Smelling the flowers, just quietly

June 10, 2011 Comments Off on Smelling the flowers, just quietly

One of the best surprises of seeing Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart was the ever-handsome, Lee Pace’s performance. On our way home from the play, a guy on the subway platform poked my tattoo and proclaimed, “Ferdinand!” He told me he loved that story and planned to get a different Ferdinand tattoo. Then he spent most of the train ride to Brooklyn explaining the story of Ferdinand the Bull to his friend.
He did such a thorough and sweet retelling of the story that it made me remember my Bubbie’s version, which she recorded onto a tape for me when I was little, so that I could listen to the story before going to sleep at night. I need to find that tape with her comforting Midwestern accent. Someday I’d like to walk around New York with a tape recorder and ask people if they know the story of Ferdinand the Bull. If they say yes, I’ll ask them to retell it in their own words and record a collection of these different versions. Now that New York is almost one-hundred degrees outside, Ferdinand’s story is a lovely reminder that we don’t want to fight; we want to find a favorite cork tree and sit in its shade, “smelling the flowers, just quietly.”

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