Oddments

In search of story


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Connections: April 27.18

A promise wears

hopeful complexion

ever hints at

forward direction

friend of bright cheer

foe of dark doubt

and that’s what a bud

is all about.

 

Thanks yet again to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives.

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Connections: March 20.18

With buds of ice and baby leaves

the seasons wage their war

winter’s grip

in silvery drip

yields to seed and spore.

 

Happy freezing first day of spring, dear reader!

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Vagaries in Gestation: On Being Linear, Part l, 3.12.17

Tuberose © Maureen O’Hern

Did you ever hear words that stopped your breath? I did: our instructor told us that we had to draw without lines. I was a simple English major, with my toe tentatively dipped in the waters of botanical illustration, and I was frozen in that position, rethinking my commitment. Was she serious?

She went on: “There are no lines in Nature.” That helped me not at all. But I left my toe in. What ensued was slavish hunching over a drawing table with neurotically-controlled lighting, racing a life cycle, capturing it with graphite before it drooped and its shadows changed.

Yes, shadows. Not lines. I had to work with magnifying lenses clipped to my glasses, so demanding was the technique. What was perceived in my drawing as a line was in reality an obsessively nuanced shadow, pristine in its effect, subtle in its application. Deadly to my neck.

Thus did I become enamored of buds. I had, of course, marveled at buds as a gardener, but that was not the same as falling into them as a botanical artist. Their myriad tiny hills and vales had gone unnoticed by me  — how could I never have perceived that there was not the vestige of a line in those tiny becomings?

Becoming. The meaning of the bud.  That moment when something changes in us, when, for instance, someone tells us there are no lines.

Did I know that living — becoming — was not a simple matter of black and white, of sharp, clear line? Of course I did, but that was mere knowledge. Knowledge isn’t the same as wonder. One can follow a line to knowledge, but wonder awaits in shadows.

 

 

 

Please do not copy my drawings or use them in any way.

Vagaries in Gestation