This week’s photo challenge asks us to capture an image that shows something that hijacks your attention like an object that drives a child to proclaim, “Ooh, Shiny!”
I have a few things that distract me in a delightful way. Spotting someone who has retained a hairstyle from a bygone era is one of those things. I’m not talking about an intentional retro makeover here. I mean someone who is old enough to have sported that hair style when it was current. I’ve seen a woman about town who has a perfectly permed and feathered mullet from 1984. How did she find a stylist who will keep up such an outdated style? What spectacular thing happened 33 years ago that she has made her hair a shrine to it? By the way, only her hair is stuck in the past. Her clothing and accessories definitely belong to the current era.
While I find time travel hairdos fascinating, I have not had the opportunity this week to take such a picture. I also feel uncomfortable with street photography that makes fun of the folks portrayed. It would a tough task indeed for me to photograph Mrs. 1984 Mullet in a way that doesn’t insist, “Look at this ridiculous hairdo.”
Because of this concern about exploitation, I offer another sort of scene that rivets my attention. I love seeing morning light through flowers, trees, and many other sorts of flora. Every time I drive to work and see sun beams filtering through gardens, I wish I could stop and take a few pictures.
This morning I took a picture of the morning sun illuminating one of my sunflower plants. I stopped everything that I was doing, grabbed my camera, and headed toward the garden when I spotted the sunflowers through my kitchen window this morning. Full sunshine has been elusive this week. We are stuck in a pattern of cloudy, hot days. I hope it rains today and that these showers steer us toward clearer skies.
This week’s photo challenge is Elemental.
This week my time is short, so I grabbed a shot from deep in my photo archives. This image hails a late 2000 trip to Westport, WA. I stood on a pile of rocks as the evening tide lapped at my feet while the sun set. I had a one megapixel Sony Mavica that recorded images onto floppy discs, and I could take no more than 10 pictures per disc. That technology seems so quaint now, but I’m sure that the power of the water hitting that Pacific shore is still the same, seventeen years later.
There’s something about the first mum I see at summer’s end that compels me to touch it. They remind of the kid who was last to bring a jacket to school as fall stretched onward. It’d be 48 degrees and breezy outside, and I wouldn’t see a single goosebump on his arms. I’d wonder if his arms felt warm to the touch.
This weekend I spotted mums at a local garden center. I touched a pair of them, wondering how they brave the cold the longest of any garden plant that thrives in this area. They were just 1.99 a plant, and now they are part of my garden. I wonder how they’ll fare in the still-hot afternoons of late summer.
Since I returned to work from medical leave in May, my days have felt so dense with work that I feel so satisfied with the close of each day because I have been too exhausted to worry about much of anything in those moments. I lie down in bed with my tablet and read just a few pages of a public domain collection of Father Brown stories by G.K. Chesterton. This ritual is like a drug-free sleeping pill to me. By the third or fourth page, I’m slipping into that semi-drunken state wherein the mind wanders to places I’ve never seen in my waking life. One moment I’m reading an achingly pastoral scene of Fr. Brown and Flambeau riding in a boat on a river whose banks overflow with wildflowers, and then my mind takes me to a 1940’s kitchen brimming with lattice-topped pies and well-composed salads . . . or I have a drone’s eye view of a street market in Marrakech . . . or I see someone smile who seems to know me though I have no idea who they are (or so the sliver of mind that is still awake tells me). The possibilities are endless in those few moments before I surrender to sleep.
Today I thought I’d try the Weekly Photo Challenge for the first time. Earlier today, the theme was still Collage. It just so happens that I recently made a collage in homage to sugar maples. By the time I was ready to post this collage today, the theme had changed, so I posted a photo for that challenge.
I thought I’d share this one despite the belated timing of this post. Is there a German word that implies longing for something yet not wanting to rush the time that intervenes between you and that which you desire? I’m thinking German because it seems that language has room for all sorts of ambivalence that is not acknowledged so readily in English.
If there is such a word, it would well convey how I feel in the heat of summer when I long to see sugar maples ablaze with color in autumn.
I spotted this object of mystery in a parking lot almost a year ago. I still haven’t identified it. Is it a tree knot? A collection of organic debris dropped from a semi truck mud flap? However it came to be, it is unusual to me because it reminds me of a face caught in Santa-grade joyful laughter.