sometimes i ask my son joe to help me out with a description. tonight he said he thought this dying mum looked like the hair of medusa. i said i thought it looked like a tentacled jellyfish. and i’ll be damned if my francophone husband didn’t walk along at just this moment to inform us that the french word for jellyfish is méduse. goodnight everybody. my work here is done.
the fleur de lis, one of the symbols of france, translated literally, means simply, “flower of the lily.” i think this looks like a fleur de lis, because, of course, it is an actual fleur de lis, and because it has vaguely held the shape of the stylized symbol. but no symbol could possibly match the beauty of those corrugations stained brown with aging, that run along the surface of the vertical petal. i will usually choose organic imperfection over stylized symmetry. does that make me more romantic than classical?
the agave knows when to shed its skin, and how to elbow up toward the sun, and how many teeth to grow along the edge of its leaves. it is perfectly agave, and unconcerned with being anything else. i would love to spend even a single day in possession of the self-knowledge of a plant. to live exactly within my limits and possibilities.
you tell me why these ferns lost their fall colors one vein at a time, and ended up looking like the window of a gothic cathedral. there may be a scientific reason. but i don’t need to hear it. i just want to look at them some more.
pressed fern leaves
st. paul, minnesota
this meandering white stripe is something i’ve done before, and i will probably keep doing it until beaches run out of white striped rocks, or until i can no longer bend over to gather them. i allowed myself to bring home one quart-sized ziploc bag of beach treasures from southern france, and these wanderers made the cut. they have been happily introduced to their sister collection of striped rocks from our summer stay in brittany 11 years ago. not all beaches have striped rocks. i count myself lucky to know two of them. you can count wealth with bank balances, and real estate holdings, or you can count the number of woodlots and beaches you know well enough to call friends.
striped beach rocks from sète, france