Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wildflowers #11 -- Retrograde Anticipation

I "could scarcely wait" for the first spring beauty to blossom. As soon as it did so, I "could scarcely wait" for the first Wasatch bluebell and the first glacier lily. Today I can "scarcely wait" for the first death camas and the first of the third yellow composite to bloom. 

Similarly, I eagerly anticipate the next paycheck, the last class in the semester, the arrival of a package, the publication of an essay.

This spring, however, there has been an onset of retrograde anticipation, an anticipation that regrets what will come.

When the first glacier lily blossomed this spring it meant that for me, for the course of my life, the number of springs with their first glacier lilies was reduced by one.  

The arrival this morning of a Saturday open for whatever pleasures and responsibilities I choose has now been reduced by one. 

How many more such Saturday mornings will there be?

How many more grandsons' soccer games will I witness?

How many more changes of seasons?

How many more books will I read?

This last question, unlike the one about glacier lilies, has an answer somewhat less finite. While I can't expand the number of coming springs in my life, I can read more books, or fewer books, depending on my choices.

How many more books will I write? Right now, this morning, on the eve of the coming summer, I can feel the answer expanding rather than contracting. Age and experience and opportunity multiply this opportunity rather than subtracting from it.

And now to the wildflowers:

another astragalus, color variation

storksbill / Erodium cicutarium


bitterbrush / Purshia tridentata



death camas / Zigadenus venenosus (Lily family)

death camas

third yellow composite about to bloom
Finally, perhaps there is an antidote to the fleeting sequential appearance and loss of the anticipated flowers. Perhaps a celebration of all the flowers currently in bloom, an aggregate to be enjoyed in the moment:


Strawberry Girl said...

Very lovely pictures. It's been a while since I've been out to take some myself.

As for the feeling that time is passing too quickly, I feel that too. I try to enjoy life come what may.

michael morrow said...

moment..moment...moment =/ tick-tock...tick-tock..tick-tock

Strawberry Girl said...


* said...

so, mr abbott, more interesting questions
which books do you want to read ?
and which ones do you want to write?

Scott Abbott said...

Books to Write:
1. Immortal For Quite Some Time, Fraternal Meditations
2. On Standing, Homo erectus in the Culture of Homo Sapiens
3. Barbed and Dangerous, Constructing the Meaning of Barbed Wire
4. Wildflowers, Wild Rides, Biking and Botanizing the Great Western Trail (with Sam Rushforth)
5. A third, yet to be determined book with Zarko Radakovic (after putting translations of Ponavljana and Vampire + Razumni recnic up as electronic books)
6. A book about Peter Handke's work
7. to be determined
8. etc.

Books to Read
1. Jo Nesbo's Phantom
2. Moby Dick
3. New books by Peter Handke, Richard Ford, etc.
4. Old books by Goethe (Wahlverwandschaften again), Jean Paul (Titan, again), Stifter (Nachsommer, again)
5. etc.
6. to be determined

* said...

this is a wonderful list. i like such lists & look forward to these books.

what in particular you want to write the handke book about?

books to read no.2 : me too. i really like melville's pierre.

Scott Abbott said...

the book would be a collection of essay, some already published (about Die Wiederholung, about "Volk" in his work, about his Yugoslavia texts), some yet waiting (about the standing metaphor in St. Victoire and Der gross Fall).