Loss of Youth and Good Times – Red (or Maroon?)
Posted February 11, 2010on:
The second “rainbow-world” rainbow was rather light-hearted (home-made riddles…) Well, there’s no danger of that, with this next one – I’ve settled on a theme of “Poignancy and Loss”.
What a change a few weeks brings about. This photo shows what has happened to my amaryllis plant, pictured previously in here. Gone are the pillar-box red petals – now they’re a more serene mulberry colour. Losing their tautness, the petals are displaying visible lines. Their flesh now feels like raw silk, the kind with rough threads running through it. The pollen – still very plentiful, scattering over my window sill – is a softer, lemon shade rather than sulphur yellow. Clearly it has succumbed to the dying process.
I love these beautiful changes, as the amaryllis gradually curls up and dies. But this morning – a couple of weeks after this photo was taken – I noticed white markings on the petals. It’s probably some kind of mould. Now that really is a visible sign of death…and suddenly there is nothing poetic to be said about my amaryllis, any more. When death comes for real, pleasurable melancholy goes out the window!
With a natural process of change, there are still things to be mourned. [Although I love the amaryllis in this interesting phase, I would also love to see it ‘in its youth’ again!] There are good things, virtues that belong to every stage of a normal life. Even the happiest, most successful life involves a certain amount of looking back, and mourning that something has been lost. A parent thinking about the childhood of his teenage daughter feels pangs of nostalgia, while also being delighted (and relieved) that she is nearly grown up. Life (in this world, anyway) seems always to be a bitter-sweet kind of thing.