the world's edge is its heart: a week of silent images: 5

3:41 PM Posted by James Owens







12 comments:

Lady Jo said...

Une graine de ????

belle journée James.

James Owens said...

Lady Jo: C’est une graine de sycomore. En gros plan, elle semble dangereuse! Y a-t-il de sycomores en France? Je l’ignore. Ils se trouvent auprès des rivières et dans les marais.

☼ FRANCE ☼ said...

Bonsoir tu vois je cherche l'outil de traduction sur ton blog mais je ne le vois pas ce qui n'est pas trop grave car il me reste tes photos. Assez surprenant mais j'aime assez oui.
Bonne soirée

James Owens said...

France: Je vais chercher comment installer l’outil de traduction :-) Merci pour ta visite et pour le commentaire!

Andrea said...

Surprising picture!
I really like this way to see the things.

James Owens said...

Andrea: Perspective is everything. I try to remember that the world is a different world, if I look at it differently….

Roxana said...

sycomore!!! i have always loved the sound of this word, i am fascinated with it...
we don't have them here.
i would have never guessed that it was a seed, i thought of a strange flower :-)

James Owens said...

Roxana: This would be a strange flower, indeed :-)

Thorn Flowers

When she was still a little girl, the princess Mélisande’s father, the king, promised her in marriage to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, hoping to prevent war between the two. As the princess grew, she became more beautiful with every passing year, even with every day that passed, and often she stood at twilight on the battlements of the castle, looking out over the long expanses of sand and the barren hills, for this was a desert kingdom, gazing with wonder and sometimes a vague fear toward that land where the prince she had never seen was perhaps standing alone in the twilight, gazing likewise toward the horizon.

But Mélisande fell in love, the very summer before she was to marry the prince. One day merchants from the western islands visited the marketplaces of the city, bringing roses. Mélisande had never seen roses before, for they do not grow in the desert sand -- huge piles of magnificent red roses, each as large and strange as the princess’s heart, their petals as soft and delicate as the eyelids of a thousand weeping eyes, their scent an irresistible sweetness woven into the air, roses as fresh and soft as if the dew of their native mornings still clung in beads of bright water among the petals.

Walking in the marketplace, the princess saw the roses, and her heart was changed forever. Gasping in delight, she reached for them, and the thorns drew drops of blood from her white hands, drops as scarlet as the flowers themselves. Melisande knew then that she had been wounded in her soul, not only in her hands.

After the flowers brought by the merchants had faded and crumbled into dust, Mélisande tried to grow roses in the gardens of the palace. Gardeners exhausted themselves in their desire to please the princess, digging and watering and coaxing the thorny stems to blossom, but the stems were never more than sad sticks planted in the earth, leaning and whispering in the desert wind, teasing the princess with their barrenness, until her longing for roses became so great that she began to fade, just like the merchants’ flowers, the red blush gone from her cheeks, her hands trembling in the light of dawn as she walked sleepless past the failed roses of her gardens, her lips trembling with the bitterness of a great and hopeless passion.

The king, her father, pleaded with her to put this desperate longing for roses out of her mind, to think, instead, of the prince who would be arriving soon, whom she would see for the first time, except in dreams, and to think of the upcoming marriage. But Mélisande could not. Her heart blackened like a late rose in the first winds of November, and she died. And the king sat on his throne with his face lowered into his hands, or lifted his eyes and gazed for a long time at the sky, in silence, as the first veils of the long night drifted down from heaven.

Her fiancé, the prince, arrived the next morning, joyful, his servants waving banners of blue and yellow and scarlet silk, strings of pearls and rubies tangled in the manes of the horses, everyone laughing or singing. But when the prince saw Mélisande lying lifeless and pale on her bed, he knew at once that his heart had been changed forever, that her beauty and her death had wounded him in his soul.

Without a word, looking at no one, the prince turned and left the castle, wandering alone into Mélisande’s empty, barren gardens, lying down to weep, nearly lifeless himself, among the dry, brittle stems of her failed rose beds. His tears became the seeds of strange flowers that bloomed there afterwards, that still bloom there in those gardens, though the kingdom is a waste land now and the palace lies in broken ruins -- strange flowers whose petals are thorns, whose blossoms are tangles of thorns that sometimes drip with drops of blood like those from the soft hands of the princess Mélisande.

Roxana said...

Melisande knew then that she had been wounded in her soul, not only in her hands.


oh, James - you left me speechless, yet again...

James said...

I remember stepping on one of these when I was a kid. I had no idea how cool they look close up.

James Owens said...

Roxana: :-) This speechlessness is music....

James Owens said...

James: I stepped on a few of those myself. Not as bad as chestnut burrs, but bad enough....