Sunday, July 22, 2012

War of the Roses

I can't say I'm really much of a rose girl, though roses have marked some significant moments in my life. I remember once buying a dozen peach colored roses on an overpass in Beijing for 5 yuan and taking extreme delight in having relinquished my money for something so fleeting. There were a few other momentous occasions in my life in which roses played a part, but my husband buys me tuber roses instead (which are nothing like roses) and there were no roses in our wedding. I actually quite dislike the smell or regular roses, particularly dried roses. Despite my general disregard for them, roses have stood out to me in the past week for the following reasons.

["Dance for me Wallis", incredible piece by Abel Korzeniowski, and the video happens to show one of my absolute favorite stills from the film]

I watched the film W./E. which is so lovely to me that I almost don't want to share it. I won't say too much about the movie itself here, but there is a scene in which a rather terrible husband tries to apologize to his wife with a bouquet of roses. All he says is "I was a jerk", and hands them to her. It struck me as a sweet, if inadequate, gesture of sorrow and repentance. A peace offering. It was all the more poignant when I read my  dear friend Michelle's latest poem, "White Roses."

there are white roses on the kitchen counter
a man’s surrender
to his wife & the result
of enough bitter thorns
drawing blood
the air is free to move again
as petals ripple like a flag
just short of victory
so many have smiled upon them,
oblivious to the casualties
that have taken place
i wait, as the injury
to the stems takes its toll
& the inevitable overtakes each bud
but in this moment,
there is peace in our house.

I was also stunned by these other-worldly rooms from the Christian Dior Fall Couture 2012 show. I'm not sure if they used any roses, but it's mesmerizing, whatever it all is. You can watch a video of how it all came together here. (image from here; tons more there as well)

This morning in church, I was letting jealous thoughts swirl around in my head. I can't remember struggling with jealously in years past, but recently it's come on full force and it something that I'm trying to work on. Just as I was getting deeper into my own dark musings, the band started playing "He is Jealous for Me" by John Mark McMillan and it suddenly dawned on me... Christ longs to have my heart and my time and my joy and my affections to himself, just as I long to be everything to the loved ones in my life. I had to smile to myself at the realization of my foolishness and the image of myself "as a tree, bending beneath the weight" of his jealous and passionate love for me. He is a lover that created each rose, and each tuber rose, not as a peace offering from a man who is flawed, but as an undeserved gift to a woman who is hopelessly lost without Him. 

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