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Edelweiss is really weird. Of course I had heard of it before, the song especially, but I never saw it before my mother pointed it out for sale at a gift shop, up in a pass in the Dolomites. Half the passersby exclaimed in delight on seeing it, and since she had paused to draw the flowers, she could hardly mistake the consensus.

I saw lots more of it the next day: it decorated every tombstone in the gorgeously-situated cemetery in the town of Colle S. Lucia.

It was not even white, contrary to the song, but a pale, pale green. Its five-plus centers reminded me of nothing so much as Cthulhoid eyes. It struck me as a notably alien and unfamiliar plant. Yet, for the locals, it is a ubiquitous badge of homeland, especially with its geometry abstracted into even fives: five centers, five short petals, five long ones, on tablecloths, hiking badges, and shopping bags.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, damn you, Owlfish! I am now earwormed for days. Days'n'days. And eyewormed too, with images of Christopher Plummer not moving his lips as he "sings"... (They dubbed him, you know. I was shocked to learn that, being young at the time. He did actually want to sing it, because he can actually sing, but they dubbed him anyway.)
Aug. 24th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
I always felt sorry for him b/c of the dubbing :(
Aug. 24th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
When I visited Winnie (Jennifer Laing) in Austria over Christmas when I was doing JYA Geneva, her mother-in-law-to-be gave me a book of Austrian poetry with a dried Edelweiss tucked in it. I still have it.
Aug. 25th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
It is a gloriously alien plant. I think it looks soft grey/ white when dried.

And I too shall be earwormed, but will enjoy the experience.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )