Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mutability



First of all, I apologize with all my heart. As if you hadn't already had enough books, enough flowers, enough ranunculi, enough red... (That's the plural of ranunculus, I swear to God.)

But truly, these flowers have gotten under my skin, carved out a place in my heart and captured my soul.

(How corny is that?!) I do love them, though.




And secondly, I apologize for the length of this post. Well, for the amount of photos anyway. I went a little crazy shooting these beauties. I know because I've been photographing them for the better part of two weeks.

(How's that for getting your money's worth from a supermarket bouquet?)




Try as I might, I just couldn't bring myself to throw them out as they started to fade. And I think that they are just as beautiful now, with their crushed silken petals falling, as when they first graced my vase.




I've already confessed a weakness for old books, and for poetry too. I found this book of English poetry in a thrift store a few years back. It was missing it's cover, but I loved the title page and the crumbling leather binding. And I have a soft spot for the Romantic poets, especially Keats, Byron and Shelley.




"The flower that smiles today
Tomorrow dies;
All that we wish to stay,
Tempts and then flies..."




In a strange and totally unplanned way, I guess that mutability or change is the deeper subject of these images. Despite having been an English major, I'm not good with words; certainly I cannot craft a sentence that could rival Shelley's. But I'm at a time in my life when I often feel as though everything I have known for as long as I can remember has suddenly changed.




And that can be a crazy, scary feeling.

Like everyone else from my generation, I guess I'm feeling old, like a well-worn book or a flower that's losing petals.




But these things teach us that there is a certain beauty and dignity in age. After all, with age comes wisdom. (At least one hopes it does.)

And I am truly grateful to be living a life of contentment, with the ones I love most in all the world.




Do you see the little heart in the last photo? I ♥ books and flowers, my children, my husband, and you, my dear friends.

Long may we see the beauty in everything around us.
xoxo

31 comments:

  1. Oh Mary, you can NEVER get enough of the color red, especially these gorgeous drop dead ranunculi. It reminds me of a beautiful woman back in time dressed in a very beautiful red dress and with read lipstick! IT POPS and leaves a lasting impression, red is just a color that will never, at least in my mind.. never go out of style.

    Again, your photos are all just stunning! If you don't mind my asking, what kind of camera and lenses do you use? I also like the effect you get in these photos with the "completely" black background. How do you do this?

    Where I live in Northern Ontario Canada, we have experienced a milder than normal winter, much like the U.S. At the beginning of March, we had snow banks as high as 6' and more in some areas, tons of snow. I went away to visit my son, daughter-in-law and granson and when I returned it was almost all gone. But, two days ago we got a snow storm, a foot of snow, but it will be gone soon because SPRING is on it's way. Yahh!

    Blessings to you..

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    1. Koren, Thank you so much for your kind words. I use a Nikon d300s. These pictures were taken with a 50mm 1.4 lens, wide open. I have gotten almost the same effect with my entry level Nikon d40 and a telephoto lens. I took them in front of my fireplace to get the black background. If you look at the photo in my header at the top of the blog, you can see the room -- fireplace, big window for light, and the footstool I used to stage the photos. If you have any further questions, feel free to shoot me an email. :)

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  2. Dear Mary,
    Now I could have sworn the plural of ranunculus was ranunculussesses.
    But I bow to your greater knowledge. :-)

    Gorgeous pictures! The composition with the old silver, the book, the flowers -- looks like a Flemish painting.
    (Isn't Flemish an unfortunate word, especially at allergy season?)

    Enjoy this gorgeous day!
    I am going to be out and prowling for things I don't need.
    Cass

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    1. Case, you are so funny! Actually, the plural can also be ranunculusses. But I had nuns beating Latin into me for three years and I've never forgotten it... ;). And I nearly did a spit take when I read your thoughts on the word "Flemish!". Enjoy your prowling! xoxo

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  3. I just want to tell you how beautiful I find your photography. I know I've said this before, but these dramatic images are more than eye-candy to me. They're amazing, and should be for sale. I can see them as large giclee canvas prints - inside a beautiful restaurant or in my home.

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    1. Kate, you are so kind! Actually, I am rather pleased with how these turned out. I will have to print a few to save, and maybe I will put a few in my etsy shop... xoxo

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  4. Amazing photos of still lifes, perfectly arranged! What a beauty!
    Thanks, Siret

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  5. Thank you for the lovely photos, a wonderful blog, and showing us your beautiful home. I completely understand that scary feeling you've described, but it can lead to amazing and wonderful places!
    Paula

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  6. Gorgeous photos
    Love them
    Hugs
    Mari

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  7. Lovely photographs Mary.. I could sink into them, really!

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  8. shoot away, one never tires of beauty...

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  9. Your photos are so full of beauty - I love them all. You have such a gift to see with your eyes and capture with your camera. Seeing beauty in age is something our generation (Baby Boomers) needs to develop. This is a beautiful post.

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  10. Wow, these are some beautiful images, Mary! Somehow you manage to capture a lot of black in your photos while still maintaining definition and color. Very nice my dear.

    Remember that commercial 'your not getting older your getting better'. Bunch of crap that is ; )

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    1. Thanks so much, Sharon! The east-facing window gives beautiful light, and a hand-held light meter is key. My in-camera meter wanted to overexpose, probably because of the large amount of contrast in the images. I took a reading off of the flower I had decided to focus on in each photo.

      And yes, leave it to advertisers (and probably men, at that) to hand us that big, steaming pile. ;)

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  11. Mary, this post really touch me beyond words...maybe because I am of a certain age:) These photos may be some of my favorites of yours! and you do have a wonderful way with words too!

    I agree with Kate that these need to be printed!

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    1. Thanks so much, Gail! I'm so glad my thoughts came through, and touched someone. When I read it over after publishing, I wasn't sure what people would make of it...

      I do love these photos, and I'm definitely printing some! xoxo

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  12. This really is wonderful article ! I simply love’d it !

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  13. Your eye for beauty is without equal. This is a lovely post.

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  14. Your photography is breathtaking as are your words
    peace n abundance
    CheyAnne

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  15. Well I really love your photography its not just taking a picture its art.

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  16. Wow - what a welcome after my "absence." Absolutely stunning images...I love the concept and the variety of ways you've displayed the richness of the blooms. I have not done much still-life photography, but you have definitely given me some place to start. Especially since I happen to have a very beloved volume of Gone With the Wind which was my grandmothers - and the women in this family have read it to death:). Thank you for the inspiration!

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  17. Lovely post, Mary! And your photos are gorgeous. Happy Sunday!

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  18. I love ranunculus and these are a beautiful colour. Thanks for the feast :)

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  19. I could never tire of your beautiful photos, Mary! I share your love of poerty,antique books and ranunculi.

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  20. Mary these are beautiful. Every time I visit I learn something while smiling because your pictures are so beautiful (and in this case, they feature one of my favorite flowers and always I love the old books, which I wish I could collect.

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  21. Very lovely photos and mosaics! Both the flowers, books and the arrangemants are exquisite. Have not found this intense red ranunculi here in Sweden.

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  22. Oh...don't apologize Mary, I would have taken more of these photos, this post is a real delight for the eyes !
    I can relate to what you're saying about age and change. I'm not always at peace with that, I guess I need a little more aging to gain more wisdom...

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  23. I adore ranunculus, all those silky ruffles piled on top of each other! Do you think you can have too many photos of them? I don't, love them all:>) I know what you mean about this time of life my friend, it can be disconcerting, but I am determined to fight back and live a life that is a bit more exciting than the sofa surfing that calls to me.

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  24. So gorgeous! I love Ranunculus!!! It's on my blog right now too.:)
    Thank you so much for sharing these.

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  25. Such a beautiful picture of that one flower.

    lisa

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love to hear what you have to say!