I finally saw a Rose today.
Not a rose, mind you. I've seen enough of those in parks and gardens, and floral arrangements. But until today, I've never seen what made a Rose so legendary.
This was not a flower, but a part of the wall itself. At its base, the stalk was as thick as an axehandle, and the thorns protruded everywhere, threatening passersby on one side, and digging into the ancient plaster on the other.
And yes, in the middle of these savage leaves, there were some very nice and fragrant blossoms.
And once again, the gap between worlds is revealed. The old world and the new world, but also the real world and the literary world. Metaphors about roses are redundant to the point of cliché, but it's not until I saw this rose today that I realised just how domesticated the roses were that I'd seen until now. There's nothing in those bushes at City Hall that can accurately represent beauty and power by themselves, without relying on hundreds of years of reputation. Not compared to the real thing, at any rate.
I must admit, it leaves me a little bit irked, in that way familiar to Generation X, told implicitly and continually by society that they'll never be as good. But in much the same manner, it lets one abandon such hopeless expectations, and set out on their own.
Mind you, there's still another set of expectations hindering me: this strange notion that things I plant in the ground will grow and be healthy. I'll have to put off my xeriscaping revolution until I get a handle on that.