Yesterday I started thinking about flowers & rememberance & the circuits in which our lives are all embroiled. Today this hit home even harder.
On Wednesday night, a young man was killed down the road from my house. I don’t know what happened; word of a ‘fatal accident’ just spread around the grapevine, as such things do. It was a friend of friend. You recognise the face, know loads of the same people, drink in the same pub – you’re not friends yourself, but you’re both part of the same circuit.
Such a sad situation. There are no words or gestures that can be of any use or much comfort, but the desire to ‘just do something’ is strong – an act of rememberance, however small or seemingly pointless. It’s horrid to admit, but I’ve always been a bit condescending of people putting flowers down at the scene of a tragedy. All those bouquets at the gates of Kensington Palace? All the bunches left by fences & lamp-posts & houses? What’s the point, I’ve sneered countless times over the years. For the first time today, I have realised the point – the point is the act itself. The gesture of getting flowers & going to the place – that is the point, pure and simple. It’s small & paltry & yes, largely pointless. But it’s an act of rememberance. It’s recognition & respect for the young man’s life, cut tragically short.
Flowers: the language of love, the language of rememberance, the language when there are no words.