Saturday, April 18, 2009

Scentient Being

C., the yoga instructor, proposed that each of us imagine our heart as a flower. “What does it smell like?” she asked.

peony, in my case.

I love peonies—as I child, I associated their blooming with my birthday, although that rarely seems to happen anymore.

C. remembered that the pink peonies of her youth were crawling with red ants. According t
o Wikipedia, this is because the buds of peonies are covered with nectar.

In early Japan, Wikipedia
adds, the Japanese word for peony occasionally referred to wild boar. Why? Because straying Buddhists used flower names as code when they went looking the meats they were forbidden to consume.

The Japanese have also been known to arrange the pink slices of boar’s meat in peony patterns.

This seems almost a Buddhist lesson in itself. Something like: don’t get attached to the idea that anybody’s perfect.

1 comment:

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Love this tale of meat and pink blossoms. Peonies ARE such meaty flowers! Makes me want to create floral code words for all sorts of meat products.