Gold, On a Rainy September Morning

Good lord, what a mystery this single sunflower holds — and how my creative attempts pale in comparison. This photo is a mere image — the beauty itself fell from a 10′ stalk, pecked where head joined stalk by birds. I picked it up from the grass and carried it into the house into both hands.

I first planted sunflowers many years ago, when I was a very young woman, after I admired a single enormous sunflower in a woman’s garden. The face of the sunflower was so heavy it hung down. I stood beneath this great bloom of pure gold, staring up. That sunflower’s size and beauty was improbable. How, from a single seed, from soil and water and light, did such a beauty emerge?

And yet, evidence to the contrary.

What a forest of sunflowers this year. Weeding in the garden, I hear the leaves rustling in the wind, like a canopy in a forest.

I don’t think there is any other solution than constantly coming to terms with the past, and learning from it.

—  Simon Wiesenthal, The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness


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