Poppies

poppies
I was at the laundromat yesterday, a place I don't visit as often as I should. It's a family run business where they sell bananas and houseplants and little brass charms at the counter next to single use packets of detergent and dryer sheets.

The owner's name is Rose and she is a pretty lady in her late 40s. She knows more about my personal life than most anyone else. She's watched my laundry pile in various stages of life- happily matching men's socks and then not and back and forth several times in the 5 years I've been on this street. She knows.

Yesterday as I was loading the dryers, she came up to me and suggested I redistribute them. Towels with the sweatpants and all of the sheets alone in another. She described, with obvious rapture, the look of a properly loaded dryer. The gentle tumble, likes with likes, lots of movement and a perfect, slow spiral. She said it was a thing of beauty, a dryer loaded with care and I swear I could see a difference. A mesmerizing, hypnotizing difference.

Dying flowers normally are that hypnotizing, unexpected thing for me. These poppies just gave up on my nightstand and started to collect dust and I let them stay until the water evaporated. Everyone has those little secret happinesses- the spin of a dryer or the droop of a dead stem.

47 comments:

  1. So much beauty in the mundane! Just lovely.

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  2. the light+colour in these is just breath-taking... <3

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  3. oh wow these are so so so so beautiful.

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  4. Perfectly lovely drooping stems......wilted flowers have their own special beauty.

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  5. Beautifully captured and poetically expressed.

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  6. What a wonderful depiction of something people might consider ordinary or even ugly. There's beauty everywhere!

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  7. Nice post...I like the dried poppies in the vase, Pretty!

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  8. Beautifully written, wonderfully philosophical. And I LOVE the color of your wall. Love, love, love it.

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  9. Ohhh, I love this post. We all do have our secret happiness. So beautiful.

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  10. divine beauty in everything there.

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  11. ...Funny, you could go anywhere else and a dead poppy is just, well, a dead poppy. But over here they are a work of art. :o)

    ...Love how you & Rose took a mundane task such as laundry and made it a thing of beauty. Thank you for sharing.

    ...Enjoy your day!

    ...Blessings :o)

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  12. They remind me of the dirigible plums just outside Luna Lovegood's house.

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  13. There is beauty in the every day, isn't there?

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  14. My mother always says that I should open a dead flower shop - I love them almost as much as the freshest blooms!

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  15. Your words are so poetic and true - thanks!

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  16. Beautiful vignette, Amy! You'd think they were supposed to be like that!! Next time, I think I'll let my flowers die a little longer and see what happens. You never know, I guess!

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  17. We'd all be a lot happier if we all just allowed ourselves to derive contentment from those little quirks. Beautiful.

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  18. Whoa! Those poppies remind me of deflating helium balloons. They've got the same graceful droopiness going on.

    I'm glad you also revel in small, unique laundromats. I love quirky laundromats so much, I'm working on a little novella of vignettes that happen in a (fictional, but lovely) laundromat.

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  19. I love the silent beauty of dying flowers ~ lovely images.

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  20. oohh...the photo looks like a painting...and your words...beautiful. i love the idea of little secret happinesses...

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  21. I love this little post with the single photograph, as wonderful as your long, beautiful posts below it.

    When you mentioned the dead poppies, I felt I had to share this with you. I paint flowers, and one of the only pieces I've kept for myself (and not sold or given away) is my "Dead Delphinium", which is the last image at the bottom of this post:

    http://bloggingcornerblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/brilliant-projects-heretofore_23.html

    The actual stem I painted this from stayed perfectly intact for years and years, until it was crushed in a shelving collapse. But I used to love to look back and forth between the dried up delphinium stem and my painting.

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  22. You speak of the poetry of the everyday. Quite often we don't see what we have until time has passed and we look at life from a distance, only then do we see our treasure. A wonderful reminder to be in the present.

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  23. Have to say that your poppies do a lot more to me than watching a dryer spin... :)

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  24. ...and there I was going on about Mary Oliver.
    Breathtaking, lady.

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  25. yes, just right and just lovely.

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  26. http://www.agaphcia.blogspot.com/

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  27. Beautiful story- and beautiful photo of your poppies!! I am completely hooked on your blog.

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  28. please share the name of the paint on walls! i am in love

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  29. What a privilege, to meet someone who cares so much for their work.

    I secretly love going to the laundrette :)

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  30. I love this story! I'm swedish and have actually never seen a laundromat here, so I'm always secretly thrilled when I visit friends in America and get to see them. It's a great place to do some people watching! You have a lovely blog, I'll be back! :-)

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  31. this is really beautifully written. thanks for sharing.

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  32. it really is through describing the building blocks of our days - from laundry to dishes to the flowers that keep us company - that words become their most powerful and their most beautiful.

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  33. I love your comment about enjoying the beauty of dying flowers. Philosopher Elaine Scarry has thoughtful commentary in her book: Dreaming by the Book about the personification of a flowers life. Throughout history flowers have been given at important times in our lives to clebrate, moarn or express love. Flowers, fleeting in their beauty, cause us to reflect on the moment and its relevance to our own fleeting time. For me, that reflection makes me cherish the moment that much more. powerful stuff.

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  34. this is a beautiful post; very nice, succinct character sketch.

    enjoying your writing!

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  35. This is an absolutely beautiful post. This is what it means to "blog." Thank you. I'll be back.

    P.S. I love hanging my flowers upside down on my bulletin board and watching them dry out.

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  36. love this one. The looseness and temperature with the focus on the subject.
    Have your book, but this is more inspiring

    photo to paintings
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    photo into painting
    wedding painting

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