Thoughts on Pansies

     And what an appropriate title that is, as in the symbolic language of flowers, pansies do in fact mean thoughts.  The large pansies of today are cultivated cousins of the wild pansy, also known as Johnny-jump-up, Heartsease, and Love in Idleness.    

     Shakespeare referenced the pansy in at least two of his more well known plays.  In Hamlet, Ophelia remarks, “There’s pansies, that’s for thoughts.”   In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon, the fairy king, asks Puck to bring him a pansy.  The juice of the pansy, when laid upon the eyelids of a sleeping person will cause him to fall madly in love with the next creature he lays eyes upon.  The wild cousins of the pansy have often been used in love potions and herbal medicine.

    A symbolic language of flowers has been in use for centuries.  The Victorians took this language to new heights, assigning each flower a complex emotional meaning…. the various emotions (both positive and negative) were often incredibly subtle.  A bouquet of various posies would not only be pleasing to the eye, but could communicate a multitude of hidden meanings to it’s intended.  Victorians are credited with the quaint and charming custom of slipping a pansy into their beutifully written letters just to let the recipient know that they were in the writer’s thoughts.  

The pansy could also be combined with another flower to express “thoughts of marriage,” “thoughts of admiration,” “thoughts of comfort,” etc….

     I’ve been making various pansies here and there for the last week or so for a special project I am working on.  When completed, I hope this project will convey thoughts of joy.   I’ve had such fun playing with these wired ribbon pansies.  I’ve turned this one into a broach.

 

You are in my thoughts!

What’s in a Name?

People frequently ask me about the origin of my business name, Wild Thyme Orignals.  As a trade name, it’s been with me since about 2000, but it’s been in my life for a lot longer than that.  When I was a little girl, my mother gave me a book of Shakespeare for youngsters.  The book had belonged to her as a child in 1956.  It was wildly abridged, but quite appropriate for a child of 9.  In it was a marvelous chapter called “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  What I remember most about this book was an illustration of a beautiful, gossamer fairy crading the neck of a half donkey, half man.  What?  I was fascinated!  I can still see the picture when I close my eyes and think back… And a few words stuck fast in my mind as well…

     I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
     Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
     Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
     With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
     There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
     Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.
     “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream” (2.1.260-5) 

I’ve seen the Fairy Queen’s resting place in my imagination over and over again since then.  I think it’s the place I’d most like to be if I could go anywhere real or imaginary….