“Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.”
― Alfred Tennyson
Neither of us has been able to do any gardening this year
which has been beneficial for the garden
there are so many flowers blooming
it is dizzying to behold
the scents are amazing
and the sound of thousands of insects enjoying the bounty is deafening at times
one of the more prolific flowers in the garden this year is the opium poppy…
they are tall
with pale leaves spiraling like a staircase for tiny beings
and the flowers are beautiful
I have no idea how they got here… what a wonderful surprise!
“Here was the secret of happiness, about which philosophers had disputed for so many ages, at once discovered; happiness might now be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat-pocket; portable ecstasies might be had corked up in a pint-bottle; and peace of mind could be sent down by the mail.”
― Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater
The creative process involves
a certain amount of tension, stress, and danger…
which is more palpable when observed in nature
the image above is a close up of the grand opening of a bearded iris
but before the grand opening…
a seed had to be planted and succeed in its planting
then the conditions had to be just right for the seedling to grow
even if all of its terms and conditions for growth were met
any number of challenges would need to be faced for it to achieve its full potential
and climax in flowering
an insect might attack it
the weather might suddenly change
a human could happen
luckily for the plant featured in this post
the human was injured in a manner which made them unable to mess with the garden
so all they could do was observe
(and then, like a paparazzo, stick a camera in the star’s face).
“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.”
― Jean-Luc Godard
I would like to raise a glass,
of still or sparkling,
to The Daily Post,
to the Happiness Engineers,
to Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little,
and dedicate a toast to them
for everything they have done,
they have created something to be celebrated.
All things which are created go through changes…
Here’s to you,
to everything you have done,
and have yet to do,
live long and prosper!
“Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.”
– John Burroughs, Waiting
The image above is of one of several fragments of pottery, all with blue chinoiserie design, which I have dug up while gardening. Each time I find one, I feel as though I have discovered a long forgotten buried treasure.
While the pieces are damaged beyond repair to their former form, there is a great poetic beauty to them, within each crack there is a whisper of a story of the hands which it has touched, of sips, tastes, glances, and perhaps a drama or two, one of which ended up with it getting broken and then tossed away.
“True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.
True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
There are times when
two separate entities
blend and flow together…
this image and this aria
do that for me…
not sure why
but there are times when
there is no need for a why…
“Son nata a lagrimar / Son nato a sospirar,
e il dolce mio conforto,
ah, sempre piangerò.”
– from Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto
(loose translation – I was born to cry / I was born to sigh, and my sweet comfort, ah, always I will cry)
What is it?
For a moment in time and space
was my whole world
everything else vanished
and yet it didn’t
for within this drop
is a reflection of everything
outside of it
or is it the other way around
“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
― René Magritte
“Every object has two aspects: The common aspect, which is the one we generally see and which is seen by everyone, and the ghostly and metaphysical aspect…” – Giorgio De Chirico
That moment when a bare branch
is no longer a bare branch
when what appeared dried up and dead
explodes into life
a natural firework
can easily be missed
almost as though nature waits for us to look away
to lose patience
to let go
of a cherished experience
and then it gives us what we were waiting for
but we’re not there to receive it
not in that moment
but maybe in the next
and around we go again
“It was a something found that had long been sought for by a thousand restless yearnings and vague desires, less of the heart than mind; not as when youth discovers the one to be beloved, but rather as when the student, long wandering after the clew to some truth in science, sees it glimmer dimly before him, to beckon, to recede, to allure, and to wane again.”
― Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Like an arrow shot
from within the earth
the tip breaking through the crust
where once there was a fire
it is not alone
“There comes a time in each life like a point of fulcrum. At that time you must accept yourself. It is not any more what you will become. It is what you are and always will be. You are too young to know this. You are still becoming. Not being.”
― John Fowles, The Magus
Spring for me
comes with a burst of yellow flowers
once the yellow flowers are out in force
then I can trust that Spring has truly sprung
from the deep slumber of Winter
and yellow is a colour I associate with the mind
not sure why
something I read somewhere sometime ago
an idea which struck a chord and moved me along veins of learning
whether what I’ve learned is true or not is less interesting than
where you end up when you follow the flow of a spark awakened within
to know more of a something you read somewhere sometime ago
“There is in each person, in every animal, bird and plant a star which mirrors, matches or is in some sense the same as a star in the heavens.”
Don’t forget it’s the first of April
thus April Fool’s Day
I reminded myself as I perused the news
trust nothing you read
trust nought you hear
trust no one
as everyone is out to fool you and make a fool out of you
if I were to allow myself to be made into a fool
what joy it would bring to those out to fool me
and would it be such a bad thing in which to indulge
always safe in the knowledge that
no one is as good at making a fool out of me as I am
and I do it so regularly that
is there ever a day when I am not being a fool who is foolishly fooled?
“One seldom was able to do her a good turn without some thoughts of strangulation.”
― Alan Bennett, The Lady in the Van
Nothing is ever as perfect as we would like for it to be
the ideal versus the real
is a never-ending saga
an epic drama in endless human acts
but the imperfections add a certain charm
a loose thread may seem to be an aberration
which if pulled could tidy things up
but it could also unravel the whole tapestry
and we may lose more than we imagined we would gain…
and then we may wish to undo the undoing…
sometimes loose threads are best left loose…
and sometimes we must pull them…
when to pull and when to not do so is a mystery…
“Pictures are like doors which open into unexpected chambers.”
― Arthur Edward Waite
From a safe distance
what we see
may not be what is there
or what is there
what it is
At first the shadow looming in outer limits of the periphery of my vision
through the steadily falling snow
was the beast from the east personified
I didn’t know what it was
I wasn’t sure if it was really there
but it was huge
at its own pace
and I was in awe of it
my mind raced to make sense of it
but my creative heart wanted it to remain a mystery
“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”
― Herman Melville
“Experiences are the chemicals of life with which the philosopher experiments”
― Manly P. Hall
Please do not ask to borrow my pencil
as this will only lead to a fight
between your will to have it
and my will to not let you have it
and I will win because I have the pencil
and it is a mighty pointy stick
I will gladly give you my pen
and strip naked to lend you all of my clothes
but my pencil is mine
I have chewed upon it
swallowed its coloured splinters
absorbed it into myself
worn it down
worn it in my hair
and sharpened it again and again
and listened to it scream as I did so
it is a trusted friend
and I will stab you with it before I let you have it
which I do not want to do
“One has no right to love or hate anything if one has not acquired a thorough knowledge of its nature. Great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object, and if you know it but little you will be able to love it only a little or not at all.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
Three ladies in miniature
in a glass cabinet
filled with treasures
sparkling under the electric light
as they most likely waited then
while an artist created the selfie of their time
I wonder what they were thinking then
and what they would think now
if they could see through their painted eyes
the world as it is
would they share their thoughts or hold them close
as their expressions remain poised to be painted?
“Where shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?
When the hurlyburly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth
When is a beach scene not a beach scene?
The image above is my take on a familiar view from my childhood
not because we lived by the sea
as we lived in the hills
too far from the sea to see it
even though from the hills we could see far off into the horizon
it’s a scene from those windows on the walls known as paintings
which hung on every wall of our house
all painted by my father
my bedroom had a collection of his early work
painted long before I was born
I used to stare at them as I lay in bed
they told me bedtime stories
and there was one in particular which I knew was of a beach
but due to my father’s abstract impressionism
I could never figure out what was on the beach
and something large was on it
I could have asked him what it was
I wanted to figure it out for myself
the real beauty of art is in the journey we take in when we enter into the image
merging ourselves with the scene
“It was as if when I looked into his eyes I was standing alone on the edge of the world…on a windswept ocean beach. There was nothing but the soft roar of the waves.”
― Anne Rice
What’s that saying about a something passing through the eye of a needle
I can’t quite recall it
although it is on the tip of my tongue
which has just wet the thread
that I want to pass through the eye of a needle
to do some sewing
does that actually help
is it an illusory notion that a wet thread
will be easier to pass through
the eye of a needle
than a dry one
I know nothing anymore
I say that now knowing that I have never known anything
and most likely never will
but I keep hoping that
this thread will pass through the eye of this needle
and some sewing, some mending, will get done
but my eyes aren’t as agile as I used to think they were
if I can manage this delicate operation
then the silence of satisfaction will envelop me
and I may do nothing after that
“The process of elimination, combined with a modicum of common sense, will always assist us to arrive at the correct conclusion with the maximum of possible accuracy and the minimum of hard labor. Which being translated means: I guessed it.”
― Margery Allingham
Ambling along a local nature trail
we came upon a wooden gate
leading to a small farm
the gate had a strut attached to a giant tree
and upon it were placed two tiny elephants
these weren’t the only man-made inhabitants of this location
there were stone foxes, ceramic ferrets, metal birds and butterflies, and a vibrant orange rat
but they’re the ones which stood out for me
because it seems that I have a thing for tiny elephants
I’d never noticed that about myself before
“What stops me from taking myself seriously, even though I am essentially a serious person, is that I find myself extremely ridiculous, not in the sense of the small-scale ridiculousness of slap-stick comedy, but rather in the sense of ridiculousness that seems intrinsic to human life and that manifests itself in the simplest actions and the most extraordinary gestures. ”
― Gustave Flaubert
I have been told that I am in possession of the memory of an elephant
(perhaps it’s the memory of the tiny wooden elephant in the photo above.
I wonder if that elephant is in possession of my memory?
Did we swap?)
usually when I recall in detail an event which others have forgotten
but am I truly remembering it
are the details correct
or do I just have a vivid imagination
if no one else can recall the event
how do they know that my version of it is real?
“Memory was that woman on the train. Insane in the way she sifted through dark things in a closet and emerged with the most unlikely ones – a fleeting look, a feeling. The smell of smoke. A windscreen wiper. A mother’s marble eyes. Quite sane in the way she left huge tracts of darkness veiled. Unremembered.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
I did have the dubious pleasure of riding an elephant once
as a child
its skin was painfully prickly
and I immediately regretted allowing myself to be cajoled by zealous adults
while wearing a skirt
into doing something I had been reticent to do
as I wasn’t certain that the elephant wanted a child placed on its bare back
it was during that time when my father took me
to every circus he could find
as he was preparing to do a series of paintings of the subject
What we perceive
is coloured by our experience
by what’s in our personal tube of paint
Last night I saw an episode of
featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey took Jerry Seinfeld to his art studio
and amongst the things therein was a giant pile of paint tubes
if my father had seen that pile of paint tubes he’d have had something to say about it
My father was an artist by vocation and trade
and paint was one of his treasured possessions
I recall him explaining to me the value of paint
by sharing his history with paint
from his poor starving artist debut
where he couldn’t afford paint
had to make his own and make do with what he could get
to his successful artist later years where he could afford the luxury of any paint he wanted
but he was still careful about what he bought
how much he bought
how much he used
and how he used it
To own as many paint tubes as Jim Carrey had in his art studio
more than many paint shops may have in stock
might have seemed excessive to my father
Does a painter really need that much paint to paint?
Does anyone need more than themselves to express themselves?
But he would have known that
we are all different tubes of paint
even if we call ourselves by the same name as other tubes of paint
“I remain restless and dissatisfied; what I knot with my right hand, I undo with my left, what my left hand creates, my right fist shatters”
― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
(a quote from my father’s favourite book)
We are celebrating a wedding anniversary today
(I think it’s our 21st)
and I thought I’d share some of our fizz with you
it’s of a little something
Steve drew on the blackboard we have in the kitchen
(of our very first home owned by us)
the blackboard was supposed to be for messages
but instead it’s become an artwork of Steve’s chalk doodles
which is cheerfully perfect
a relationship is
all about going with the flow
and enjoying the bubbling gold within those we love
“From quiet homes and first beginning,
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There’s nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.”
― Hilaire Belloc
Christmas is almost over
but the memories we make during this time
tend to haunt us or harbour us as we harbour them
my mother used to make roast chicken for Christmas lunch
she was an excellent chef
and everything she made tasted delicious
but the most delightful part of her roast was the wishbone
because if you won the tug of war on the tiny bone
you could make a wish
I don’t recall if I ever won or what the wishes were
but the idea of making a wish is a compelling one
“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The other evening we had a power cut
this happens intermittently
regularly enough for us to have a system in place
to deal with it without too much fuss
Everything goes deeply quiet
in the house
in the surrounding countryside
and in those moments you realise how noisy power is
how much it hums
even when you think it is silent
While in the darkness and cold of Winter
it can be worrying to be without power
there is also something soothing about it
as it forces you to get in touch with
the primal nature within
“Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least when you let them, when you work with circumstances instead of saying, ‘This isn’t supposed to be happening this way,’ and trying harder to make it happen some other way.”
― Benjamin Hoff
from both of us
to all of you
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens
Everything we do is influenced by thoughts and emotions, and the choices we make about those thoughts and emotions.
Those choices, thoughts and emotions, are influenced by those who are meaningful to us.
My most meaningful photograph from 2017 is this one:
The image is of my lips with salt applied to lipstick.
I love salt. The taste and the feel of it.
I also love lips.
I have a particular passion for close-ups of lips.
Vibrantly coloured lips.
The above image is a stylised and zoomed out version of the same photograph I used for the With a Pinch of Salt post.
This particular passion for close-ups of lips began when I was about 7 years old.
Don’t worry, the reason for it isn’t sinister.
It’s not superficial either, as it goes deep into my origins as the child of an artist.
In 1975/6 my father, an artist, collaborated with Alain Bernardin and the Girls of The Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris (France) on a creative project to capture burlesque cabaret on canvas.
One of the performers at The Crazy Horse Saloon was Lova Moor, famous in particular for her magnificent lips, which my father painted several times:
La Bouche by Nicola Simbari
While I was not, as a child, allowed to go to The Crazy Horse Saloon (although Alain Bernardin did offer to let me watch the show from a special viewing area behind the scenes – my parents, who were rather prudish for bohemians, politely declined, much to my annoyance), I did get to see the paintings, both once they were done and as they took shape in my father’s studio.
They were magical and miraculous to me (luckily I was not hampered in my view by adult considerations). So much colour and life bursting out, loud and proud.
They made a significant impression upon me, as did all of my father’s work, and as did my father himself, both as an artist and as human being.
My father died in December of 2012.
I don’t own any of his work. I don’t need to, it’s all an intrinsic part of me, an influence. If I were to have one of his pieces, I would bypass all the paintings he created of me (for a child of an artist it is a regular feature of life to be a model and prop, so it’s not that big of a deal to be painted and you really don’t appreciate it at all), and choose the lips.
Nicola Simbari (edited photograph via Tutt’Art blog)
That’s a cravat my father is wearing in the photograph of him above (in case you were wondering). It was the 70’s and he was an artist. He’s all dressed up for an exhibition of his work at a gallery, which explains why he looks tired and tortured (and as though he’s about to pounce upon and eat the event photographer).
He did not like attending his one man shows.
He thought the shows should be about his work not about him.
He preferred to be at home, in his studio, wearing worn jeans and a denim shirt which were invariably covered in splotches of brightly coloured paint.
“Of course his dust would be absorbed in other living things and to that degree at least he would exist again, though it was plain enough that the specific combination which was he would never exist again.”
― Gore Vidal
If you crack my head open like a nut
and search inside
somewhere within all the gory goo
is a little oasis dedicated to ballet
if you listen carefully
you’ll hear the tinkling chimes of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
if you look closer
you’ll see a small child dressed in a pink tutu
doing pirouettes and pliés
imaging that she is a Fantasia elephant
“It may be, after all,” said the Student Anselmus to himself, “that the superfine stomachic liqueur, which I took somewhat freely in Monsieur Conradi’s, might really be the cause of all these shocking phantasms, which tortured me so at Archivarius Lindhorst’s door.”
― E.T.A. Hoffmann
This morning the world around me was frozen
everything was covered in tiny crystal shards
it was so beautiful
such exquisite bliss
that I… didn’t want to let it go.
“Sympathies that lie too deep for words, too deep almost for thoughts, are touched, at such times, by other charms than those which the senses feel and which the resources of expression can realise.”
― Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
This photograph is of a miniature representation of our house
which has been our home for a couple of years
it fits us like a pair of worn jeans
a little frayed and falling apart in places but made of solid stuff
every now and then we patch it up
nurture it as it nurtures us
this house has room to grow
(it has a room for Stephen to build a miniature of our house and the surrounding countryside neighbourhood)
to rise and spread beyond our previous forms
and occasionally get a quiet aerial view of ourselves, our lives, the earth from above
“I am much inclined to live from my rucksack, and let my trousers fray as they like.”
― Hermann Hesse
While visiting a cemetery
I noticed a logo of a walking fish on a car parked outside
and snapped a quick shot of it
I wonder what Darwin would think and have to say about it?
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”
― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
When I was a child
I was indoctrinated into the religion of Art
the process involved looking at everything as though it was a painting
framed and hanging on a wall
a window into the poetic world of the soul
alive with not just the spirit of the subject
but also the passion of the viewer
the artist whose paint was blood coursing through veins
inspired by an ever beating heart
“We love the beautiful and serene, but we have a feeling as deep as love for the terrible and dark.”
― Edward Bulwer-Lytton
I once wrote a fanciful little ditty
to be sung in speakeasy style
all about the debonair flair of the eclair
I am not a song writer
but I do love to eat those sweet tasty treats
and when I do I want to sing
about the joys of it
“Mother, of course, takes a lot of exercise, walks and so on. And every morning she puts on a pair of black silk drawers and a sweater and makes indelicate gestures on the lawn. That’s called Building the Body Beautiful. She’s mad about it.”
― Nancy Mitford, Christmas Pudding
It’s snowing today where we live
it’s the kind of snow which doesn’t stick
it comes in a flurry then melts away in hurry
it reminded me of a time years ago when it did stick
and each flurry of frozen cloud tears added more soft blankets upon soft blankets
and at the end there came a sort of quietness
“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
“Had he but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear–a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love and as soon as her light footstep had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade, where her tiny hand had rested last.”
― Emmuska Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel
“He was becoming unstuck, he was sure of that – his bones were no longer wrapped in flesh but in clouds of dust, in hummingbirds, dragonflies, and luminous moths – but so perfect was his equilibrium that he felt no fear. He was vast, he was many, he was dynamic, he was eternal.”
― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
― Philip K. Dick
“A sick thought can devour the body’s flesh more than fever or consumption.”
― Guy de Maupassant, Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques
“Sometimes I feel sure he is as mad as a hatter and then, just as he is at his maddest, I find there is a method in his madness.”
― Agatha Christie
“What ho!” I said.
“What ho!” said Motty.
“What ho! What ho!”
“What ho! What ho! What ho!”
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.”
― P.G. Wodehouse
“I’ve seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write… and you know it’s a funny thing about housecleaning… it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectabilty) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she “should” be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“It is better to hear the thunder than to watch the cloud.”
― Charles Robert Maturin
I’m always intrigued by the images which people use to represent them on social media.
Which is why I titled this post with the question – What’s your Gravatar and Why?
I’m genuinely interested in your answers.
I once came across a wonderful post which discussed what each choice of avatar might mean, unfortunately due to my tendency to sporadically tidy up my bookmarks (which often ends up with my deleting almost all of them as I lack the patience to sift through them, revisit the sites), I’ve lost that link otherwise I would share it with you. If it still exists you and you would like to find it, I think I may have used a search term along the lines of – meaning of avatars. But I did make that search before the film of that name came out.
The images which people use to be their online face, can pass by us in the blink of an eye as we scroll through timelines, a bit like scanning faces in a crowd. Occasionally one face will grab our attention, arrest our roving eye. Why? What is it about that face which caught our eye?
What is it about that avatar, Gravatar, which made us stop and scroll back to have a better look?
What does it say to us? What does it reveal to us about ourselves?
What does it say about the person who used it?
Sometimes those who prefer not to use selfies of themselves, but instead opt for something a little more sideways from the straightforward, actually reveal more about themselves as a person than they would had they simply used a photograph of their face.
Faces reveal a lot, but they also can hide a lot too.
There are times when reading someone’s writing prompts me to want to see what they look like, I’m not entirely sure why this is important, but in the moment it feels necessary to satisfy what perhaps is only a temporary curiosity.
If you ever feel that about me, I use my own face as my WordPress Gravatar.
I had to screenshot my Gravatar because I have no idea what I called the picture when I uploaded it, and waiting for the Media Library to load is agony for someone as impatient as I am.
I did quite a filter and photoshop number on the image, and I’m not sure if I would do that now. I’m not sure if I would choose this ‘selfie’ to represent me now either.
Although I am fond of this picture as it was one of the first I took of myself after a long time avoiding the eye of the camera lens. In fact it’s one of the first shots I took after a long absence from using a camera.
I went through a temporary phase of not liking the camera. It started when I realised I was missing out on life by wanting to capture it all on film as it happened.
I have a different approach to photography now, thanks to going through several phases.
I have a different approach to photographs of myself now, thanks to going through several phases.
I went through a must take selfie phase, which gave me an insight into those who take lots of selfies – it’s fun. It also gets a bit dull after a while. I still love taking self portraits, but not as frequently as I once did.
If you’re curious, below is the original photograph of the one I use for my Gravatar – sans the fards of filter and photoshop. I did crop it, because I’m a tad naked in the shot. I won’t explain why, I’ll leave it to your imagination.
While I was contemplating this particular temporary Daily Post Photo Challenge, I did consider taking a series of shots of my face and of the face of my blogging, business, and life partner in photographic crime, Steve, and I may still do that, to attempt to capture our micro-expressions – those fleeting facial tells which reveal what may be covert, hidden from others and from us too at times.
But then I had a temporary case of the lazies, and instead browsed my messy photographic archive, and came across an image, a blurry flash of movement in between poses, which appealed to me and my creative self said – share this.
So I’m sharing it.
I took this around Christmas time a couple of years ago, dressing up in a mask, a wig, a gown, and fairy lights. And wouldn’t you know it, just as I was in the middle of this photoshoot, the doorbell rang.
Life is funny, and so are we.
“I think it’s so foolish for people to want to be happy. Happy is so momentary–you’re happy for an instant and then you start thinking again. Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe
Take a peek
Can you see what it is?
At first it was a scrabbling sound which made me pause to listen
Then it was a question mark which scratched inside my head
Then it was a thought about mice in the attic
Then it was a sigh about having to deal with mice in the attic
Then it was another thought
a thought which was a hope that it wasn’t mice in the attic but a bird skittering across the slate roof
perhaps chasing the mice away
Then it was a but
But that sound isn’t skittering it’s more like scraping
Then it was an it can’t be a pigeon
the usual bird suspects who clomp around on the roof and scrape off the moss
Then it was a get off your lazy chair and go look
Then it was a peering through blinds unable to see
Then it was a slowly raising of the blinds
Then it was a flash of movement to the right
Then it was the sound of a cheeky peep
I know that sound
Then it was the a scrabbling sound again
Then it was a scraping sound
Then it was a what on earth is it doing
to that part of the eaves which used to hang loose which I fixed in late summer
Then it was a moment of horror
I made sure nothing was living there first
Then it was a subsiding of horror
that’s the tit which nested in a different section of the eaves
and I waited until long after breeding season after everyone had fledged before fixing that too
Then it was another what is it doing
I’ll look it up later online
Then it was a grabbing of the camera and taking a photo without opening the window which might disturb it
And now it’s an it’s okay it found another hole which it made in the eaves right above the window
which I won’t fix this year or next
it is going to be warm for the Winter
and its cheeky peep show as it goes to the feeder and back will warm my heart
“If I stand here, I can see the Little Red Haired girl when she comes out of her house… Of course, if she sees me peeking around this tree, she’ll think I’m the dumbest person in the world… But if I don’t peek around the tree, I’ll never see her… Which means I probably AM the dumbest person in the world… which explains why I’m standing in a batch of poison oak.”
― Charles M. Schulz
What time is it?
It’s time to wake up
but the sun isn’t up yet
It’s time to rake the leaves
It’s getting darker earlier
It’s time to turn the clock back
It’s dia de los muertos
It’s bonfire night
It’s the end of the year
and what a year it has been
It’s time to round off the day
with a nice cup of tea
hands cupping cup
It’s time to sleep
“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.
Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Your entire family has been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has travelled through a space/time portal? Nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Possibly a savoury option would be welcome here too, for example a Scotch egg or a sausage roll.”
― David Walliams, Mr Stink
The photograph above
has two kinds of glow
the natural radiance
of the sun glinting inside of droplets of water
caught in the feathery branches of fennel
after a rainstorm
three layers of the same image
passed through the Photoshop filters
of Topaz Glow
one of those filters is named Brilliant Fibers
which I have nicknamed brilliant fib
as it can add sparkles of lightness
to where there seems to only be darkness and dullness
why would I use this filter
why tamper with nature
why enhance the truth with a bright white lie
because I’m trying to replicate
what I spy with my naked eye
when I look at the world around me
everything is slightly blurred
“There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
― James Thurber