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I recently read a novel entitled, The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani. The story is set in the 1620s during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great in what is now Iran. One of the arts the Shah promoted was carpet making. At that time, carpets were coveted by European kings, noblemen, wealthy merchants, and artists such as Rubens, Velazquez, and Van Dyck. Under his patronage, carpet making was elevated to the status of fine art; examples of this fine workmanship exist today in museums and private collections around the world. I was particularly moved by the title, which signifies the death of millions of flowers, their blooms picked at the height of their glory in order to create the indelible dyes used in the creation of carpets. The author wrote that she drew the title from a poem called "Ode to a Garden Carpet," by an unknown Sufi poet, circa 1500. The poem portrays the garden carpet as a place of refuge that stimulates visions of the divine. I was feeling sorry for the flowers while I read the story and was reminded of AMAG's words, "Everything that exists in your world is engaged in eating and being eaten. What appears to you as the death of one form is the birth of something else. Everything is both consuming and being consumed at the same time."