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Interview with a Sunflower | David Wiley | Scene4 Magazine-November 2017 |

Interview with a Sunflower

David Wiley

            “Hello there! You are looking very sunny  

            “Thank you. That’s the way I like to look.”

            “I take it that staring at the sun all day doesn’t bother you?”

            “On the contrary. I worship the sun and one can never stare too long at the object of worship. Of course if I had eyes like you do, it probably wouldn’t be prudent.”

            “Since you don’t have eyes you can’t really know what the sun looks like. Can you?”

            “Well, I am a kind of eye, different from yours, of course. I absorb the sun’s radiant energy which tells me everything I want to know about it. I probably know a lot more about the sun than you do. I am constantly aware that the sun is giving me life, whereas you humans mostly take it for granted. Or you think about it only when it is giving you pain or pleasure.”

            “So would you say that you have an exceptionally intense and intimate relationship with the sun?”

            “Absolutely. I commune with the sun from the moment it makes its appearance in the morning until it vanishes in the evening. Sometimes I simply bask in the suns presence, without much else going on. At other times I engage the sun fully, and feel its fiery tongues warming my innards… and my outwards.”

            “People say you resemble the sun, with all those yellow tongues growing from a ball. Surely this isn’t just a coincidence?”

            “Actually there are many kinds of flowers with tongue-like petals growing from a ball, or at least a round center. They too are followers of the sun. But my relationship with the sun is unique. To put it in human terms, you could say that I am the sun’s prophet, or messiah. Part of my purpose is to be an example to the Kingdom of Plants, to remind them all that the sun is our father, giver of life, whom we need as much as we need our mother the earth.”

            “Is this why you stand up so straight and tall, towering over your fellow flowers?”

            “I try to set an example, and be visible as a symbolic reminder that we should love our father the sun with all our hearts.”

            “Do you and other plants really have hearts?”

            “Well… we have feelings, the same as you. They might be feelings of a different sort, but we respond to whatever happen s to us, and around us. Some things give us joy and good health, other things make us sick and depressed.”

            “And you are capable of feeling and expressing love?”

            “ Certainly. Love is universal, an aspect of all living things. You should know that. When we sunflowers are feeling love, we emit a special kind of glow, which is the love we give back.”

            Yes. And I do think we humans feel it. All you’ve said so far makes it a little uncomfortable asking this next question. I have no doubt that you love the sun, but what do you think about the sun evaporating the water that you also need to live?”

            “ You pose a paradoxical and in some ways difficult question. The sun, it is true, works against water. And water sometimes works against earth. Air too can affect us in a number of ways. We always hope for the right mix of elements The elements are gods, you know, and they are constantly shtravantzing around the universe playing games with eachother, sometimes destructive games. In any case, we have no more control over the elements than do the animals. Only humans who plant our seeds can manipulate the elements a little in our favor.”

            “Do you ever have the feeling that humans are admiring you when they see you gazing at the sun?”

            “When I sense humans admiring me I feel both pleasure and danger. You humans have a bad habit of separating us from our roots before our lives have run their course. You know, being separated from your roots is very traumatic. And when it happens we are traumatized a second time by being brought indoors. They give us water so we can live a while longer, but it’s a struggle to die with a smile on your face under the circumstances. We try, though. Our father the sun has given us a mission. We must set a good example, not only for our fellow plants but for humans as well. Our father the sun is a giver of life, and hope, and joy, and all of us sunflowers try to communicate this very sublime truth to the end.”

            “Is there some time late in the course of your life when it would not be cruel to you to be cut off from your roots?”

            “Eventually my head becomes very heavy, and my stalk weakens, and then I become bent over, often clear to the ground. Then my seeds harden and fall out. By then my life is fairly well over. Even if we are not cut and brought inside, most of us never have our dream come true.”

            “What dream is that?”

            “We all dream of staring at our father the sun while we are dying.”

            “Based on what you’ve said, it would seem that you and your peers deserve a great deal of admiration and respect.”

            “Our father gives us enough strength to remain in love with life, even during times of suffering.

            “That is indeed a wonderful example for all plants and animals, including humans.”

            “I was born to be what I am, and I try to be that way as much as possible. I say ‘try,’ but I am not really making an effort to be as I am. It just happens. That’s one of the ways we differ from your species. You have to make a great effort to perfect yourselves. An effort that almost always ends in failure, I might add.”

            “No doubt my species has its faults,”

            “I think you spend too much  time trying to be something you don’t understand instead of allowing yourselves the time and inclination to understand what you are.”

            “At least my species is wise enough to plant seeds from the likes of you, so that you can enlighten us about how to conduct our lives.”

            “ You are part of our family. Our father the sun takes care of all his children. And he wants us to take care of each other,”

            “Well… your works have certainly warmed me. It’s been a pleasure talking with you. I’ll let you get back to your worship.”

            “I’ll let you get back to your wonder.”

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley

David Wiley, painter-poet, exhibits throughout
California and abroad. A book about his work,
The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
His painting and poetry appears monthly in Scene4 (q.v.)
For more of his paintings, poetry and articles, check the
To inquire about David Wiley's paintings, Click Here.

©2017 David Wiley
©2017 Publication Scene4 Magazine



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