i’ve been trying to engineer some wallpaper pattern designs by making regular repetition look random. and then i tossed some willow leaves onto a sheet of paper, and they were immediately so much more random, and so much more beautiful, that i’m not sure how much motivation i have to continue engineering. that happens to be the story of my life.
weeping willow leaves in autumn
turtle lake, saint paul, minnesota
white bear lake, saint paul, minnesota
this pattern was originally intended to have more leaves in it and a wider variety of color. but each time i pulled the image onto my computer, the darker, saturated colors drew attention to themselves selfishly, and detracted from the pale beauty of the more faded leaves. i think this was the third or fourth variation. and with each successive round of photos, more of the showboats got sidelined, and the modest team players stayed on the field. in the image above, all of the leaves know how to play nice. no divas and no prima donnas. they compliment each other, and call each other beautiful. they know how to pass the ball, and they don’t care who scores, as long as the team wins.
pressed autumn leaves
saint paul, minnesota
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hi everybody. so i don’t have much to say about these crushed leaves except that they provided a cool backdrop for a display of fall fruits that were not technically gathered and so did not fit my arbitrarily strict self-imposed rules for this blog. so instead of talking about them, i’m going to mention that there is now a newsletter sign-up button in the lower right of this screen, and it is now working. i do hope you’ll sign up, as i expect to have a lot of exciting news coming up. in exchange, i will promise not to spam your inboxes. pinky promise. nothing, as you know, is more sacred than a pinky promise.
crushed fall leaves
saint paul, minnesota
steve and i have a term, operating at capacity, that we use to describe our life sometimes. it can be a positive or a negative term depending on how we feel at the time. at its best, it means grabbing life and all it offers as fully and completely, with as much presence and passion, as our talents and energies allow. at other times, it just feels like being overextended and not being able to say no to enough things, so that we are doing everything we are “supposed” to do, but not doing the things we want to do as well as we would like. this week was a little of both, and i’m left feeling a kind of tired that is neither the exhilarating fatigue of an athlete after a big effort, nor the clarifying fatigue of having overextended and knowing you have to scale back, and that something has to change. i was preoccupied all week with a photography commission that was at once thrilling and draining, that i couldn’t really complain about, because it was exactly where i’ve wanted to arrive for years, but that was ultimately vaguely unsatisfying, because i was working hard trying to execute someone else’s vision. how do you complain about doing something you’re good at that you love, that someone is willing to pay you for??? and yet, here i am, wishing i had time to do the dishes, and clean out the fridge, and clip my nails, and go to my son’s soccer game, without having to do a cost benefit analysis. i feel a little like this plant–not broken, but a little bit bowed.
november (knotweed ?) stem
grass lake, saint paul, minnesota