A Single Rose

Margaret Hudson’s 1993 exhibition “A Single Rose”

In 1992, while recovering from breast cancer

The past winter, out among the fruit trees, I planted over 20 different single roses. Then, as they came into bloom, I wandered among them, calling them by name, finally picking the one that spoke to me. Sometimes it was of pure delight, of morning radiance, sometimes of fading petals and sunset, and sometimes of things eternal.

A Single Rose is a celebration of that wonder and mystery, beauty and fragility, the transient nature of life as experienced in a rose. It is a show grown out of a deep childhood delight in a single rose. It is for John.

Working on butcher paper allowed a kind of freedom that surprised me – Its impermanence demanded nothing – I could play. I felt a wonderful joy in its commonness – and frustration at its slick surface. Scrubbing on the oil pastel, I had a primitive sort of feel – like a child scribbling – very personal, simple and direct. The rich color was a pure delight! The final piece, impermanent – like the rose.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me,
Margaret Lorraine Hudson
October 1993

when life is just too much
I retreat
to my garden
with shovel or hoe
and begin to dig
row after row

or pick a worm chomped
or withered rose
to draw

or scribble and rage
page after page

and that process
discover in myself
a rich interior

in the wounded flower’s belly
the seeds of transformation
of new growth
even ecstasy!