The Stone Flower

Vladimir Preobrazhensky as Danilo in The Tale of the Stone Flower ballet, 1 March 1954. (WikiMedia)
This is article is inspired by the play/ballet and the folk tale of the same name.

I haven’t really read the tale, or watched the ballet but the name did catch my eye when trawling the internet. A flower, made of stone. It got me thinking.

When looking at works of art, be it in a gallery, or in your own home (art takes all forms), we can’t help but notice how delicate it is. That stained glass vase gleaming in the sunlight. That cheese soufflé that’s the right amount of fluffy, seated playfully on the edge of the baking dish. That flower arrangement that can’t help but elicit warmth in the heart of the observer.

Beauty is fragile

Life in, many ways, imitates art. It could twist and turn like a mountain road through the alps. It could fill you with sorrow rivaling only that of Captain Ahab aboard the Pequod. It could be as beautiful as listening to Gustav Holst’s The Planets. (Jupiter is my personal favorite).

Danilo (from the folk tale) made something beautiful (a cup), but one that brought him no joy. So much so that he sought out the Stone Flower, ignoring all warning that his life would ‘lose all its sweetness’ should his mission be successful. I’m not sure whether to regard his endeavour as the pursuit of happiness or the folly of dissatisfaction.

As the story goes, he achieved his purpose, and learnt the true beauty of stone. He disappeared soon after, either to a slumber more peaceful than his earthly torment, or to a life of servitude at the Mountain, home to the Stone Flower.

Life is what you make it

What happens when life is not…delicate? What happens when life is like a flower made of stone? Beautiful to see, but hard to experience. A work of art that brings no joy nor peace. An arduous journey that may probably leave you winded.

Well, you could be looking at it all wrong. I believe in respecting the process. Never compare your work of art to another’s. Appreciate the beauty in the life you carve out (pun intended). Find joy in each contour, each crack. Find peace in your personal Mona Lisa, a masterpiece that you’re building for those who will come after you. A testament to the gift that you are.

Tree of Life
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.