Last evening, I smelt the frangipani flowers. They were floating in an uruli, spiral whites circumventing subtle yellows. They sat on my screen in an image, during a poetry workshop. We were to follow the usual protocol. Watch, conjure a memory or simply drift with the image. I enjoy these moments of collective writing when I can shut out my inner editor and write unabashedly. More importantly, when I don’t judge my writing.
Anyway, coming back to the frangipani. You might wonder what made me enjoy their sweet aroma. Memories. They make you smell with your eyes. The scent lunged at me from the screen.
They lay strewn under the tree that bore them, making their way into my grandmother’s basket who walked into the mandir with a lingering, delicate fragrance. Some of those flowers stayed back on the tree, adding to its beauty.
They were there- in the uruli, on the tree and in the basket. I wondered which one of their form added meaning to the world. The flowers continued in their state, unaware of their existential crisis.
I was running late. We had ten minutes to write that poem, eight of which I had lost trying to find Sartre in luscious petals.
Finally, the following lines made their way on to paper.
the frangipani flowers
floating in the midst of
bring to me
a mild balm
that drives away
the vile smell
It wasn’t a long composition but I thought it was enough. I didn’t get a chance to read the poem (there were close to sixty participants) but I had solved the existential question for quiet lives, fastened to tree branches or lying underneath them.
This morning, I spent a few hours with my potted greens. The hangover from an evening spent with the frangipani.
Do you question the purpose, meaning of your life? How do you deal with the question? Does nature give you answers?