Sunday, February 28, 2010
I've been reading A Photographer's Garden Blog, David Perry's thoughtful, eloquent and provocative musings about his garden as it applies to life. As you'll see from the post I linked to, the object of his attention, affection and imagination was a terracotta ball that was becoming colonized by lichens and fungi. I was enchanted by his musings that day, delighted to know that I'm not alone in my tendency to find beauty and treasure and inspiration in what some might see as mundane, like this lichen I found as I was walking the dog one morning. Fallen from a branch on high where only the birds and squirrels could see it, it came to rest on the fawn-colored grass and I suspect would have remained there unnoticed had I not happened by. I think it's one of the most beautiful and intricate things I've ever seen: the ruffled and frilled edges, the subtle shades of blue and green that play against the gray, the tiny goblets upturned to capture the raindrops. I brought it home with me and placed it in a bowl with other bits of nature's ephemera. It reminds me that there's more to the garden than pretty flowers and although like Claude Monet, "I must have flowers always", there are other things that deserve my attention and respect and imagination, and my willingness to play with all that nature has so kindly given me. Claude knew that, I believe, and his willingness to take his art beyond the literal and into his imagination meant that the beauty of his garden lasted far beyond its natural life and remains with us still in his paintings. That's what I want to do in my garden AND my life: see beyond the literal and let my imagination run free.