Winter in Wisconsin can be very monochromatic. I do tend to feel SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and remind myself to take Vitamin D and get outside on any day when the sun shines. The challenge is to embrace this fact and celebrate it. So then why not embrace all the seasons in monochrome? It seems counter-intuitive, for the colors of the rest of the seasons are, I think, their most spectacular features. But a challenge should be challenging. Can I find visual interest in photos of all the seasons without color? Let’s find out.
Here we go…WINTER.
You know what? That was pretty fun. I do mourn the loss of color, but without it, I appreciate form, texture, and contrast all the more.
Thank you, Tina, for hosting this seasonal challenge!
I notice something about my architecture preferences. I don’t have very many shots of modern, abstract, minimalist architecture. I prefer old buildings, old styles which mirror nature in their profusion of contrasting textures, lines and patterns. I suppose I find the clean and “techie” look sterile and scientific. It’s just not me. I’m not Danish modern. I’m Victorian, more likely, all gingerbread and painted lady. My mother would shake her head, “Just more difficult to dust.” Who dusts, anyway? 😉
You might think that desert living is minimalist living. I mean, what’s out there? How do you survive on nothing? (see my post “Wilderness and the Myth of Nothing” here). Native ancestral pueblo dwellers made a lot of useful things out of the very simple materials in their environment. Like yucca fibers. They’re strong and fine. Sandals, baskets, and rope were made from them. The rest of the plant was used for even more things like shampoo and paintbrushes. Yeah, paintbrushes. They had time for art in their ‘minimal’ lives. Go figure.
The Weekly Photo Challenge prompt invites us to interpret the theme “Between”. This response is dedicated to my oldest, Susan. When she was a little girl in Kindergarten, she memorized a poem by A. A. Milne (the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories) and performed it for the K-3rd grade Speech and Oratorical Contest of her elementary school. Here is the poem:
Before Tea by A. A. Milne
Has not been seen
For more than week. She slipped between
The two tall trees at the end of the green…
We all went after her. “Emmeline!”
“Emmeline, I didn’t mean — I only said that your hands weren’t clean.” We went to the trees at the end of the green… But Emmeline Was not to be seen.
Emmeline Came slipping between The two tall trees at the end of the green. We all ran up to her. “Emmeline! Where have you been? Where have you been? Why, it’s more than week!” And Emmeline Said, “Sillies, I went and saw the Queen. She says my hands are purfickly clean!”
Susan did not perform this poem ‘purfickly’. As I recall, she left rather a long pause between the second and third stanzas, perhaps for dramatic effect, perhaps to indicate that some time goes by in that part. The audience began to applaud too early. Nevertheless, her memory was perfect, and she finished in her own time, in her little 5-year old lisp, “Thillieth…”, and I was, of course, inordinately proud of her. I still am. I visited her this past Sunday, and we went for a stroll in the UW Madison Arboretum, where she slipped between the branches of trees — like this:
Your fragile skin is smooth and taut, a drum head.
Shadows surround your bones.
Your waning flesh a cry for mercy.
a hermit’s life
of walking at a slower pace
* Steve became a City Carrier Assistant for the US Postal Service in April. His sister and his father have both had long careers in the P.O. Steve has left a lifestyle of self employment in the online bookselling business in order to make fast money with overtime and extended hours walking a city mail route. This is a temporary solution designed to retire some debt. At six foot two inches tall, he now weighs only 155 lbs – less than he weighed in high school. In the sanctuary of his home office, surrounded by stacks and stacks of used books and melodies of Handel, Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler, he is a happier person. Scholar & Poet Books is his personal work. Walking the footpaths of Wisconsin is his preferred route. He longs to return to this Walden by the time he turns 50 years old. *