Pétale après Pétale
Fête de Saint Jordi, 23rd April 2012. Caféclat reading, Collioure
What promise is held, contained in a rose,
That petal by petal shall surely unfold,
As budding beauty ripens to full
And tightly controlled falls away, as if a corset loosened,
For blooming amply, a fluttering heart is revealed.
Wafting scent, an offering,
For a rose without a fragrant note is flat indeed
And hardly what Nature intended –
As senses are aroused by a clinging mysterious power
Enticing, tantalising, remaining not fixed but ever-changing,
As the blush deepens to rouge
And liveliness is tempered by the onset of age.
Maturity brings wisdom we say,
Acknowledging that beauty must fade
And peace enter our halls,
For what comes with experience renders us whole – replete –
Knowledge transformed by a mystical act.
As petal by petal we’ve opened our gaze,
Wandered the paths and entered many mazes,
For the labyrinth contains at its centre the resting place
For all who have ventured in blindness and faith –
Seeking greener pastures and finally reaching ‘home’ –
The golden centre, a shimmering crown raised,
At last, in Life’s name,
As what was once divided becomes one again.
The journey circles to the end,
As perfection finds its own reflection
Yet lingering, through all our days,
The sweetest memory of all we’ve loved remains –
Held within, a captive state,
As our heart measures each breath we’ve taken,
Petal by petal,
Never forgetting the simple pleasures we’ve gathered.
Like nectar filling our cup,
Each precious drop distilled as an essence,
An Elixir of Love – of passion, of dreams, of hopes and ideals –
Of all that we’ve gained throughout each year
Petal by petal, we too are revealed –
Layer by layer, realising potential;
Laid bare in the end, taken by the wind,
Returning to Nature, the centre where everything springs from,
Claiming her own again, as undone,
Petal by petal, we enter her portal.
In the spirit of St Jordi (the local equivalent of St George) and the
UNESCO International Day of the Book, the nearby village of Le Boulou
was visited by parading ‘giants’, accompanied with music by a traditional
Catalan group. The ‘rambla’ transformed into a second hand book market
as red roses perfumed the street festival.
I was captivated by the ‘Journal Champêtre D’Edith Holden’ – the beautifully
illustrated diary of an Edwardian Lady, faithfully translated into French
(with the hand-drawn text carefully reproduced). Many plants found in the
English countryside are also flowering here, at exactly the same time,
despite differences in our seasons – it is fascinating to see how weather
patterns have changed since the turn of the century.
This Friday we have a special ‘St Jordi Slam’ writer’s group meeting, with all
participants invited to contribute a three minute reading in either English
or French, in the upstairs room of the historic Bar des Templiers in Collioure
– a light airy space alive with a collection of paintings from the many artists
who have frequented this region, the Fauvists among them.