Essence

From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we — I mean all human beings — are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself. And I see this when I have a shock… One can’t write directly about the soul. Looked at, it vanishes?

d0853 virginia woolf

Adeline Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941)


This morning in addition to waking to the vocal joys of the school children playing soccer in the schoolyard across the street, I woke to the smell of lavender. I have a container garden of around twenty pots on my balcony as gardening is an integral part of my life even without a plot of earth. A few months ago I planted two lavender plants and this morning and hopefully for more mornings to come, they thanked me with their essence. Their life force breezing through the open balcony door, finding its way to my nostrils. 

Even after the flower dies the bees still come. They are attracted by the invisible. The essence of the plant. I dry the stalks and place them in my clothe drawers. They continue to work their magic even after death. Essence is that which a living organism gives and/or leaves to the world of itself. The essence of all life continues through it own energy, again even after death.

Today I will attend to my garden. I will water, talk to, pull out unwanted growth and stroke the lavender plants to release their essence to the atmosphere. Then I will cup my hands over my nostrils, close my eyes and breathe deeply. I imagine my friend Lydia on the other side of the world in Estonia taking her morning walk along the river. It is still a little cool but the sun is strong and warming. The park gardens are in bloom. The grass is freshly mowed. The summer tourist have not yet arrived. Lidia is lost in thought, thinking about the coming Solstice and the one we shared a few years ago. The cold beer, the warm bonfires. The joyful celebrations of summer. When she catches a scent of lavender and wonders from whence it came as there are no lavender plants anywhere around.

Señor Tao (April 17,  1948 -)