The Thunderstorm and
the White Lilies

Visual images are prominent in this work
Kenji combines aural and visual impressions in many of his works. "Gadolf's Lilies" is one work in which he gives visual images overall prominence. Furthermore, he tells this story by having vividly depicted scenes in the story illuminate the inner reaches of the main character Gadolf's mind.

Thunderstorm, while walking alone at night Gadolf is feeling cross because he has been walking alone all day long and has yet to see any signs of the next town even as twilight approaches. As he continues on the clouds grow darker and thunder begins to rumble. Gadolf is tired and confused. "(I see a person over there walking toward me. No, he's not coming this way. I see a dog crossing the way there. No, he's not crossing over. Darn.)" Presently a heavy thunderstorm develops.
As he walks in the rain and dark along the road, Gadolf sees a big black house lit by the flashes of lightning. He calls out at the front door, but no one answers. So, he goes inside. Because Gadolf is soaked through and thoroughly chilled and his head is pounding, he removes his boots and heavy overcoat, wipes his dripping face and head, and takes a moment to rest.
A big black house in which nobody lives

The white lilies radient in flashes of lightning
As he looks around to determine what kind of room he is in, a stroke of lightning reveals plaster statues on the floor, a black bed, and some overturned tables. Gadolf decides to go upstairs to see if someone might be on the second floor. Just then another flash of lightning illuminates the darkness outside the window and it appears as though five or size white objects are peering inside. Gadolf opens the window and calls out, but there is no reply. He sees that the objects are white lilies. "Ten lilies in full bloom are standing still in the relentless storm, radiant in the momentary flashes of lightning."
The love of Gadolf' Gadolf is fascinated by their beauty and courage.
"Presently, as the next bolt of lightning flashes brightly and fleetingly, the garden shines blue, like the beam of light from a slide projector, and the beautiful elliptical drops of rain are suspended in mid-air" as though captured by high-speed photography. "And Gadolf's beloved lilies stand pure white and ramrod straight." In this way, Kenji tells this story by overlapping the state of Gadolf's mind and the visual images of the lilies. Furthermore, Gadolf's feelings are uplifted as he says, "(Those lilies are my love. They are my love now. Please don't let the storm break you, my love.)

Wind, rain, snow---
The World of Kenji's Works
The World of Kenji Miyazawa