“Along with love and work, [watching] is the great salvation. For whenever someone is seriously watching, a form of lost innocence is restored. It will not last, but during those minutes his self-consciousness is relieved.”
–Robert Phelps, biographer of Colette, quoted in Molly Peacock’s The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delaney Begins Her Life’s Work at 72.
In grief over her husband’s death, at the age of 72 Mary Delany (1700-1788) began making intricate cut-outs of the flowers she loved, calling them her “flower mosaicks.”
Here’s a NYT review of the book Molly Peacock wrote about Mrs. Delany’s life and work.