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the grand and the not-so-grand

May 16, 2010

this is not the post that i initially intended for this week.  the weather has been what i previously called fascinating, but am now calling “tiresome”.  rain, rain, snow, rain, clouds, more snow, cold…  and did i mention rain?  it’s amazing how quickly one can forget the vividness of colors in bright sunshine, and how quickly one’s senses become dulled by gray, overcast days.  but this afternoon the sun came out, and a walk through the technicolor landscape reminded me that true beauty is always there, it just requires a bit more focus to see it sometimes.

it occurred to me during this walk and its subsequent glut of photos that there are themes that i return to again and again, sometimes because of stunningly conventional beauty and sometimes because of beauty in its most raw form.  a trip through my photo archives provided proof that these themes are ever-present, something i find comforting somehow.

let’s begin with growing things.  by now it is no secret that i love plant life.  it is a favorite pastime to nurture growing things, to trim, to fertilize, to mist, and to otherwise attend to nature entrusted to my care.  i am attracted to growing things everywhere, and sometimes they are very grand indeed:

while at other times they are wild and untamed things that flourish despite the most gross neglect:


i am fascinated by birds, by everything about birds:

their hollow little bones, their ability to FLY, the fact that they lay eggs.  my camera can not be kept still if a bird is present, any kind of bird:

in fact, birds sometimes throw themselves at my feet in order to be noticed.  i consider it my duty to immortalize them so that they shall not have died in vain.  these are the “less grand”:

(i spared you a number of others…)

and, oddly enough, cars.  now, i do not consider myself to be a “car” person, but on a number of occasions a vehicle has presented itself to me for notice, sometimes in a rather grand place such as london or paris:

while at other times a less grand car in the neighborhood has simply muttered “ahem” as i walked by, signaling its displeasure at being scorned and suggesting perhaps that i reconsider:

there will be other themes for other times, but what i discovered today, yet again, is that the line between “grand” and “not grand” is a line drawn in sand, wherever we choose to make the mark.  beauty surrounds us, and beauty is grand no matter where it is found.

i wish you a week of beautiful, wide-eyed mornings of wonder!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. wingedpaths permalink
    January 25, 2011 8:33 am

    I have themes too. Some of them, like apples/apple trees and bees, last only for a season, but while they are there I am completely in their thrall. Others are recurring themes that I believe will remain with me permanently: mountain landscapes, abandoned buildings, certain places I return to again and again.
    I saw my first up-close-and-personal dead bird last summer, a little pine siskin lying at the foot of the cottonwood tree on the farm where my husband grew up. I took its photo, but never shared it with anyone. I’m glad I’m not the only one who would do that.

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