“Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires or food, are really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope for from the flowers.”
Plato once feared that the arts would so intoxicate the citizenry with the spectrum of emotional ecstasy that they would disrupt the order of the state. Until the poet could justify art as a contribution to rational order, Plato banished him from his utopian Republic. Closely followed by Aristotle’s celebration of art, however, and forever hounded by the eternal human delight in beauty and artistic expression, Plato’s dictum could not long survive.
We consider a “full life” to be one with a multitude of varied activity. But I find that in art, in my intoxication with flowers, I live my fullest life. In my art, I create something useful for nothing except for reaching the highest of human aspirations – bringing beauty into the world and touching the affections and fancies of others.