Death, Decay & Flowers

Words by
Annabelle Hickson
Images by
Annabelle Hickson
| May 15, 2015

Flowers and foliage have a certain decency in death, don’t you think? They shrivel without complaint. Without thrashing against it. No vitamin pills, no specialist visits, no fixing. They drop their final seeds, decay and go. I think that’s why I like being surrounded by them in my house, quietly dying. A gentle, ghoulish chorus in various stages of decay, singing softly “it’s not so bad”.

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The flowers I grow are blemished and spotted – I don’t spray them because I don’t see the point. That’s the way I like them. That’s the way I like me. When an almost-boyfriend told me I needed a pedicure he needn’t have officially ended it over a hot chocolate at Max Brenner’s later that night – I already knew we were doomed. I don’t want perfect roses from a hothouse, I don’t want flashes of white teeth saying “terrific really – I’ve never been better”, I don’t want manicured toes.

I live in the bush where there is so much decay. So much life too, but death is everywhere. Two sides of the same coin, which no green hedge is big enough to hide from view.

Dead animals, abandoned houses, dying trees, bones. There is such beauty in all these endings. I guess because there is such beauty in what is true, and what is truer than death?

But it’s a truth I am not entirely comfortable with. I may love the imperfect but that doesn’t mean I am fine with being dead. With me actually dying.

So let these blemished flowers, beautiful as they curl and dry, gently remind me I will anyway.

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