Flower Funerals & Metaphorical Fuchsias

Fuchsias (of the non-metaphorical variety)Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Now?

What about now?

I totally get like this every year.

At the first sign of summer, I get a serious case of can’t-wait-anymore-ness.

I have flowers on the brain.

You heard me.

Flowers.

Buying them.
Planting them.
Filling the porch with them.

It’s like the official sign that summer’s finally really here.

That and lightning bugs.

I never really cared about flowers until I owned a house.

And had an office that looks right out onto the barren boring empty porch.

Suddenly flowers became a big deal.

Again with the flower crack

This year was no exception.

I was totally itching for my flower fix.

Two days and twenty-two pots later, my itch got scratched.

Ahhhh.

Marigolds. Impatiens. Celosias. Angelonias.

Pure gorgeousness.

Oh, wait.

Somehow in my flower-fueled frenzy I ended up snagging two pots of fuchsias.

And you know that little plastic care tag?

The one that tells you what to do so the flowers don’t croak?

Um, yeah. I read it. When I got home.

Totally a case of too-little-too-late.com.

Because it said fuchsias need to be kept in full shade.

Full shade?
Dammit.

There’s no shade in our yard. Like not even a little.

And the porch is pretty much all sun, all the time.

Gak.

Who does that?

I didn’t exactly want to take the flowers back.

I mean, seriously.
Who does that?

So I called Mom.

She knows a lot about flowers. She’ll know what to do.

Her answer?

“They’re going to die. Probably in two days. Maybe three.”

Dammit.
Again.

Dead flowers? Totally not the plan.

So I told my wife about it.

About how Mom basically told us to prepare for a flower funeral.

And how we should probably start thinking about what to get to replace the doomed fuchsias.

Her response?

“They’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”

So I watched. And waited.

Curious when these hawt pink nuggets would give up the ghost and return to the Great Garden In The Sky.

I waited.

And waited.

Sweetness

Guess what?

They’re not dead.

In fact, they’re better than not dead.

They’re growing.
Thriving.
Doin’ their flower-ey thang.

My wife was right.

Or maybe we were just lucky.

I don’t know.

But this isn’t really about rightness or luck.

This is about perspective.

Worldview.

The default lens through which people see things.

The thing that shapes everything else.

Can I get a refill?

Mom’s a worrier.

The secretary of the Glass Half-Empty club.

A firm believer in the chicken apocalypse.

She sees problems that don’t exist.
And then spends a ton of time + energy fixing them.

My wife?

The exact opposite.

Totally chill. Almost never worries. Optimistic in a non-annoying way.

She’s all, “Apocalypse? Pshaw!”

So of course they had two totally different answers.

Because they have two totally different perspectives.

But we all have metaphorical fuchsias, don’t we?

Hopes.
Dreams.
Half-cocked plans.

Something we leap toward in a moment that’s equal parts inspiration + naïveté.

(That’s usually how the best stuff is born, isn’t it?)

Maybe it’s your new Thing you want to get off the ground.

Or your blooming business that you’re trying to make bloomier.

Or that itty bitty seed you’re still clutching in your sweaty, terrified palm.

We all have something.

Perception check in aisle four!

So before you ask somebody for care + feeding tips, check your sources.

Step back and peep their perspective.
Gut check their worldview.
Inventory their bandwidth.
Do they even have the eyes to grok your vision?

If not, keep moving.

Find someone else. Go fish.

Because asking these folks for help never ends well.

They’ll try to convince you to stay where you are.
To give it up.
To do something safe.

They’ll have you watching and waiting.

Prepping for imaginary funerals. Writing unnecessary eulogies.

Your mojo is needed elsewhere.

And it’s not that they’re trying to be unhelpful.

But worrying and Chicken-Little-ing and eulogizing is their baseline.

That’s where they’ve pointed their compass.

Which means every destination is inevitably the same.

Don’t get off there

You’re not going where they’re going.

So pick people with a different perspective.

I don’t mean people who will drown you in rahrah + sugar.

But people who believe in possibilities. In potential.

People who grok the bigness of your Thing.
And the power of your mojo.

People who believe that human beings can make unfuckingbelievable things happen.

People who understand that impossible is a sign of small vision. Not a statement of
fact.

Knock on those doors while you’re watering away.

Because your Thing deserves a fighting chance.

And perspective is everything.

Have you asked the wrong people for feedback?
What happened?
How did it affect your Thing?
How do you sort out who to ask now?

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10 Responses to Flower Funerals & Metaphorical Fuchsias
  1. jane
    July 7, 2011 | 4:41 pm

    i have learnt from experience to be very selective about whom i tell my dreams to … to find a safe place where i don’t have to justify or explain my dreams – where the magic of them is instantly translated in the heart of the listener- this has been a major part of my work over the last few years – finding a safe nest for my dreams to test their fledging from…

  2. Kellie J. Walker (
    July 7, 2011 | 7:19 pm

    Nature persists. Whether it’s grass growing through a crack in miles of concrete or a tree growing on some ‘impossible’ mountain side, life finds a way.

    Bugs Bunny could, because he didn’t he know couldn’t. Remember the ‘gravity’ scene? One of my favorites.

    Some of the best advice I’ve ever received: ‘Before you call, ask yourself 3 questions:

    1) What do I want/need?
    2) What are the odds s/he’ll be able to give it to me?
    3) How damaging will it be if I don’t get what I want/need?

    Then, call someone else. ;-)’

    Love to you for this post!

  3. Mic
    July 7, 2011 | 8:27 pm

    Yes, yes and yes!!! The quiet underground voice in the back of my mind… you can’t do that…so entrenched I barely hear it. Keeping me safe, but stifled in a couple of key areas.

    Love fushias, love flowers. My soul cries out for more. This metaphor has opened a new chink of light both literally and figuratively. Cool!!

  4. Jen
    July 7, 2011 | 10:32 pm

    OK, so how do I work “metaphorical fuschia” into every day conversation! This is another “hell yeah” post. I have learned that when the energy of my words feel like they’re floating into space in a convo, then I can let the advice the comes out float away as well. It’s usually an idea for another “job” I could do or some well-meaning attempt to find me a box to fit in. Conversly, I tend to try to pull people out of their boxes, so I’ve seen people decide that I’m not the one to talk to, so I’ve learned compassion when energies don’t match, since it can totally go both ways.

    So even still, I’ve let the talk weigh me down. I’ve looked for safe routes or relied on my own energies where I think a li’l more reliance on the universe would do. Part of it is because those well-meaning voices have well-meaning eyes and I don’t wanna look like a fool. Aware of that, I just push through with compassion for myself. I’m working on my work and in love with it. I talk to my mr. and select friends who get me and challenge me with love.

    I have a safe space with safe, smart, awesome people and that is a wonderful place to water my metaphorical fuschias…yes!

  5. Mia
    July 8, 2011 | 12:55 pm

    My first thought about the fuchsia – just water the heck out of it, it will survive!

    I have had both real and metaphorical fuchsias in my life and with a little flexibility, some improvisation and the right attitude that you were going to see it through, they have thrived. When I have had to have a “flower funeral” it was usually because it wasn’t the right time, my heart wasn’t excited or into the plant or idea or I didn’t trust myself and relied on others opinions.

    Thank you for this fabulous reminder and I want to see a pix of your bloomin’ porch!

  6. tara
    July 8, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    When I started reading this, I thought “just move it inside.”
    And then I realized: that totally sums up my perspective.
    I’m something between a (blonde)chicken little + a laid back cat, looking for all the other options. I’m the person you ask when you want something between OH NO and SURE!

    But I got all off subject: I love this! I want all new businesses EVER to read this!

  7. Fabeku
    July 12, 2011 | 3:36 pm

    @Jackie – I’ve really learned to grok just how important choosiness is. Not just in who we share our stuff with. But also who we ask for business advice. Coaches. Consultants. Collaborative folks. So so important. Choosiness FTW!

    @Frank – Yep. It’s totally true. I have another post cooking that’s an offshoot of this. Who we hang with matters hugely. No doubt.

    @Chris – You know we have that chicken little thing in common. It’s so gaktastic. I love that you balance yours with some what-the-hell-ness. (p.s. I love your grandma’s line of thinking!)

    @Christine – That is awesome! Thankfully the fuchsias here haven’t reached that point. But it’s good to know. About actual fuchsias + their metaphorical counterparts.

    @Tori – I think cocooning during specific periods of the creative process is totally smart. There are times to reach out + ask for advice. And times to shut the doors + windows and listen to what’s rattling around inside. So I say: go you!

    @Skaja – Smart! Because your Thing is sweet + awesome. And protecting it when it needs protecting is totally right on. It’ll keep growing + getting bigger + finding deeper roots. Until then, sharing it with folks who will water it + feed it + love it is smart.

    @Sophie – Thriving pink shade-loving daisies! LOVE! Another great example of why I think impossible is kind of the silliest word ever.

    @Gwyn – Legacy of doomsayers? Oy. I know that one. And how heavy that can be. Glad you’re looking up + reaching out. Took me a long time to do that. But I’m glad I did.

    @Naomi – The unintentional crushing is so hard to see, isn’t it? And what you said about our believers? So so true. Big mojo there.

    @Stacey – You’re totally right about the truth. It’s always in there. The right people can help us find it or understand it or bring it out. But it’s always inside. And I love what you said about the roots. It applies to flowers + pretty much everything else too. Total smartness.

    @Erin – The way you talk about your garden rocks the Casbah. Beautiful + brilliant. All at once. And right on with recognizing that the smartness isn’t exclusive. Because it’s so not. And it’s never about them – whoever that is – anyway. It’s about us. And what we need. And the choices we make.

    @Jane – A safe nest. That’s totally gorgeous. And so important. Our Thing deserves a sweet place to grow. Thanks for that.

    @Kellie – The Tao of Bugs! You know I love that like crazy. And it’s so true. How much more could we do if no one ever told us we couldn’t?

    @Mic – Safe-but-stifled. I know that one really well. Digging through another layer of it right now. It’s not easy stuff. And by not easy I mean mind-numbingly hard. But freedom tastes so sweet.

    @Jen – It can so totally go both ways. And compassion is so helpful. Here and everywhere, really. The whole resonance thing helped me so much. Everybody resonates to something different. It’s not personal. At all. That frees everybody up to find what turns them on. And I love that like crazy.

    And you’re right. It can still get heavy. This is big stuff. Because it’s our Thing. And it goes right to the core of who we are. Because it’s our Thing! So, yeah, hard + heavy + tender sometimes.

    @Mia – Smart stuff. And good points about the flower funerals. I’m totally good with the not-the-right-time or my-heart-wasn’t-into-it part. That stuff helps us to make space. The not-trusting-myself part or the someone-said-it’ll-never-happen part is tragic. And also totally fixable.

    @Tara – You are awesome. Completely and totally. I love the balance. Thanks, you.

  8. Kellie J. Walker (
    July 12, 2011 | 3:50 pm

    The Tao of Bugs. Love that phrase!

    On a related note…

    I was at a friend’s birthday party this weekend and somehow decided to give a vertical pole dance move (a la Chinese Pole acrobatics, not stripping) a try. That lead to me signing up for some classes. I’ll be bruised, but it’ll be fun!

  9. Fabeku
    July 15, 2011 | 3:41 pm

    @Kellie – Go you!

  10. Susan T. Blake
    July 17, 2011 | 11:26 am

    I’m catching up with my reading today, as you can see since I’m about a week late to this party. But just had to say:

    Your mojo is needed elsewhere. Love that.

    and People who understand that impossible is a sign of small vision. Not a statement of fact. Love that, too.

    I’m with you on this; two of the tips in my little book Remember to Look Up are “Listen to Others” and “Don’t Listen to Others.”

    Thanks for the reminder, and the story.

    PS Do you have bird feeders to go with the flowers?

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