There is a profound, poignant beauty in a man-made structure or sculpture that has been ravaged by the forces of nature, particularly time. I will let you draw your own impressions of this image. Just know that this image truly evokes a feeling of wabi-sabi. The gift to you from the universe are the thoughts and reflections it instils in you. The moment in time pictured here is simply the messenger. Each of us will surely take something unique and personal from a scene like this. The sad thing is the only reason many of us will study this scene is because it has been captured and framed here as a photograph, otherwise any one of us would simply pass it by as “a broken bird bath.” Take time to see the photographs all around you everyday and your gifts from the universe will be many.
This evening’s session browsing my photo archives took me to several images I shot a few years ago at the National Bonsai And Penjing Museum. This is a closeup of a crab apple tree in bloom. At the time this specimen was on display in the courtyard. Not sure if it belongs to Japanese, American or Chinese collection. I simply love the contrast between the age represented by the twisted trunk and rugged bark and the fresh, newness of the blossoms.
I will be promoting the National Bonsai And Penjing Museum over the next several months. For one it is a beautiful place to visit and most definitely a national treasure. Secondly, the National Bonsai Foundation is working hard to raise funds to renovate the Japanese Pavilion which is the oldest section of the museum. The estimated cost of renovation is $2 million. The Foundation has been making great progress in reaching its goal through generous donations but they still need approximately $500,000 more. If you would like to donate please visit there website here.
When a pine tree is allowed to grow with little resistance, in an environment that does not challenge it, the tree will generally grow straight and tall in the shape of a cone. Here we have a pine which is not afforded that luxurious life. Its shape contains twists and turns a areas of deadwood. You can almost hear the story it has to tell. You can almost know its character.
Water is perhaps the most flexible thing on our planet. It easily exists as a solid, liquid or gas, changing form readily in a matter of moments as atmospheric conditions permit. This flexibility allows water to go just about anywhere it wants. Water can do just about anything it wants. Despite water’s flexibility and lack of permanence in form it is one of the strongest things in our world. Stronger than the hardest stone. Water’s strength lies in its patience, reducing mountains to hills and carving valleys in due time.
The contrast between new life and the remnants of what was once alive creates a very intriguing image. These daffodils are emerging among the remnants of tall grasses on a mountain side in Western Maryland in late April. Daffodils, among a few other notable plants, are harbingers of springtime. Their appearance is spectacular as they are both genuinely beautiful and a sight for sore, winter weary eyes. They give us hope for warmer, brighter days.
This image was taken few years ago in Colonial Williamsburg. It is the roof of one of the houses in town covered mostly in healthy green moss with a color splash of warm autumn debris. This image reminds me that nature always wins. It always will and that is a beautiful thing.
Yesterday while browsing through my archives I passed up this image. For some reason I felt compelled to post it today.
The picnic tables are old and showing signs of decay but overall they are still in pretty good shape. The natural elements in the image are not the focus, they are peripheral and background. However, the overall composition to me is what makes it work. Each element works together to convey a calming feeling. The image is restful. I remember taking this shot and thinking how inviting the picnic tables were at that particular moment in time, in that particular space. Shaded from the warm late afternoon sun by wise old sycamore trees. In fact, you may notice that the bench of the second table is no longer level. The roots of a sycamore tree have grown under the bench and over time lifted the bench in a way that says “come, sit with me. Sit here on this bench and relax with me for a moment.”
As you probably know by now one of my many passions is typography. This image was taken a few years ago in Williamsburg, VA. In Colonial Williamsburg they have preserved the town as it was in the 1770’s. If you visit you will see things being done just as they were over 200 years ago.
There is a profound beauty in tools and utensils that are still functional but show years of wear and good use. The metal type being set here is a perfect example. The wear on the letters is apparent especially after their impression is set in ink on paper.