Friday, July 24, 2009


Rounding the block -I suppose I should say "squaring it" - we came across these sunflowers guerrilla-planted in a fallow tree pit where 10th Avenue dead ends into a small plaza at 18th St, before the drop off into the Prospect Expressway, the river of cars whose roaring engines make the public enclave a site of restlessness and avoidance.

The sunflowers in the vacant square don't have ears and seem to thrive. Like many similar blossoms, they aren't actually single flowers but a collection of hundreds of flowers that evolved to grow as a unit, so each petal is a remnant of one flower, and pairs with an anther and pistil and eventually seed taking their places among the Fibonacci ranks within the central orb.

It numbs the mind to consider the process by which the individual flowers wove themselves into one radiant banquet for numerous creatures, pollen and nectar appetizers served to the insect kingdom, oil and nutrient-rich seeds the entree, graciously benefiting birds and others, a few crucial seeds falling to the wayside. How many thousands of years did it take to orchestrate such harmonic alignment, and who or what pulled the strings?

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