Purple Flower Moment


Written on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 by Jessica

I'm reading Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Amazon recommended it to me because I like David Sedaris. (Barely related: Just once I'd like to see or meet a gay guy who prefers to go by Dave instead of David. He must be out there somewhere. And there must be at least one gay Chris out there. They can't all be Christophers, can they?)

Rosenthal's "Purple Flower" entry says:

There is a single purple flower a couple of feet from where I am sitting. I am feeling poorly dressed and missing my long hair. I am at Cafe De Lucca in Bucktown, and there is a purple flower--that's how I would define this moment. And you, your moment? Where are you at this moment? E-mail me and tell me. If you are the hundredth person to do so, I will bake you a pie and FedEx it to you. You will have to trust me on this.
Try though I might, I cannot define my moment. I'm sitting on our waterbed with my legs crossed underneath me. (In kindergarten, we called it Indian style--Okay, class. It's story time, so let's all go sit on the story mat Indian style--but that's probably not politically correct anymore.) The sheets are cranberry, but why would I want to define this moment by the cranberry sheets? Sure, Rosenthal picked a purple flower, but that doesn't mean I have to copy her by picking a colored something around me. The fan in the window is blowing cool outdoor air on my face, which is nice.

None of this, by the way, is actually happening right now. It all happened last night as I was reading the "Purple Flower" entry. But to be true to the spirit of the Purple Flower Moment, I thought I ought to write it all in present tense as did Rosenthal. After mulling for a bit, I realized that I couldn't find anything to define that moment in time because the moment was essentially meaningless to me. That's when I moved to get off the bed. Suddenly, I was able to identify what defined the moment--not that moment in time, but a more important moment--that moment in my life. And what, praytell, defined that moment in my life? Brace yourself... Sore ass cheeks. Yes, it's true.

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, and it's a muscle we hardly ever notice. In fact, I have always tended to think of its purpose as being for padding, which is ridiculous notion, because muscles are always for movement--fat is for padding. But there I was, climbing off the bed, well aware that my ass muscles were horribly sore. Dammit, since when did it become necessary for me to do warm-up and cool-down stretches before and after gardening, for god's sake? Since age thirty, that's when!

Yes, it seems too pitiful to be true, but I weeded the small shade garden in front of my house the day before, and now my glutes (gluts?) and the backs of my thighs are so sore I can hardly sit down or stand up. It's bad karma, I think, because I wouldn't be so sore if I'd just stayed on my hands and knees as I worked. But no, I was a little lazy, frequently bending at the waist, which is not good for the back, nor, apparently, for the ass-cheek muscles. And as I was bending at the waist to pull those weeds, I was quite conscious of the fact that I shouldn't be subjecting my unsuspecting neighbors and passersby to such a sight. They might be happy to look on if I lost sixty pounds or so, but until then, it was unkind of me. But still I bent at the waist, contorting all the thigh and ass-cheek muscles I never realized I ever use.

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1 Comment

  1. Sherri Sanders |

    Sounds like a good book. I'm going to have to read it myself.

    My moment in time happened last night. It was a moment when I felt, just for a moment, happy and content.

    Charlie and I are sitting on the front steps, side by side, his hand is resting upon mine. The steps are still warm to the touch, even though the sun has finally dipped behind the trees and the yard is now engulfed entirely in shade. A feeling of contentment has relaxed my senses, I now see the world through a new set of eyes. The smell of my freshly planted flowers is strong, the scent is too sweet. Gone is the stress from the day, the 3 meetings on the new launch, the training sessions with the new SQE, the incredible amounts of work with not enought time to do it. Now, the only thing I know is the relaxed comforting quiet of my husband and I sharing a quiet moment together, just him and I.


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