The rose fades
and is renewed again
by its seed
but where

Save in the poem
shall it go
to suffer no diminution
of its splendor

- William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
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I stumbled upon this beautiful poem (literally) while walking in midtown. It was bronzed, embossed, and embedded into the sidewalk, and it caught my eye as I felt it underneath my foot. I paused and knelt down to read it more carefully, its beauty, serenity, and strength washing over me as I reread it over and over, staring at each word with an overwhelming feeling of comfort and clarity.

The essence of this poem is about the infinite cycle of Life (and Death). It's also about inner beauty, strength, self-love, self-nurturing, and survival. A rose is Mother Nature's expression of simple, sublime beauty and elegance. The message is in her very being: La vie et bella. Life is beautiful. Stopping to smell the roses touches us both visually and viscerally, and breathing her in brings us comfort. The impact of the poem's very first words "The rose fades . . ." stopped me in my tracks. The image of a faded rose always evokes powerful feelings for me, both sadness and melancholy, and also a feeling of peace and serenity. Beauty does fade and die, and we also enjoyed her gentle grace while she was here.

In Life (and Death), there is Hope. As the petals fade, the rose is "renewed again, by its seed." We humans are creatures composed of a vibrant, electric system of growth, regrowth, healing, and self-preservation. We have the tools within us on a physical, emotional, and energetic level to constantly love and heal ourselves. We can "photosynthesize", as it were, by seeing our own Light and Love, and letting that be our guide.

"Save in the poem . . ." Here we come to the idea of what defines the beauty and "splendor" of this rose. If these flowers could speak, who knows what they would say. It is a metaphor for our power to define ourselves, to be at peace with and within ourselves from moment to moment, our innate beauty undiminished, no matter what is happening to us physically on the outside and/or the inside. Through the poem, the rose will "suffer no diminution of its splendor", just as through our inner voice, our inner Light, we can shine, accept and love ourselves, and ultimately live in the glory of LIFE every day, in every moment.

This is my journey to self-discovery, self-acceptance, and to new levels of understanding, nurturing, and loving myself and those around me. This is Bald Is Beautiful changing ourselves and the world within and around us, one hair follicle at a time! Welcome.

 

 

2003 sharon blynn / baldisbeautiful.org