Above is a photo of my aunt pinning flowers to husband’s suit on our wedding day. It’s a photo that’s been shared with many, along with all of the other beautiful shots from that day.

Almost two years on and as my husband and I cleaned out our mold-prone apartment, I found that same flower – and others from the ceremony – pressed inside a large book.

The book was François Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel. Rabelais was a French Renaissance writer with a love of the grotesque and the gross.  Our copy of Gargantua and Pantagruel included drawings like this:


After two years hiding in such a gory book, inside a moldy little home, I found that those same wedding flowers now look like this:




All squashed up, with little beads of yellowy mold, perhaps they look more beautiful than ever.