Here is Michael W. Dugger’s ink rendering for chapter 2:
Here is the vanitas painting of Philippe de Champaigne that Dr. Dugdale refers to on page 32 and alludes to again on page 222:
Dr. Dugdale observes the continuity between the older and newer images, noting that the vanitas paintings “often incorporated flowers into their compositions.” The flower as a memento mori image is certainly evocative. The hourglass and (more so) the skull are starker images. Perhaps they are too stark and, in the case of the skull, too morbid for a contemporary ars moriendi? Or would the sort of shock therapy these images might provoke be beneficial to our “death defying” culture?
The flower illustrated here remains attached to its bulb, suggesting the ‘life journey’ of a plant from roots to flowers. A perennial evokes more enduring patters of time.Page 222
The “journey” that is suggested to Dr. Dugdale by the flower attached to its bulb is the “‘life journey’ of a plant from roots to flowers.” The flower in the vanitas painting is cut from bulb and roots, perhaps suggesting the “death journey” of a plant that withers and fades. The “enduring patters of time” that Dr. Dugdale finds evoked by the image on page 223 seem to embrace both “journeys.” The plant goes from roots to flowers and back to the earth with seeds that renew the “life journey.” This “patterns” could be understood as suggesting a kind of cyclical or even “reincarnational” view of life or history. Christianity follows the Jewish understanding of life and history as more-or-less linear progressions. God’s purposes for individual human beings and for the whole of creation will be definitively fulfilled on the last day. There is a beginning and an end. Death is a one-time event in the “life journey” of God children.
The lily is a common funeral flower: its scent possesses the strength to mask the stench of decay. It is also an Easter flower, hinting at the new life following death.Page 222
The association of lilies with Easter has been attributed to their white color that suggests purity, their trumpet-like shape that evokes the Easter proclamation, and their rising to new life in the Spring. In these ways the Easter lily seems to hint not only at new life after death, but to a greater, purer life worthy of being proclaimed with trumpet blasts. The lily’s association with funerals is interesting in this connection. Is there a way that the lily, and this particular image of the lily, could be associated with Good Friday together with Easter Sunday? I’m looking at a mental picture of Jesus emerging from the tomb on Easter Sunday surrounded by the lilies that were laid there on the occasion of his Good Friday burial. The lilies that were intended to mask the stench of decay now trumpet the good news of the Risen Lord!