Narcissus

I have known the story of Narcissus for a long time.

One of your typical greek tragedies; A beautiful boy, blessed with long life, so long as he ‘never knew himself’. When he spots his beautiful reflection in a stream, of course he falls in love with it. The sources vary but he either accidentaly drowns himself or starves to death, never wanting to be apart from the one he loves. From his death is bourne a flower, the Narcissus flower, a lasting testament to beauty.

Something I didn’t know until recently; the Narcissus flower is more commonly known as the daffodil. DAFFODIL. I thought this was fairly anti-climactic, until I looked into it more.

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I wonder why the Cancer Council chose this flower as their symbol of hope in the fight against cancer? Sure, it’s the ‘first flower of spring’. For me, the story is packed with negative symbolism (to be fair, I’m depressed). Beauty; the boy, the flower. Flowers die (as did Narcissus), thus, beauty is fleeting and death comes for all. Narcissus is derived from the greek word narke which means numbness. Did the boy feel himself dying? Supposedly the flower was named for it’s intoxicating fragrance. There’s something else intoxicating about them. Turns out, the bulbs are poisonous.

Other ridiculously adorable names for the Narcissus are Daffadown Dilly or daffydowndilly. It is also sometimes called asphodel, of which it is a variant. Yeah, like from potions class with Professor Snape.

Circles within circles.

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