At the end of work the other day, I followed a few links that eventually led me to the Soundcloud page of “Conversations with Margaret Daniel” and I began listening. While I should have been heading home for the night, instead I found myself wanting to stay plugged into my computer, listening to this woman talk about the plants that populate her yard: Roses, camellias, azaleas, lilacs… The audio is a collage of many different conversations with this woman and the result is a wonderfully intimate, reflective, and touching look at what is alive and what is dead. “Whoever this Margaret Daniel is,” I thought, “She is a pleasure to spend time with.”
Turns out, Margaret Daniel is the childhood neighbor of photographer Susan Worsham. Worsham turned to Daniel as a subject after losing her brother, mother and father. This audio was played in the gallery for an exhibition of Worsham’s featuring Daniel.
You are introduced to Daniel with these words:
As you go through life, don’t forget to smell the flowers. … ‘Give me flowers while I’m living. Do not wait until I’m dead.’ They come with all these flowers. Mother said that’s the worst thing it could be. Why not do good for a human being while they know? When they’re gone, no matter how many flowers you pour on, it’s nothing.“
Image by Susan Worsham courtesy of the artist