Content warning: mention of metaphorical rape
I read through Frank Zöllner’s Botticelli: Images of Love and Spring this morning. It is full of fascinating interpretations and contextualizations.
Zöllner posits that Botticelli’s Primavera is a message of consolation and encouragement for an (sidenote: presumed to be Semiramide Appiani, matched with Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici ) within a politically arranged marriage.
He interprets the figures on the far right as Zephyrus abducting the nymph Chloris, who subsequently transforms into the goddess Flora, after a passage from Ovid’s Fasti:
In Fasti, Flora remarks that, although Zephyrus initially took her by force (rapina), he more than made amends for this by his loving behavior as a husband. ... it is now eternally spring for her. ... her spouse has filled [her] garden with blossoming flowers and has made her, Flora, the mistress of this magnificent display of flowers and blossoms.
And I thought of myself, and how, recently, feelings have come over me with as much force as the god of the west wind.
I feel bewildered by the attention I’ve been receiving from someone new. Even so, I find myself daydreaming of being as happy as Flora if we were to fall in love.
Anyway, I read until I heard the bell toll at noon.
When I left the library, the cold wind hit me. I had forgotten, Primavera in my head and heart, that I had not dressed warm enough for (sidenote: A few days ago, I spent a warm, sunny afternoon with the person I had mentioned – the very last of summer. )
As I walked down the path, I saw Mr. Spock. He was slouching under the weight of his heavy backpack, his face dejected. My immediate thought was to wait for him to see me, but seeing him sigh an exhausted sigh, I found myself rushing towards (sidenote: I haven’t spent much time with him all month. We are both sad, but I am less sad about it now. I’m focusing on people who are here for me instead. )
He told me he was walking to the library, so I locked arms with him and walked him there. I led him to the same seat I was sitting in, very quiet and away from anyone else, and I hugged him for a good, long while. I kissed his forehead, and then I said goodbye.