random notes--the mystery of love

Clifton Snider wrote a very interesting essay entitled "On the Loom of Sorrow": Eros and Logos in Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales where I found a reference to one of Oscar Wilde's fairy tales, "The Nightingale and the Rose."

The essence of the story is that a young man falls in love with a beautiful young woman, who promises to dance with him all night long if he brings her a red rose. A nightingale hears the bargain and senses that this is the true love of which she sings about night after night, so she offers to procure the red rose for the young man.

Fairy tales usually operate on the rule of three, and Wilde's is no different. The nightingale approaches three different rose bushes: the first bears only white roses, the second, yellow, and while the third bush is indeed a red rose tree, because of a harsh winter, it can produce no flowers.

However, all is not lost. The rose bush tells the nightingale that a red rose can be created.

If you want a red rose [...] you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart's blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine.

I loved the imagery of Wilde's fairy tale and kept this passage by me while I wrote the climax of Garden in Umber.