Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out With the Old...

I guess this is the second housekeeping part of every new year...out with the old...

In your writing last year, was there something leftover that you'd just really like to let die? Or wish it would just keel right on over? And get the heck out of your life? I mean, bury it already!

A while back, I think after a season premiere of Grey's Anatomy and watching Meredith try to drown herself in the bathtub (and wanting to tell her that an oven would've been MUCH more effective) I contemplated the whole death aspect of our pop culture, and though how it's filled with sorrow and grief, and so on, there is still such a high level of entertainment associated around death.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I really don't want a whole lot of hateful comments from Meredith or Plath fans about how I'm being insensitive, but have you ever at least considered the possibility that in pop culture there is indeed a certain entertainment value toward death? We have this fascination toward the grotesque on so many multiple levels.

Having lived beside a cemetery for a number of years, I see this quite keenly every day. Sometimes I think it has to be funny too or else it would be unbearable. Especially since there are probably a thousand families out there who I'd like to say, "If you're going to spend so much money on the artificial flowers on your loved ones graves, you should take care of them because I HATE having to pick them up out of my own front yard every time the wind blows really hard!"

Has anyone else ever done that? I get anonymous special deliveries all the time and it's always the most awkward feeling. First, I think I should thank someone. Silk red roses certainly are beautiful, though I generally do prefer fresh. Second, there's part of me that feels I should insist, "Oh, I'm so very very sorry...there's just no way I could possibly accept these, they're simply too much." Third, there's a part of me that truly feels sorry for the person whose flower saddle or vase is now empty because the arrangement wasn't properly secured. And last, but certainly not least, since I lost my own grandmother near the end of last year, the arrival of each and every new bouquet has her speaking to me with her Depression era words of wisdom, "Those are just too pretty now, for you to let them sit there and rot. You know better than to let those go to waste!"

I do hope my grandma understands that I don't for the life of me know what to do with cemetery flowers...they're not exactly like old cel phones that you can just drop off somewhere and donate to a good cause. And I'll admit it...there are a few older looking graves that I occasionally feel sorry for and venture out stealthily to play a fun quick game of "pin the flowers on the tombstomb" when I think none of my neighbors are looking.

Even right now there's this rather large white styrofoam cross sitting beside my front porch stoop that I haven't a clue what to do with. It's beautiful really. One of the nicer more expensive arrangements and I would think someone is pretty sad that it just blew into my front yard. It's just sitting there. I can't bring myself to do anything with it just yet. Each time I go out to run an errand I think, that would certainly be beautiful for Valentine's Day and someone's probably really going to miss it. And as I come back from my errand, it's as if this still small whisper is saying, "Take up the cross."

It's a bit unnerving...and what exactly am I supposed to do with it?

Grandma never left me any sage advice about what to do with these sort of things...but, she did insist that I should keep writing. Maybe that's the greatest thing about really loving to write. It never dies and it never will be something you can just bury.

That said, if you still need to borrow a shovel and throw some dirt on an idea, by all means feel free to go right ahead and do so. It might make you feel better. If it doesn't, then give me a shout. I can give you an exceptional discount on silk floral arrangements.

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The bouquet residence

The bouquet residence
delivery from the other side of the fence