alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Saturday, July 18, 2009

echoes

-
-





Colors echo
between a Norway maple and a tiger lily






and then a little bee
imitates
the shape of the lily's anthers




like open parentheses

and you know the parallels will go on
always
between them

as well as
between you and me
as we keep changing positions

to understand each other.






I thought I could change the world. It took me a hundred years to figure out I can't change the world. I can only change Bessie. And, honey, that ain't easy either.
-
- Annie Elizabeth "Bessie" Delany, at 104 (as quoted in The SUN magazine's Sunbeams page, April 2009, Sunbeams are only in the hard copy I think)

53 comments:

Claudia said...

Lovely. Everything. Send a bit of sun this way, will you?

VaNeSsA said...

I love Bessie. "And,honey, that ain't easy either." Isn't it the truth? It's funny, every time I come accross an old notebook or diary (why do I have so many of them, and none of them filled?), I inevitably (sp?) find one of my famous (to myself, at least) LISTS OF HOW I WANT TO CHANGE MYSELF/MAKE MYSELF BETTER/etc. I have made literally hundreds of these lists in the last, say, 18 years. Somewhere in the top five are always a) get organized, b) lose weight, and c) clean the house (or my room if it's an especially old list) and keep it clean. I have never done any of these things successfully, and yet I keep writing them down, vowing to do them, making a plan to get them done. Still. Nothing. It ain't easy.

Susan said...

Beautiful photography, Ruthie, to go with the beautiful poetry. I love the way the sun lights up the lilies and makes the bee and the anthers look that much darker. Very nice parallels.

I'm still working on changing myself, too.

CottageGirl said...

As I scrolled down from your header today, I literally had my breath taken away by your first picture and I don't think I took another breath until I finished today's post!

Gorgeous photos that make me want to linger a bit longer. Beautiful writing!

Babs-beetle said...

What beautiful photos of a warm, sunny day :)

*jean* said...

oo ruth, your photos are simply divine....i adore the little bee trying to be a lily....

thank you for your kind words on my new blog...you're an inspiration to this aspiring multiple blogger....

also, thank you for sharing bessie's quote...my father in law is known for saying "the first hundred years are the hardest"

jean

Oliag said...

Hello Ruth!

I always love your photos...but the first one simply put me in a dreamy mood!... until the end of your post when I was laughing!...I am definitly copying that quote!..it does have a better ring to it than "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"!:)

Here's to remaining in parallel!

Rachael said...

Beautiful!

amuse me said...

I have found my new tagline, thanks to Bessie. Although, I may still try to kill a few people with kindness -- that might change the world a little bit! :) M

Debbie said...

Wonderful poem to accompany the great photos! You've inspired me. I posted a Kunitz poem today with one of my photos.
Namaste.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Ruth, my dear... I have been thinking of you and the loving preparations you and your family have been doing in wait for your daughter's wedding.. so exciting... I hope it brings happy memories to stay with you forever... how life moves along, going through the it's phases...

Love the "Quote" about Bessie... oh so, so very true.

Your energy is beautiful to see.... cheers to you.

Sandy said...

What a great post and photos. I enjoyed it.

shoreacres said...

Your last, close-up photo is my favorite.

If you just glanced, you might not distinguish the bee from the anthers. Do you suppose he's engaged in quite intentional camouflage, hoping against hope that the big, clunky predator will just keep on going and let him
be(e)?

Anonymous said...

白蟻、白蟻防治的正享—除白蟻企業社負責人於民國85年,考取行政院環境保護署病媒防治技術員並獲頒病媒合格的除蟲專業認證證書乙張。為擴大服務除蟲、白蟻、白蟻防治、除白蟻及害蟲防治,於民國97年06月正式成立 "正享除蟲企業社" 從事有關害蟲防治如:白蟻防治白蟻蟑螂老鼠跳蚤蚊子蒼蠅螞蟻蛾蚋蛀蟲燻蒸園藝防治的害蟲驅除防治,實作防治經驗已有十餘年之久…

白蟻除蟲跳蚤除白蟻白蟻防治除跳蚤跳蚤防治>>>參考網站

ds said...

So beautiful, Ruth. All of it.
And I enjoyed Bessie Delaney. They wrote their autobiography a while back, "Having Our Say" I think it was called. Do you know it? (it's a neat interesting read if you ever have the time--say six months from now.)Anyway, you've melded picture with poetry perfectly. Thank you.

rauf said...

This quote is better than Gandhi's and more realistic and hitting,
Hitting is my opposite of 'touching' Ruth.

Theoretically the flower is an obstacle in the path of light. A shadow falls where the light was supposed to reach. In a larger picture our planet itself is an obstacle. The obstacles make us see the light and make us aware of the beauty of light and the beauty and ugliness of the obstacles. Not everything is as beautiful as a flower Ruth.

Christina said...

These photographs are just gorgeous!! Deep and luscious in color.
Such glorious words.
xo

Ruth said...

Hello, Claudia, happily you are heading for the sun soon, I hope it isn't too hot. It has been a cool summer here so far, but sunny.

Ruth said...

VaNeSsA, you and I are list sisters, we could shorten that to "listers." I always felt better if I had a list, and if the list was about my own self improvement, then I was really cooking. I've learned that it's hard to decide what doesn't have to change, and how to change what needs to. I mean just about me. We're surrounded by messages to do this, so it isn't any wonder. And I've realized recently that other cultures do not impart guilt with such a heavy hand as ours. We women especially have a hard time accepting ourselves as we are I think.

Ruth said...

Susie, my friend. Have you noticed that men don't seem to worry so much about improving themselves? I am not talking about any particular man, so don't read into this please. It's just a fact. I would guess that at least 75% of the self improvement books are sold to women. I am not making any judgments here, just an observation based on my own experience and of those close to me.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, hello. How is it across the Lake?

I go through phases about pictures. Would you believe I get tired of beautiful images sometimes? I long to see my friend Alek's images of decay and darkness, because she finds beauty in them, and so do I.

I've thought a lot about why I try to share beautiful images here. It's mainly to make you feel what you did when you came here, and partly to hear you say that and make myself feel good. Because soon I will go back to remembering how hard the world is and focus on that. Also, on this farm, there is so much beauty I just want to share it.

Ruth said...

Hi, Babs, I don't know about where you are, but it hasn't been very warm here this summer. But there have been some beautiful days, and I'm not complaining one bit. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Jean, how old is your FIL? Hehehe. I really wouldn't want to live 100 years, watching family and friends dying. I think living through the entire 20th century would have been a sad, amazing spectrum though. It would be fun to sit and talk with Bessie, and with your FIL.

Ruth said...

Oliag, I am always trying to find something interesting to photograph. Sometimes I get lucky, and when I'm leafing through images there is a surprise, like this little bee in this position. I get bored with nothing but pretty flowers. My son Peter has a brilliant eye for taking photos that are different than what I've seen elsewhere. I would like to reveal just a little something new in an image, but that may not be a strength of mine. I admire it in others very much.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Rachael. I tried leaving a comment at your blog, but the word verification box wouldn't show. This is what I wrote:

That's a scrumptious sunflower. Do you have any extras we could use for our upcoming wedding?

The tomatoes are just about ready to pick and eat. Oh summer is wonderful.

Ruth said...

Marion, I think I talk more about changing the world than ever doing anything about it. I get so tired of that. But I have always thought a lot about changing myself. Not that I have ever worked on the things that drive other people crazy very well.

Ruth said...

Debbie - are you saying you posted that after coming here? If not, the Kunitz poem really is quite a parallel to this post. I was impressed by his words about aging.

Ruth said...

Gwen! I think of you often and wonder if your fingers are sore from making jewelry. I picture you looking over the Bay, walking one of the dogs. I hope you are very well, thank you so much for stopping in. I hope Max and John are fine too.

I feel a little thrill when I anticipate wearing the crystal earrings you made at the wedding. I would like them to become family heirlooms, "what Grandma wore to Mommy and Daddy's wedding."

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sandy. Hope it's not too hot in CA.

Ruth said...

Linda, the other day I found a toad sitting in the grass at the Horticulture gardens. (I posted him at small.) I got down in his face and snapped away. He didn't move. I wondered if he was terrified, but actually he looked as though he might fall asleep. Maybe he was injured. I actually made him move after I was done to be sure he was real.

Ruth said...

Oh good, thank you, DS. If anyone would know about Bessie, you would. I did not know what she might have done to be quoted on that Sunbeams page (other than live so long), and I didn't Google her. Is the autobiography with her husband?

Ruth said...

rauf, National Geographic did that study on beauty in a human face, what people find attractive. Turned out that symmetry was key. I've wondered since then how we have been programmed. Do we have something innate that thinks some things are beautiful? I also find decay and darkness beautiful, though darkness is harder to photograph, and others do it very well, like my friend Alek. Sometimes I don't feel good when I see her images, but I find them beautiful. I also see trends and fashions that become less attractive after their time has passed.

I commented here a long time ago, maybe 2006, about beauty therapy. I remember Arshi did not like the idea, thinking I meant the kind of beauty they sell at cosmetics counters. That is not what I meant.

If someone is surrounded by ugly obstacles, say in a slum where there is trash and filth, I wonder if they long for beauty as part of survival.

renaye said...

nice flowers!! can't wait to see with my own eyes!!

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Christina, big hugs to you.

Ruth said...

Hi there, Renaye, I am loading your page while I write this. It takes sometimes 5 minutes, and sometimes it never loads. If it loads, I read your sweet essay and then try to comment. But lately it the baboons refuse me. :(

Gwen Buchanan said...

I am so honoured!!! You are a dear sweet woman Ruth!!!!
I can imagine the happiness that will fill that Day!!!!

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, DOn't you just love the flowers this time of year. Old fashioned day lilys,mine are from my dads yard and my mother-in-laws yard which make them even more special. Great post,beautiful photos open parentheses...
Bessie says it all, I need to work on changing myself before I change the world.

ds said...

Wow, guess what! I still have the book, which Bessie wrote with her sister (neither of them married)Sarah, about their "first 100 years." It is an amazing chronicle;they were born in the post-Reconstruction South, moved to Harlem, witness to, well... everything. Good and bad.Booker T. Washington, near-lynchings, Jim Crow laws, Paul Robeson. One was a dentist, the other a teacher. Two smart, feisty women who in their own quiet, yet fiercely determined way, broke a lot of barriers...

Anet said...

The colors of your photos reminds me of Autumn. Very pretty!

Ruth said...

Me too, Gwen. Me too!

Ruth said...

Hi, Cathy. This has been a strange summer in MI, hasn't it? So cool these last few days.

Ok, I'm not going to say anything about hoping for good weather for the wedding. Oops, I just did.

Ruth said...

DS, I will enjoy reading that book.

So Bessie lived to be twice as old as I am now. I'm fascinated by how a person's views change in the later decades. I'm already less opinionated than I once was, less judgmental. I'm guessing I'd be even less so in another fifty.

Ruth said...

I thought of Autumn too, Anet (but not your daughter, Autumn, ha. Did you name her that because you love the season?)

Jill of All Trades said...

Very nice.

Nancy said...

Bessie and I are on the same page. These photos are just amazing!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Jill. I'm still wincing over your poor toes.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Nancy.

I am going to make your rice salad next week when we have house guests.

Pat said...

Sorry I'm a little behind in catching up with the blogs I follow. My husband and I are "sharing" the computer, because I can't get wireless on my laptop. Yeah. So that's going well you see.

Anyway, I love to see flowers near a white picket fence. Looks so homey to me. Love the poem, too.

Ruth said...

Pat, ohh, computer woes. You don't realize how much you depend on your own until you don't have it.

California Girl said...

Your flowers are so beautiful.

I'm with Bessie; I can't change the world either.

Anna said...

Hey Ruth, I thought I visit some of your older posts, these are some magnificent photos with inspiring words....thanks. Anna :)

Ruth said...

California Girl, I can hardly change myself, as she said. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Oh thank you, Anna.