Part Two: An Impossible Rose
Of course, the flower that bloomed in my mind was a red rose. It was impossibly large and full, an emblem of love-lust-poetry that was as ideal in its conception as in its impact on my imagination. No such flower could exist, especially in the shadowy creek-bottom where I now descended on the thickly overgrown trail that had long ago been used for four-wheelers and maybe the occasional Sunday fisherman.
Spider webs came at me from every side, proving the trail had been deserted for quite some time. In all likelihood, the last person to walk on the path was me, and that had been at least a month past.
I walked quietly observing deer-prints, huge dragonflies, showy moths, and tiny violets that seemed to bloom everywhere amid the towering trees and fallen logs. It felt as though I were walking into a sacred space because I had spent so much time near the creek, alone, over the years. A stubborn side of me kept pushing forth the daydream of a blood-red rose; first a prisoner of my water bottle and then a flaming sacrifice to the moon.
The further I walked into the woods, the more certain I was that the flower in my mind was a phantom. In all likelihood, no flower would be blooming in the long shadows of the creek bottom, except for the seemingly endless droopy violets that purpled every stretch of weeds and seemed now to be bursting in my mind's eye, obliterating the red rose.
Doggedly I followed the sketchy path, swatting off gnats, sweating, and starting to feel really stupid. I'd been sure that my daydream of finding a flower near the creek would be validated in the three-dimensional world, putting a seal on the synchronistic relationship between the dream-world and the world of things.
Somewhere in these woods a flower waited for me that was as essential but as unlikely as the burning woman at the edge of my dreams. They were one in the same. If I failed to find a flower, the flower, then my intuition was nothing more than a dream-indulgence, and my long-held faith in magic was nothing more than black magic being perpetrated against me by a still undetermined force, but one which counted as its weapons foolishness, damnation, and insanity.
Daniel E. Blackston
My experiences with William Butler Yeats's Ghost Flower ritual.