Archive for March 2013

The Power of Daffodils

March 30, 2013

I consider daffodils to be a cosmopolitan flower. They are cultivated in many countries at this time of year to be sold for spring celebrations.

The power of daffodils is the same over here as it is in Poland, Bulgaria, or Sweden. It lies in the power of the contradiction between their energy and their vulnerability. Their yellow represents great energy and optimism. At the same time these delicate plants are greatly dependent on an abundant supply of water for their survival. They definitely are not suitable for my Tucson garden!

Yellow daffodils on a dark background

Daffodils are beautiful when in masses – as in an open field. They are as beautiful in cut form, but their lives then are much, much shorter.

The daffodils of this spring have had a strong touch of sadness and drama for me. I brought them to my dear friend, Susan, in the last hours of her intense and brave battle with cancer. I shared them with good friends to honor both Susan’s departure and this Easter Holiday’s arrival.

I am now looking at the daffodils standing royally in a vase in the center of the table at my home. They look strong and happy, while I feel deflated and sad. Never before had their yellow reminded me of other yellows: the massive gold of forsythia blooms next to my house on the Cape – the plant that I have always considered the birthday plant for my older son who now is totally estranged from me…. The yellow of the lower row of the daffodils’ petals reminds me of the gentle yellow of the roses associated with two friends who are no longer among us. Finally the strong yellow of the daffodils’ blooms brings to my mind the bloom of the mesquite tree that I loved and lost several years ago. Losses, losses, losses – all in a yellow hue….

Is that yellow melancholy going to take over my heart for the entire Easter weekend? I wondered. So I examined again carefully the daffodils in the vase. And here was the surprise – their tender green stems and ruffled yellow trumpets were not affected by my dark mood at all! Yet, their irresistible yellow energy slowly replaced my darkness. That is the power of flowers!

Alicja

P.S.

Many poems were written about daffodils and their youthful dancing energy. Here you can listen to the poem of William Wordsworth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK9UWpYuZiE

Have a good Easter weekend and a MULTICOLORED Spring!

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

March 7, 2013

I have been so lost in time lately, absorbed by the detailed work of finishing an important publishing project, that I almost missed today’s deadline for this photo challenge (by Word Press). Actually I found the title and description of the challenge a bit confusing and decided to interpret it as Lost and Found in the Details.

Here is how I see it:

Silver Beach on Cape Cod, MA

Silver Beach, Cape Cod

Walking on this familiar beach after the high tide you can see the dark clumps of seaweed on its sand. They are not very attractive and soon will be removed to make the beach more pleasant for visitors. Those clumps are not attractive at first, but there is some beauty in them that I tried to capture it in this photo.

Seaweed and sea shells  entangeled on the beach

Sea Offerings

The seaweed entangled with the shells, the color, the texture, and the feeling of some mystery attracted me enough that this photo, in a large format, hangs in my studio as a reminder of my visits with the ocean.

New Orleans building with the decorative iron work

Charm of New Orleans

The minute I walked into the New Orleans streets, I was charmed by that city’s ambiance and its characteristic architecture with the decorative iron work. The detail of that ornamental work represents for me the essence of that New Orleans charm – visually.

Detail of the ornamental iron work

Detail of the ornamental iron work

The above examples of details were sought by me intentionally, but sometimes one can stumble on such detail accidentally. That was the case with a photograph I took in my native Warsaw (Poland) a few years ago. I was attracted to the balcony full of flowers on Nowy Swiat (New World) street and only much later discovered the very attractive decorative details of the building on both sides of the balcony.

Warsaw balcony and flowers

Warsaw balcony and flowers

It is so nice to have flowers around us in many forms – they bring smiles to our lives.

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

 


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