I remember taking pictures of this flower. It grew on a tree in a little garden in Ajaccio, Corsica. Ever alert for potential blog and column pictures, I photographed close up after close up of this particular blossom. Its petals flared out, reminding me of a girl’s skirt, when she was spinning in the middle of a dance.
Yes, ‘Fantasia’ is one of my favorite movies. Yes, I’ve watched the sequence with the dancing flowers many times. Of course, it worked its magic on my imagination. Perhaps I would have visualized something else, if I didn’t still carry that imagery in the back of my mind.
While I took pictures, my husband mentioned this particular flower being poisonous. A vision bloomed in my own imagination of a girl wearing an orange skirt, which flared out. She exuded a kind of perfume, as she danced before an audience. Her audience stared at her in a sleepy stupor, as they exhaled an orange vapor out of their mouths, which she breathed in. Perhaps it was their vitality. Perhaps it was something else, which transmuted into vitality. The dancer would breathe it in, only to carry it back to her home. She lived in a translucent, orange cavern with a corpulent, angry woman, who couldn’t move. The girl, for she was no longer the dancer in the cavern, she was just ‘the girl’, would go to the woman and kiss her, breathing the fumes of vitality into her mouth. The woman was never grateful. She always demanded more, which the girl would have to venture out to gather. The dancer could never return to the same audience, because something in her breath would poison them, changing them. Eventually, the dancer would meet another woman in the audience, who wasn’t sent into a trance. She’d seize the girl’s wrist and demand why was she doing this? There were easier ways to gather vitality. Plus, the girl was only hurting herself, trying to gather it this way. You had to give back some of the Breath, in order to keep breathing myself.
All this came to me, looking at the shape of a flower, hearing a few words about a flower.
How about you, dear reader? Have you ever seen something, heard a few words, only to find a story shaping in your head?