I really like the photo posted on The Daily Post at Word Press today for the photo challenge. The single, blooming red tulip in a field of budded yellow ones is an immediate visual image of what it means to be unique. Outstanding in your field, the only one of your kind, different from all the rest. Snowflakes. People. We’re all unique like that…so does that make being unique – not so unique? Tricky concept, really.
I’ve been spending a lot of time this week photographing vintage games, toys, and books from an estate and putting them up for resale on e-Bay. Part of that time has also been spent researching the object to find out if other people are selling it and for what price. Manufactured goods are not so unique. They’re usually mass produced. But after 50, 60, or 70 years, they begin to be more rare. Others of their kind have been destroyed or lost for good. They begin to show wear in unique ways: non-duplicated tears, rubs, bumps, scratches. But usually, there is another one of that item’s “siblings” out there, somewhere. I guess what I’m learning is that differences and similarities are rather fluid. We are the same AND we are different at the same time. We are connected in mass and atom and substance in numerous ways that we only dimly understand. Categorizing and separating is something that we like to do because it narrows the overwhelming complexity of the world into an order that our little brains can comprehend. But it’s all a game, really. The truth is closer to wonder, the moment when you see something and exclaim “Look at that!” not because it’s necessarily different or special or anything else but just because it IS! Wow! There it is being the way it is and isn’t it marvelous!!
Okay, with that in mind, here’s something I picked up at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, and I didn’t know what made it the way it was, but it seemed familiar and strange at the same time.
My best guess is that these leaves are from the tulip poplar tree. The lobes are not formed in the typical way on these individuals. Mutants? Perhaps. I only found one that was like a perfect heart. The yellower one was a relative, sort of the link to the “normal” tulip poplar shape. I examined the edges very carefully to determine whether someone had shaped them on purpose. They appeared to be completely natural. (oh, and the acorn is just for composition and because it had a really sexy luster!)
Variety, diversity, uniqueness. “And I think to myself…….what a wonderful world!”