A Daisy as Tall as a Tree

DaisiesIt’s not a figment of the imagination. It’s real, and it grows in the Andes in a place where evolution runs faster than the rest of the world. Espeletia uribei

This fabulous fact — that evolution can run faster in different parts of the world — makes me want to listen to a happy song by Simon and Garfunkel, Feelin’ Groovy. The opening words could be a meditator’s anthem,

slow down, you move too fast.

The song reminds me of dressing up for Halloween as another male songwriting duo, Hall & Oates, in very groovy costumes, tight black pants with silver stars taped down the sides of our legs, Gail, petite with dark ringlets, me looming behind her with frowsy blonde hair.


daisies film stillGail and I met during our junior year, studying experimental cinema in Eastern Europe, including the film “Daisies,

Vera Chytilova’s fascinating romp that you can watch on the big screen this week in New York City at BAM Cinematek (or watch the newly released DVD).The film is a funny and visually arresting critique of the stultified Communist bureaucracy, made by the only woman director in the Czech New Wave.


daisies film still 2


Daisies (the film) reminds us that political and social evolution take place at different speeds in different parts of the world, just as the giant daisies of the Andes show that biological evolution does too.


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