hyperbolas are never a waste of time

hyperbolas are never a waste of time

i can’t stop looking at the gentle hyperbolas created at the base of these leaflets where they meet the stem, specially that top leaf. i found these two in my plant press. it took me hours of googling to identify them. i din’t know this pair was part of  a compound leaf. so i had started my search with  “simple toothed ovate leaves” and “simple toothed elliptical leaves”.  i found elm, apple, birch and rose leaves. all very very similar to my pair here..but no hyperbolas. i was just about to give up when i finally found a tiny infographic of  leaf types that happened to include ash. ash! would i consider those hours a waste of time? no way. i will forever know an ash leaf when i see it. it’s the only one with hyperbolas. and not a single field guide mentions that in their description of ash. weird.

pressed twig with two black ash leaflets

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cowlick

cowlick

this feather reminds me of a little dark-haired boy in a tie and an ill-fitting suit, whose mother has pomaded and combed his hair for sunday service, and whose hair is resolutely refusing to cooperate.

weather beaten feather (probably canada goose)

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preserved summer

preserved summer

opening up a flower press is like opening up an old journal. hmm. what was going on back in 2004? what was i thinking about? what had i just discovered? what did i think was important enough to get down on paper, and preserve for my later self?

pressed leaves and flowers

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what matters

what matters

with a misguided click of a button today, i managed somehow to permanently delete my entire email inbox and all of the folders where i’d stored my communications over the last several years. my first feeling was sheer grieving panic. my next feeling, not long afterwards, was a kind of relief. those folders had been filled with artifacts from the past, any of which had the power to resurface in the future in the form of obligations, or missed opportunities or claims on my time. without my even knowing it, they had been present somewhere my psyche as a kind of weight, heavy enough that i could feel it lift today, when i realized they were gone.

simple bouquet of winter stems

  • Tracey Martin says:

    I know the feeling… A double edged sword of deep fear knowing the mind cannot possibly remember the minute details, yet deep relief from having to do so through a medium that stands a sentinel to remind one’self. Once it’s gone, the responsibility is gone with it. It was a very heavy weight although nearly imperceptible.

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broken but whole

broken but whole

we all have little cracks where the world has pressed too hard. when we’re lucky, we still look like ourselves.

broken chicken egg shell

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