“If flowers are the sex organs of plants aren’t we voyeurs of plants?” Jorge was playing the Devil’s advocate but his question was an interesting one.
He went on to ask that despite our somewhat relaxed contemporary attitudes about sex, human sexuality and nudity are still mostly taboo and are rarely acceptable in “proper” society. Don’t we channel our normal fascination about sex into a love of plant sex organs?
I replied that I’ve pondered the same concept. I looked at the question from a slightly different angle: The fact of overt shame about sex is ubiquitous. Cultivation of flowers, arranging flowers, taking photos and composing paintings of flowers is also ubiquitous. People think about human sex but don’t admit that we do, so we focus on the beauty of plant sex.
Jorge admitted that our hypothesis seems reasonable but he has not read any scientific studies that affirm or deny the concept.
I mentioned that humans are beauty-craving creatures. We love to contemplate beautiful landscapes. We take vacations to gorgeous destinations. We love graceful architecture, sculpture, and paintings. Who can resist lovely sunrises and sunsets? We are obsessed with beautiful people. Might we just like flowers because they’re pretty?
“Fair enough, but why do we give flowers to express our love and desire for our lovers on Valentine’s Day, or birthdays, and anniversaries?”
I interjected, “What about flowers on the altars of temples and churches for rituals and funerals?”
My friend countered, “Maybe that’s a throwback to the ancient religious practice of sacrificing virgins to the gods.”
Animals exist on Earth because ultimately the animal kingdom could not exist without plants. The same cannot be said about the plant kingdom because plants could get along very well, without animals.
Jorge pointed out that we use flowering as a verb and adjective. We might say that a girl approaching adolescence is flowering into womanhood. Anthropologists say that cultures flower into civilizations. Flowers are used in poetry and literature.
“…Like a lovely flower,
Bright but scentless,
Are the fine but empty words
Of the man who does not mean what he says.
Like a lovely flower,
Bright and fragrant,
Are the fine and truthful words
Of the man who means what he says.
Like garlands woven from a heap of flowers,
Fashion from your life as many good deeds….”
I’m glad that my friend Jorge played the Devil’s advocate.
The Blue Jay of Happiness enjoys this line from the poet, D.H. Lawrence: “Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.”