There is that scene in Dennis the Menace, the fairly horrible live-action movie, where George has a flower that blooms only once every forty years for just a brief moment, we're talking like less than a minute, and Dennis, being the menace, somehow distracts George from this brief moment of beauty. And, it was this I remembered, the implausibility I regarded the situation with, when I read today about such a plant that was in bloom for a couple days here, a plant that only blossoms two or three times in its forty year lifespan, the titan arum. After I got off of work, I went down to the greenhouse where there was already a huge line of people waiting to see this plant. So many people coming to witness this fifteen year old high school girl, this moment of beauty, the height of puberty, before it withers in a day. Witnessing something fleeting and thinking that that means something, that we can say we saw it, and attempt to recall what this six foot tall blossom looked like. We can witness something our own size, something even a little bit bigger come into this world and go out, something beautiful and we will wonder about our own lives, wonder if they are just as transitory, if it is only our protracted sense of the passing of time that makes us think we are not blooming and withering and sinking back into the earth in impossibly brief spans of time, to do other things, to maybe even bloom again in twenty or so years.
I bought the new Bruce Springsteen album today. I like it a lot.