All flowers if examined closely appear miraculous in their delicacy, balance of function strength of purpose and ultimate fragility. At this time of year I photograph poppies. Of all flowers poppies, in the way their buds unfold, seem to be miraculous, at least at the moment of examination. This is one of many poppies in the strips of wild flowers which I sowed last spring in the vegetable garden and are now alive with bees.
Last night, pizza. The dough moistened with olive oil and dusted with flour assumes, after kneading, a litheness with special promise of pneumatic bliss as it gently rises. The most difficult stage of pizza-making is when you press out the ball of dough with your fingers to make a thin, elastic disk on which you will spread tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. As you stretch it, the dough retracts, requiring gentle teasing and understanding before it is properly dispersed. Experts whirl the disks at the ends of their fingers like flying saucers.
The BBC programme Something Understood goes out when I am usually asleep, but it is worth keeping awake for. This morning its current presenter Sarah Cuddon discusses desire, the inescapable urge that drives us to vision and creativity. The programme leaves me with the sound of Nina Simone singing Lilac Wine in my head. "...It makes me see what I want to see, be what I want to be... think what I want to think, do things that I want to do, drink more than I ought to drink..." And Tom Waits growling, "there's no prayer like desire. There's amnesia in a kiss."
Looked at in this way, the poppy has an almost supernatural symmetry. It appears as a vast canopy with a Maltese Cross floating in its midst. The BBC programme sounds great.
I swore I would never again refer to your spelling. But on this occasion I must since it led me to inappropriate thoughts. My reaction to the second sentence in the second para was: "Good heavens, this is going to be a very Tunbridge Wells sort of pizza." Then the penny dropped.
Must have had flowers on my mind.
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