Think a beautiful thought in the morning
and it will carry you through your day.
There is something arresting and unearthly about a magnolia tree in flower. Something that dances between divinity and dementia. —Pavithra K. Mehta, Magnolia Tree
Louisiana girl that I am, the Southern Magnolia is [naturally] one of my favorite trees. I’ve been trying to “perfectly” capture the magnolia blossom for years. I remember stopping to photograph the blossoms whenever I could before our move from New Orleans because I wanted the perfect magnolia from New Orleans to deck one of our walls.
I managed to capture a few satisfactory shots before we left. They’re far less than perfect, but the expertly composed shots of the flower by my brother [on display in my parents’ home] and other photographers encourage me to keep working on it.
So, here are my meager magnolia offerings for #ThursdayTreeLove. I shot some on campus a week ago just after a rain shower and some at my cousin’s house a couple of weeks ago before my grand color exploration with the tiny one.
I felt the photos needed texture, so I added just a little [hopefully] without compromising the natural beauty of the flowers and tree.
The magnolia leaf, so elegantly formed, remains strong and glossy even after its fall.
These are in various stages of bloom. My photo of a tightly closed bloom is “meh” at best, so I’ll spare you that one.
The tricky thing about photographing magnolias is finding ways around the height of the tree. The campus trees are really tall, but I was able to get nice “beneath the blossoms” shots.
The gorgeous “end” of the flower.
And finally, here’s a quick video I made of one of the magnolias on campus enjoying the company of the other trees. Thanks to Amanda, one of my photographer friends, for the tip about Pixaloop, which gave me the moving clouds and birds.
I quote Pavithra M at the beginning of this post. Her short piece, “Magnolia Tree” powerfully communicates the essence of the magnolia and our attraction to it. Be sure to click over and give it a read. But should you neglect doing so, I leave you with her closing words:
I think about this outlandish tree that races back to Time’s cradle, and its flowers that open alarmingly wide as if to swallow the sun, the way it gives itself madly to the moment. With radical generosity and no reservation. And what would be possible–if we could lean to live like that.
I am joining Parul Thakur for #ThursdayTreeLove every second and fourth Thursday of the month. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link it back to her latest #treelove post.
My home office is a complete, utter mess. The books and papers are literally closing in on me. There is a narrow path from the door to the desk and my favorite thinking place–the window. Other than that, every space is covered with stacks of books and piles of paper.
At some point, I’ll spend a day or two getting things back in order. For now, I’m glad I kept the many beautiful works of art created by swap-bot and Love Notes pals separate from the madness–especially since I have a lot of “catch-up sharing” to do this summer.
Today, I’m sharing a couple of postcards that remind us of the [potential] role we play in the life of each person we encounter.
The first card came from Martha S. of Postcards in the Air.
Martha’s cheerful watercolor urges us to “be a light in someone’s life.” Her work has been featured on Pics and Posts many times. My favorites are her autumn leaves and the über cute raccoon watercolor. Be sure to check out her blog for more of her work and musings.
The card below, also a watercolor, came from Rae L. I hadn’t seen her in my mailbox in ages, so I was overjoyed to receive this pretty card.
Rae included a Mother Teresa quote with her flowers:
Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love. –Mother Teresa
I truly appreciate the messages of love and light. The world can be lonely, dark, and cold, so the work of light workers is critical. If you think you have very little to offer, remember, even the smallest flicker radiates tremendous light.
As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. –Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson
I spent most of today sitting at my window in silence, untangling thoughts, and fighting icky feelings that were trying to take root. I needed to press pause on my ruminations, so–inspired by my many artist pals–I decided to pull out my long-neglected paint and brushes and make a mess.
Three postcard-sized pieces of “art” later, the ickiness kicked rocks. The works have two things in common–purple as a base color and “lack o’ skill.” I’m sharing them with you anyway because creating a masterpiece was not the point. Besides, my two biggest fans–my guys–like them and they encouraged me to post here on the blog.
Art is certainly not my forte, but I like Calvin’s artist statement [above], so I’ll claim it as my own. 🙂 Perhaps, I’ll add words [and/or photos] and send them out into the world.
If you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, pull out your paint or markers and make a mess. It’s amazing how order is restored through the creative chaos. It’s this reality that most likely prompted someone to substitute art for the word “music” in Berthold Auerbach’s quote and attribute it to Pablo Picasso:
Music “[Art] washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Be sure to make a healthy mess this week!
About the Image: My Love Notes pal and literary twin, Bianca, sent the postcard above for International Women’s Day. I admired the postcard on Instagram, but had no idea it was winging its way to me. It fits perfectly with the Words and Art series. The purple, happy naturalista dance for me!
During my month [plus] of speaking in flowers, I encountered a lot of purple. I read somewhere that purple is rare in nature. My reality speaks otherwise. Here’s a slideshow of some of the purple I captured over the last couple of months.
Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair. –Susan Polis Shultz
“Bunny mail” is always special to me. “Bunny” is my pet name for one of my favorite people and I have a few friends who [still] call me “Rabbit.”
My being “named” such is a result of my penchant for hyphenating almost everyone’s names with cute/fuzzy animal names–as in, Kesia-Pup, Cy-Bear, Mama-Duck. I started doing this in junior high school. By the time I graduated from college, rabbit was the most popular animal, so a few friends made that one of my nicknames. Of course, I don’t mind because well…rabbits!
With a few exceptions, I’ve pretty much kicked this particular naming habit. Pretty much. Maybe. Not really. 😀
May you find a reason to dance this week. Scratch that. May you “dance in the sun with wildflowers in your hair”–especially if there’s no reason!