”…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
James Joyce, Ulysses
This is the end of the book, Ulysses. Molly Bloom is drifting off to sleep and the preceding 45 pages of text are the stream of thoughts that run through her mind as she drifts off, the last part of the day, the part of me I don’t even know. That part. In the entire chapter, there are only 2 sentences and no other punctuation but the two periods. It ends with these most beautiful words. Yes. It is the right answer to so many questions. How many times do kids and dogs and grown ups hear, ”NO!” compared to yes. What if the ratio was made to just barely shift to the yes side. Would the world change? Would mine, at least? There is a movie in which Jim Carey is forced to answer every request ”yes”. It is worth seeing.
My initial response is usually ”wait, no, stop, maybe, I don’t know–voice getting shrill” It is just the way I am wired. But Molly’s last words, I think the most achingly beautiful in the English language, are a better invitation. They are the feminine, the creative, the possible, the feast, the yes.
Utah, 2009, Nikon d100, natural light, Aperture 3