Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is in the Air

Yesterday, I was talking to the FedEx man and my favorite UPS deliveryman, Phil. It seems as if love is still in the air even with the economy on the rocks. The FedEx man was crazed with flower deliveries—roses, roses, and roses. Roses to uncles, nieces, friends, and lovers. Roses delivered to businesses, homes, and apartments.
Love goes on even with FedEx laying off 950 workers.

What exactly do roses mean symbolically. I have always thought of Valentines roses as an expensive waste of money. Valentines Day roses are cold—they don’t smell and their perfection is stiff and unnatural. But to my surprise there is a rich history behind roses!

According to the site World Leaders in Classics Roses, “The famous nursery rhyme ‘A ring a ring of roses’ is actually reference to the great plague of London in the sixteen hundreds, the ‘black death’. The roses actually describe the red blotches that were a symptom of the disease. A ‘pocket full of posies’ refers to the bunches of herbs and flowers, possibly containing roses, that were carried to ward off the disease.” The Christian symbolism of a rose is, “There are other heraldic roses and the plant has indeed made it’s way through religious history also. Most religions believe in rose symbolism in some form or other, in Christianity the rose is associated with Mary. White roses are attributed to the Virgin martyrs and to the Virgin Mary herself and red roses represent the blood of Christ spilt on the cross and his love for mankind.”

The blood of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the black plague. Does the rose represent the cycle of life? Even the fluxus movement has been fascinated with the rose.

Gertrude Stein and the Sixties in Denmark – fluxus and performance
By Tania Ørum
In 1965, Danish writer and critic Hans-Jørgen Nielsen (at det at, to/that it to/that 1965) has a motto by “miss stein/part of poetry a part of poetry part from poetry partly with poetry ... partly poetry part poetry a part poetry”, and that several of the poems in the volume eccho her preference for the most insignificant word categories: adverbs, articles and conjunctions. Nor is it a coincidence that Nielsen’s programmatic book of essays Nielsen og den hvide verden (1968) contains an analysis of Stein’s poem “a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”. Nielslen’s friend the Danish avant-garde composer Henning Christiansen, who belonged to the early Fluxus movement, has composed a piece based on Stein’s rose-poem and orchestrated for 28 string instruments, whose notes are determined by the form of the letters, played one by one, “like an electric newspaper”, the composer says. And a painter from the same experimental circles, John Davidsen, spent the entire year 1969-1970 on a series centrered on roses, with reference to Gertrude Stein – ranging from posters of roses /to exhibitions of living roses in varying stages of freshness and fading/ to the marketing of rose jelly.

For those of you have think that I have strayed to far from the discussion of money I would like to pose a question. Is the $787 billion dollar bailout the gift of a rose from our government on Valentines Day? Will that rose revitalize us and save us from disease or will it just hide the sink of death. To find out what the “Rose” is go to the Wall Street Journal, and read Getting to $787 Billion and find out what each petal of the rose means to you.

Is Love in the Air?

Getting to $787 Billion

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