“People trample over flowers, yet only to embrace a cactus.” - James Joyce
Today, it is the St Martin I, the Pope’s Feast Day for Roman Catholics and St John the Merciful’s Feast Day for the Greek Orthodox faithful.
In Taiwan, Dr Sun Yat-sen’s Birthday is celebrated.
Today is also the anniversary of the birth of:
Baha’ Ullah, founder of Baha’i faith (1817);
Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin, Russian composer (1833);
Auguste Rodin, French sculptor (1840);
Sun Yat Sen, Chinese statesman (1866);
Kim Hunter, actor (1922);
Grace Kelly, US actress/princess (1928);
Stephanie Powers, actress (1942);
Neil Young, musician (1945);
Nadia Comaneci, gymnast (1961).
The red crown cactus, Rebutia minuscula, is the plant for today’s birthdays. It is a native of South Bolivia and North Argentina and produces masses of red blooms, often forming a complete ring around the base of the plant. The plant symbolises warmth and desire. In the language of flowers, it conveys the meaning: “I desire you”.
Alexander Porfirevich Borodin (1833-1887) was a Russian chemist who turned composer and whose musical works were largely based on Russian folk themes. He wrote three symphonies, the third unfinished; two string quartets and two operas, Prince Igor, the most famous, finished after his death by Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov. He also published several scientific papers on organic chemistry! The Polovtsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor are one of my favourite compositions of his.
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