Some of my friends ask why flower arrangement is so hard, and I say “Because it’s a religious activity” sarcastically. In every quip there is a grain of truth, this grain was that you have to represent the last moments of this gorgeous flower with beauty and grace. My first time at the altair, I felt wholly unprepared for the task. Daunted by what I had before me, I remembered that it’s easy to arrange flowers, just make them feel what you’re feeling right now. Besides composing my piece with a steam roller, the other story I wanted to tell was a shy one. I crafted a scene of a bamboo forest coupled with a few modest flowers peaking around the stalks and the leaves. It wasn’t perfect. I could look back and give three reasons why this piece wasn’t a fitting memorial, but I think the imperfection was as telling of the piece as what I was trying to achieve. After all, you don’t see a deity the first few times you pray.