i first imagined i would take this photo of just the main stem and the penitent curve of the head of rye. it would be a visual statement, a pleasant shape, and a prettily graphic composition. but then i came across this version of the photo, and decided that the second stem made the whole thing look like a safety pin, and suddenly there was a little story, or a little playfulness to the image that hadn’t been there in the other shots. i am also insisting on talking about playfulness, and art, and aesthetics because i can’t do a single thing about what a horrible day this was in so many other ways, so i can either feel helpless and sick to my stomach, or i can try to do one thing well that i know how to do. or, maybe more accurately, i can try to do one of those things, despite the other.
wild canada rye
rice creek trail, shoreview, minnesota
you can find yourself bent out of shape by external forces, or by internal ways of thinking. these leaves look as if the wind is blowing them into cowering forms, but their shapes are simply the result of drying. of being cut off from the life force of the roots that nourished them. what are the prevailing winds in your life? have tough circumstances molded you, or have you curled yourself into something other than your best, sap-filled, life-embracing shape?
(unidentified) autumn leave
sucker lake, saint paul, minnesota
the shape you deserve
if we all end up with the face and the body we deserve based on the life we’ve lived, then this cattail stem must have lived an exeptionally elegant and exemplary existence since last may.
cattail leaf blade
rice creek, shoreview, minnesota
the word for fall used to just be “harvest.” but then in the 1600s people started moving to cities, and the most visible sign of autumn was not the harvest anymore, but the “fall of the leaf.” which means we have been losing touch with natural rhythms since before newton named the force that pulled those leaves to the ground.
rice creek regional trail, saint paul, minnesota
this is partly inspired by japanese wabi sabi, and partly inspired by my online friend margie’s crocheted rocks (resurrection fern). and i guess partly, i thought, what would my eleven year old self have wanted to do with this rock, and these strands of grass. the answer: sit still for a while, and see how tightly i could wrap the grass around the round rock.
grass wrapped beach rock
lake superior, grand marais, minnesota