Saturday, January 31, 2009

Captive Flower

All those many years ago, in my last semester at the University of Wisconsin, I finally took that science class that I needed to graduate. I opted for Plants and Man. In addition to learning such fine things as how to make wine and beer we learned about the importance of our connection with nature for our psychological wellbeing, something I have never lost sight of. Although the class was fun and interesting, it was a real college class and we had to write a paper at the end of the semester. I decided to write about Flower Power. I did an historic look at the use of the flower as a symbol of peace….sigh.
I ultimately became a lawyer and later still took on the representation of a man at Guantanamo. My client, Mr. Al-Ghizzawi, told me during one of our first visits about a flower that was outside his cage at Guantanamo, just sticking out of the desert terrain, by itself. Al-Ghizzawi watched the flower over several days and I could tell from his voice that it brought him pleasure just to think about that flower. He called it a primrose and ended by saying, “it didn’t belong there, and I don’t belong here.” He was right on both accounts....