Wasp Nests

Wow. Two posts in one day. Labor Day is turning out to be an artful one, too.

Leroy and I went to the Trails Skateboard Park to take pictures. Then to lunch to write poems. Then home to do some photo magic combining the poem with the word. My piece is titled “Wasp Nests.”

Urban settings, even wasp nests hanging beneath an overpass, seem to put me in a dark mood. Hmmm…I think I much prefer taking photos of flowers and the joy they bring.

Here is the original photo.

Did I Write This?

I was cleaning up my desktop on my computer this gloriously cool Labor Day morning, when I came across a file titled: 15 Minutes Every Day. I opened it thinking it was something I copied from the Internet to use as an inspiration at a later time. I am always looking for ways to make myself slow down and do something contemplative. I have numerous sites bookmarked or “Liked” on my FB page to remind me to enjoy life.
When I opened it, the cursor was near the bottom of the document, so I began by reading the poem. It seemed familiar but it didn’t have an author attached. (I always give credit.) So I decided to go to the beginning and started reading my words written shortly over a month ago.
Those were my words. 
I don’t remember writing them.  
I began this document with the intention of doing Laurie Halse Anderson’s challenge of writing everyday for fifteen minutes during the month of August. Did it twice, and life got in the way.
I need to write everyday. It fills me with joy. I also read somewhere – one of my Zen-type sites that I love so very much – a writer must share her words freely. Don’t worry about copyright, someone stealing my words, or being pusblished. Just share and let the world hear my voice, if they so choose.
Well, world, here are my words and I am going to make an effort to write everyday.
We went to the Botanic Gardens today. It was finally cool. The weather has been so hot, I just sat inside in the air conditioning and did nothing. Since school is starting again very soon, we decided one more trip in the cool weather would be a nice way to spend the day. Leroy wrote and I took pictures.
I am very happy when I am taking pictures. I am in the moment. I am not thinking about things I have to do or haven’t done. I am present. I push myself to see details.
If you look at a garden as a whole, you may see a lot of mish-mash. Plants growing into one another, pushing one another around for the best position to soak in the light.  Or you may see tidy rows upon rows of neatly planted blooms staying in their place, growing happily.  But it is when you go deeper and put your nose into the mess or the march that the true beauty is seen.
This is what happens when I photograph. I step up to a pretty bloom and zero in on only that one face glowing in the sun.  I notice its shapes and colors. Even in the simplest of blooms, there are numerous colors.  Even what may at first appear to be a perfectly shaped petal, there may be a tiny notch or browning that gives a unique spin on the definition of beauty.   It is not in the perfectly shaped blossoms but in the imperfection that makes me want to keep that memory forever in my photos. 
The curling petal.  The hole allowing me to see the rock below.  The bees upstaging the flower.  Water drops re-forming the leaf in their reflection.  One flower twining into another or being covered by a curling vine.
I look at the photos I took and marvel at their glory even more since I come even closer still through the stills. The color astounds me.  I peruse the complexity of each bloom.  I wonder how man’s interference with walls and statues and blueprints for the perfect garden can improve on this beauty. It can’t. It can only be a backdrop. 
I hope my photos honor the glory of these living beings.  Their lives so short, their only purpose is to make me smile. Oh, and of course, be there for the bees and butterflies.
A rainbow sat outside my window waiting for me to notice. 
It had a partner ready to delight my eyes with their colors and their dance,
Bending their shape so gently across the sky.
How many rainbows have passed by me without me ever seeing them?
It was the lightening flash that got my attention.
I noticed the dark billowy clouds and wondered if it would rain.
Then I saw the twins.
Is this how I go through life, seeing the pain before the joy?
Have I programmed myself to wish for the gray,
Leaving colors for only the favored few who deserve it?
One must be present to enjoy the rainbow.
It is fleeting. 
It fades into the nowhere from where it came,
In a breath of a few moments.
Joyful moments are present if I am.
Clearing the mind and stopping to
Take in the one simple instant that may or may
Not grace my life again.
The flowers in the garden yesterday
Allowed me to take their pictures.
What a glorious gift.
I learned from their generosity that I have
A responsibility,
Be present.
That is when I see the curled petals
And the blending of one color into the next.
The bug ever so lightly blazing across the stem.
The stamen reaching for the sun,
But knowing the bee is its purpose.
Buds resisting the urge to open their arms,
Lest they lose their treasure,
Not realizing it is a treasure that must be lost
To continue on.
So I, too, must not be afraid to lose my treasure.
Let loose, let go.
Wait and watch.
That is where the true treasure lies.