Published in  
September 24, 2014


When you happen upon a flower, especially one whose otherworldly beauty and feminine fragility contrast sharply with its less endearing environment, you immediately treat it as this localized ‘thing’, as an object – one deserving of admiration – but an ‘object’ nonetheless: removed, unique, separate, and even audacious.

What our linguistic conveniences blind us to is how that very flower is no more distinguishable from the dirt, the erratic weather, the traffic of pollen bearers that come from afar off, the blazing sun, and even the occasional imprint of a boot worn by an uncharitable tourist, than a wave is distinguishable from the sea.

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In this sense, we couldn’t even say that the flower is ‘part’ of the environment – that is admissible, but it seems clunky and mechanical and, more importantly, it lacks aesthetic appeal. We need a different metaphor. Perhaps we could say that the flower is the environment itself in rapturous dance; that the flower is a symptom of its ecosystem, or that the environment ‘flowers’ (treating the noun as a verb – as surely, Mr Watts would have delightedly approved of). And all we would be hinting at is a ‘new’ paradigm of thought – one which inaudibly recognizes how everything is connected; how nouns are ‘verbs in masquerade’; how the world/reality is apparently a linguistic construct that is as porous as the culture it is beholden to; how the world of man and the symbols he has devised to perpetuate an illusion of distance and value are really flimsy and evanescent artifices of our cultural blind spots; how the ‘other’, the ‘strange’ and the ‘alien’ are a sibling emanation of the ‘same’ process constantly exfoliating from the ineffable; how truth is impossible and sincerity, insincere; and, how what we ‘really’ are defies notions of size, hues, grades of quality, origin and destiny.