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by Paula LaRocque on June 7th, 2010


June 2010, No.1

My first-ever blog.

“What shall I write?” I asked Paul.

He didn’t hesitate a second.  “Passive voice.”

Passive voice?”


OK, piece o’ cake.  But first I wandered out-of-doors for my summer morning turn around our gardens.  I visited the front beds, the courtyard, the lush growth along the brick wall enclosing the house on three sides, and – especially – I visited the day lilies.

When I first learned that these flowers were called day lilies because they live only one day, I cried.  I was hardly a child, by the way – this was just a couple of years ago, when Raul, our yardman, planted the largest, tallest, showiest day lilies I’ve ever seen.  They were a medley of color: a violet as dark as night, buttery yellow, splashy scarlet.  But my favorites were the clusters of huge, stately blooms the color of fresh cream – so perfect they looked carved in wax or ivory.

“One day?” I asked Raul.  “One day?”

Then I dashed into the house to blot my eyes and blow my nose.

The French say everything passes, everything perishes, everything palls: “Tout passe, tout casse, tout lasse.”  That seems an unnecessarily hard aphorism.  But to extract the lesson of the day lily, we can come to only one conclusion: Whatever lives, dies.

OK, fine.  I knew that.

But one day?  It’s an outrage.  It’s too much.  By writing it’s too much, I mean of course that it’s too little.  Say no one shows up to salute this bloom in its startling, impossible beauty.  It stands at attention all day, the only day it has, its perfect petals unfurled . . . and no one stops by, not even to say hey, hi, well done! And then it’s over?

No.  It’s too much.  Like the human condition – being mortal in an immortal setting – sometimes it’s just too much.

The human condition.  Can you believe I chose the Number One, overriding, heavy-duty universal to write about in my first-ever blog?  Next time I’ll consider something less lofty, more practical.

Passive voice, maybe.

Meantime, for just this moment, just this day, let’s consider the lilies.

Hey.  Hi.

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