"We do very well by the flower. They are pleasures to the senses,
the sustenance of their fruit and seeds, and the vast store of new metaphor.
"But as we gaze into the blossom of the flower, we find something more: the crucible of beauty,
if not art, and maybe even a glimpse into the meaning of life.
"For look into a flower and what do you see? Into the very heart of nature's double nature - that is, the contending energies of creation and dissolution, the spring toward complex form and the tidal pull away from it.
"Apollo and Dionysus were names the Greeks gave to these two faces of nature, and nowhere in nature
is their contest as plain or as poignant as it is in the beauty of a flower and it's rapid passing.
"There, the achievement of order against all odds and its blithe abandonment.
There, the perfection of art and the blind flux of nature. There, somehow, both transcendence and necessity.
"Could it be that - right there, in a flower - the meaning of life?
"Michael Pollan, from The Botany of Desire copr. 2001
Labels: beauty, Michael Pollan, nature, tulips