I’ve watched flowering cherries come and go for over thirty years. For most of that time I’ve accepted the brevity of their flowering without ever having taken notes or any other records in order to establish exactly how long the flowering lasts. The best I could do was guess, and from memory I’d have estimated two to three weeks, depending on the weather, and that in certain conditions it might be as little as three days. But I’ve learned not to trust my memory.
Imagine a world before screens, when all images depended on reflected rather than penetrant light (OK, OK, except those in stained-glass windows). Go back earlier and imagine a world before photography, when all illustrations were drawn, painted etc, and the best depictions of flowers were the astonishing – but undeniably flat and matte – water-coloured lithographs of Curtis Botanical magazine.
I stumbled upon a quote yesterday by a guy who had apparently never liked jazz until an occasion when he watched a jazz muso playing with his eyes closed, in visible bliss. He concludes “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It’s as if they are showing you the way”.