irrelevant.
The irises are quick in the world, and their quickness
causes them to be more. How do irises push aside Death
and be in the sunlit garden so perfectly? What music?
What wine do they drink? To what silences
do they listen?
Because sometimes, I will be inside one of my days,
and I will notice I have forgotten to live. I will be
wrapped up in a deadline, or an expectation curled
within an expectation. I will not have laughed for days.
I will not have looked at a beautiful woman and smiled,
and wondered. I will have forgotten about how amazing it is
to be kind, to experience kindness. I will be out of touch
with compassion. And making love will be something
I only think I remember – it will be a dream within a dream.
On these days, I need the irises. I need the ridiculously frilly,
crazy purple Zorbas, dancing barefoot on the beach – dancing
regardless of their brevity. So I can be reminded of how
to not forget to live.