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Flower Power: A Rose Rises Through Darkness

I took a new route today. Headed up Sixth instead of b-lining it towards the water. I had a few other shots along the way of cranes, perspective lines, even a torn out page from a magazine that would definitely be NSFW and then I stumbled across this rose.


In a bizarre way, I felt as if I was peering into the world of this tiny basement Belltown apartment which was completely drenched in shadows. Bars on the mesh reinforced windows kept the darkness pent up. Yet emerging from the shadows was a pale glimmer of a rose. Hastily I shot one photo because I didn’t want to invade the privacy of the rose, or the people living in this cave. Call it voyeuristic or just inquisitive, but I wonder what exists behind the layer of dust and darkness and why only a single rose exists to break down the barrier of blackness.

Inspired by the rose, I set out on a quest for poetry … more specifically a Sonnet. Quickly I found one from Shakespeare (go figure) that seems to be very apropos. Sonnet 54:

O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns and play as wantonly
When summer’s breath their masked buds discloses:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo’d and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth.

Likewise No Rose That In A Garden Ever Grew by Edna St. Vincent Millay seemed to hit the darkness and beauty of the rose quite well.

No rose that in a garden ever grew,
In Homer’s or in Omar’s or in mine,
Though buried under centuries of fine
Dead dust of roses, shut from sun and dew
Forever, and forever lost from view,
But must again in fragrance rich as wine
The grey aisles of the air incarnadine
When the old summers surge into a new.
Thus when I swear, “I love with all my heart,”
‘Tis with the heart of Lilith that I swear,
‘Tis with the love of Lesbia and Lucrece;
And thus as well my love must lose some part
Of what it is, had Helen been less fair,
Or perished young, or stayed at home in Greece.

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