31 May 2014

red & white

Two ku that seem to belong together, in one aspect being about language - and how the naming of things and the communication of ideas between two people is not simply a matter of black and white. Each grew out of specific experience.

we can argue

over shades of meaning

- but, red campion

.  .  .  .  .

again we are

at cross purposes

- white lilac


For years, in our family, we referred to the plant Silene dioica (although we did not then know its scientific name) as Pink Campion. Because it is pink. Self-evidently, obviously, undeniably - pink.
Until one day I discovered that there is no such plant. It is called Red Campion! Why?!

Similarly: We know what colour lilac is. It's that kind of mauve, isn't it, named after the colour of the flowers of the lilac. Obvious. Straight forward.
Except that, just to confuse us, there is also a white lilac!


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