It was like seeing wild flowers, the untamed and unabashed ones. The ones with vivid and riotous colour and a form that is dance. The ones that are at their best, just after a storm. Richer, deeper, unbearably beautiful, after having feasted on rain and wet earth.

So you gathered them, wanting to carry not just their beauty, but that elusive something you couldn't, and can't, define. You brought them home, and arranged them, carelessly or carefully, and then, just as they seemed right, you realised they were wrong. And no, it was nothing to do with their having lost their wildness, nothing to do with them being tamed, none of the usual fallacies. It was something more unexpected: the realisation that they invaded your private, secret space. Flowers that couldn't be lived with. Familiarity breeds contempt, and you should never let it cross the threshold.