my flower crown

I did this thing today… I went to therapy. Actually I went on a 3 hour course on how to make a floral crown, I can’t afford psychotherapy anymore. Im telling you, its the best damn therapy I’ve had in years. But now there’s the thing of Covid and staying at home, well I never stayed at home today. The email said limited amounts of students and social distancing with all the necessary sanitising and temperature checks would be in place, and so being the responsible person that I am, I decided it was all good and I wanted to learn how to make a crown out of flowers and do something for myself where Im not the teacher.

 I woke up, had a lovely warm bath in the cold winter morning, dressed warmly and armed with may mask, I set off at 8:30am. If I can just interject here and say, that I have been excited about this since Monday, so come Thursday night I felt like a child waiting to go to a party of sorts, wonderful, just wonderful. I haven’t had that sense of excitement for something in a long while.

 Parktown North is about 12ks from my house and I wasn’t too sure about traffic so I took a steady drive through the suburbs and passed my old childhood friends family home to see if they were still there… They were definitely still there, her dad was a car freak and there were 4 cars parked in their driveway, one of them being the big old cream Dodge truck/bakkie, yip that was definitely his. I had to stop my car for a moment as all these childhood memories came flooding in…Friday nights were homemade burgers and then dancing on the low coffee table in the lounge to Elvis really loud. Her dad was a massive Elvis fan. I could go on, but I digress from the therapy.

I arrived to lovely Karen from Dalton & Bloom who did the whole Covid protocol, there was one other student so social distancing was easy! Karens lovely studio was full of all sorts of flowers, some dried and dyed with spectacular colours and some fresh that she had bought at the flower market. Karen started off by showing us a few steps on how to bind the wire with floral tape Her hands are so strong and its so beautiful to see someone that knows their craft working with their hands, I could watch her all day. Then came the moment to start our own crowns… decisions, oh dear god, I’m so bad at decisions.

I decided to go outside for a cigarette, calm down and gather myself. I was so excited to embark on this project and yet felt so humiliated at the same time. There were so many mixed emotions running through me. I wanted to make the most beautiful crown that ever was put on the planet. For a moment I was in the place that my students find themselves in and it was so humbling… Its good to be in a position where you know nothing. I think I will put myself in this position once a year, where I use my hands for something that I know nothing about.

It was time to start. I had forgotten my Inderal, the medication that puts my Lithium tremor at bay, so there I was with shaking hands sorting through the different green fillers…so many< I can’t remember their names. Fluffy lime green ferns, grey green olive branches, angular pointy leaves on woody branches. The textures and colours are endless and immense…I want to use them all!  One thing I have personally found in my clay work is that sometimes “less is more” so I made a decision and went with some fluffy ferns and white roses. 

The roses were sublime, the fragrance was beyond beautiful, like the roses my mom used to grow in her garden, of course that then sent me on a nostalgic trip in my head, back to moms garden, my heart swelled, I tried not to tear up and decided that I would dedicate this crown to mom. Its been 19 years since she died and I still miss her.

 Time seemed to stand still, I became completely engrossed in the wiring and taping of the stems, a meditation of sorts. It was not easy, spacing is important as the main wire will bend around your head and leave gaps, so you almost have to squish the flowers or bundles very close together.  Wrapping the florist tape around these small spaces can be awkward and with a tremor can be frustrating…but I did it.

Karen announced that there was one hour left, no, no, I wanted to stay there all day and play with flowers. It was as though I was recharging, I felt myself being invigorated, fed by these plants that surrounded me and so blessed to be able to experience this.

I stood in front of the mirror, raised my crown to my head and placed it where I thought it should sit. It was so wonky, so unbalanced, so ridiculously beautiful, so naively put together. It was perfectly me.

I drove home elated and feeling refreshed, my crown on the seat next to me. I thought to myself “I will make a crown every week, that will be my therapy!” Hmmm lets see…

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