Saturday, August 15, 2009


Marigolds were hanging in long chains at the Farmers' Market in Santa Fe today (with a very south-western willow tree dream catcher behind them).  These are a Nepalese tradition, symbolizing peace, and I was thinking that I'd write about them in the context of Woodstock, 40 years on (not that I was all that aware when it was happening, back in England, but I saw the movie at an illicitly young age, shown at the Granada cinema in Tooting Bec, South London, which had (incongruously) a magnificent Wurlitzer organ, originally from Sacramento, I find.   Since 1973, the Granada seems to have been a bingo palace.

But I was googling Marigolds to check out their symbolic resonances, and found that they are also known as a flower of the dead, especially in Mexico, where they are employed in Day of the Dead celebrations - or should that be commemorations? - and in the middle of doing this learned the very sad news that former English department colleague (before my time, but his eminent legacy resonates still) Richard Poirier has just died.   So rather than musing on peace and love and tie-dyed t-shirts (plenty of these for sale in Eldorado's Artisan's Market yesterday afternoon), I offer up these flowers by way of wishing a peaceful safe passage to a very distinguished soul.

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