Wednesday, December 06, 2006

E. Johnson Florist

There are plenty of professional ladies in New London, Conn. The ladies at Johnson's Florist, across from the hospital, are among the most pleasant to deal with. They toil long days pricking their fingertips on thorns and sharp stems to craft beautiful arrangements. Their sore fingers don't dampen their spirits. They smile through the pain of their workaday routnine.

What makes a professional really? It is a person who has given up a part of thier identity to public service. Some do it for pay, some do it for status, some do it because they have no other option. New London is made up of lawyers and doctors of medicine and of religion. There are nurses and teachers and librarians and accountants and scientists. There are florists and bookkeepers and receptionists and launderers. Crossing guards and street sweepers adhere to high standards of conduct.

The most cash-poor of avocations is that of the artist. He never makes money until he is too dead to enjoy it. New London is full of performance artistes crafting beautiful, meaningful lives out of the city's thin air. You cannot swing a dead cat in New London without hitting a member of the creative class.

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