Why are people so affected by flowers? It seems like an easy question, or maybe one with a lot of different aspects, but I think worth giving some more thought. I started looking freshly at flowers again through my camera and was stirred in new ways—like the way they can take the light or even convey an attitude or feeling.
I am affected by how the poet and philosopher Eli Siegel writes about the relation of flowers to feeling in his lecture “Feeling Is in Science.”
“Flowers have given rise to feeling, and we soon run out of adjectives. The lily is pure. The violet is modest. The rose is proud. The hydrangea is flaunting. The carnation is confused (which it may be or not). The chrysanthemum is ostentatious. The rhododendron is uppity. We haven’t given feelings to all the flowers, but the more a flower is looked at, the more one can give it feeling….The important thing is 1) whether there is feeling possible from every object, and 2) whether that feeling will ever run out.