By Nadia Darwesh

Still Life No. 1: Wilting Rose

Monday, November 13, 2017

I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle,
Infinitely suffering thing.

‒T.S. Eliot, Preludes

In the dead-heat of the last quarter of 2017, my anxiety has been at an all time high.

This ugly feeling, unfortunately, is one of those things that's difficult to express to those around you. How does one talk about one's sense of inadequacy, without sounding like a crybaby?

In my case, hardly ever.

Yet there's always the silver lining: emotional independence, stark as it can sometimes be, also gives way to self-sufficiency. In other words, one learns to cope.

It was this frame of mind that informed the contrast black and white still of the rose above.

I had initially wanted to capture it in a bright romantic manner only to quickly notice that it was in a droopy stage of its life cycle. Pretty—I thought, but also, frail. Moisture had seeped into the outer petals, which hastened the plant towards its eventual perishing, and as much as I tried to restore it by clipping the stem and placing it in a vase of fresh water, it was no use.

Interestingly enough, the more I stared at the final images, the more the petals resembled open mouths in various stages of emotion, the most prevalent of these being laughter.

It was a visual metaphor of hope that I readily embraced.
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