The Power of One
A tree hangs by threads. Your flaky fibres grip lifeless.
A celebration of life is pending. Ode to a tree in midlife crisis.
Moss wraps, sticking to dead cells. Lichens grapple with skin that has rejected their fungal crust. Where to obtain their water and nutrients from the atmosphere now? Weakened digits lose strength and fall in the slightest breeze. A premature death at forty is barely passing rebellious teens. Loss of potential, smitten before peaking. Your hopes and dreams dashed by human interference. And so goes the fragile ecosystem nurtured by your loving shadows and flickering light for decades. Lichens and moss. Seek out another home on limbs offering vitality!
A wise sage reflects on the cycle of life. It was once a lively hub of activity. A young couple nurtured you as a wedding gift. The main lateral made a perfect swing for a seven year old, the trunk hide and go seek for the neighbourhood kids. Squirrels and other four legged tree creatures chased their mates around your trunk. Flickers and nuthatches flitted to and from safety under your boughs.
You could have been a dignified elder like the others on the coast. On your way to standing out in the crowd. A prominent sentinel. When they all fell away to the developers cut. Standing alone now. Only the wasted limbs remain on the ground. And a stub. Maybe a buddha will perch there. Isn’t that what humans do when they want peace?
Arms and fingers and legs and toes. Nothing left but the moss covered remnants. Woodpeckers still poke around the crevices but now that the lifeline has been felled, they only visit intermittently. Moved on, just like the humans. The grubs will move their parasitism on to another host, one that is not in a coma.
For more specifically on Garry Oaks and, generally, on the subject of one, see also:
The Power of One in a World of Many
Part 1 What Is One?
What is one?
Two points, a stick. It can hop but not walk or run. No arms for family or community to grab, hug, embrace, shake. Alone.
One, one, one.
Think about one. Skinny, branchless, without focus. Most of it’s life is clothed in black, unless the writer chooses Kodak saturation. How uninspiring is that?
It is only the beginning. A start that demands improvement. Bigger is better.
Lacking creativity, it cannot get much done. Where is the construction in one? The bones have no substance. Expansion is in order.
Unloved like the curvy relatives, 3 and 6 and 9 and the endless 8 it is always pointing the same. Leading but does not give direction.
It invites a taste but not a meal. Just one bite when one is never enough. Temptation for more but one is the end. Fini. Tout fini. It will not allow starvation nor satiation, only craving for more.
Solo, single, one, conundrum.
We beg quietude and peace, but frown loneliness. The oneness of a selfie that requires sharing with the world. Meditation is good, better in a class, single is sorry, partnered is praised. Follow the mass. Blend, do not separate. Lone begs a frown. Pity the unaccompanied. One is noiseless. No chatter raises alarm.
Determining place in a world of mixed messages where privacy is sacred, gatherings feted. It is a place that relishes crowd and revels community. Where family packs must be divided, unescorted proms bring furrowed brows, single supplements must ante up, motel rooms sport an unused bed, unshared food is tossed, companionless season tickets discarded. Independent but pitied.
This photography series explores the idea of one in a world of many. Our conflicting and communal relationship with one:
Tree Eulogy The Power of One
Military Parade, Alone in the Armenia Independence Day Crowd
Art and Inspiration
Where Does Art Inspiration Come From?
Your personal art bank is in a drought. Drained. And so are you. Spiralling into a creative idea funk without art inspiration. Again!
Where is that elusive art inspiration? Nature, people, music, walks, travel, urban life, solitude, books, materials, art shows. Uninspiring lists or endless possibilities?
Perhaps you need to seek outside influences. Follow trends? Colouring books for grownups do get the mind examining colour, form, focus, LINE (stay inside now). A return to childhood not your thing? Trendy inspires do not attract everyone. Perhaps you never liked colouring as a child. Some of us detested trying to keep within the lines. We just wanted to fill the page by our own rules. Outside of the lines, outside of the box, outside of your mind?
Art inspiration at other art hangouts can be a source for ideas. Gallery shows might be the act you want to follow. Art store bulletin boards. Just keep away from the temptation to buy more to feed the soul. Buying more gear or gadgets or paint will not fill the page. It is making the product, not acquiring more products that you need. Museums hold a cache of ideas on an inclement day. Watch for light falling, shadows creeping, highlights gleaming. These do not just hang out singly in photographs or paintings or sculptures or any one art form. They transcend across them all so get out and observe.
Colour, line, shape, form, value, texture, perspective. Nature is a master at whatever you want to perfect, or at least what you aim to improve. Pattern, rhythm, movement, scale, balance, unity, emphasis.
In nature everything from soup to lichens can be an inspire. Who knew tiny lichens could make such a big impact in art inspiration? One trend that will get you outdoors and arouse your art senses is a lichen hunt:
For more on venturing outside of the lines in your creativity, see also:
Big Rollers Beauty and Big Hair Nostalgia
Big rollers were not around when Cleopatra enticed Julius with her bountiful mane. She found an ancient way to trend big hair, a secret long buried in the crypt. Most ancient Egyptian fashions have faded into the pyramids but big hair style remains. It has thrived cycles of popularity, tangled tresses, religious brushing, cushioned and foam, velcro mesh. Recycling slippery aluminum cans made a debut designing a sixties hairdo. Devices stranger than these have snarled the hair diva into cascading magic.
Big hair stylin’ is not exactly a modern fad but the way to brush up from limp to bounce, modernized with the discovery of plastic and its creep into the postwar sixties lifestyle. Multicoloured circular rollers began popping up in the beauty salons, the supermarkets, the bathrooms, even the bedrooms of the nation. Being seen in casual public places with mini to monster rollers, depending on the desirable curl, was not condemned but an acceptable accoutrement. Housewives and teenagers, not a typical twosome, launched their styles in hair communion.
Introducing hair multitasking. Sporting hair rolled up while grocery shopping allowed hair prep while foraging for the family dinner. Erranding about town in a gauzy mod kerchief was as acceptable as a hat in church. It was not an embarrassment to be seen by the neighbours, the preacher or the potential boyfriend, especially while donning the latest in rollup hardware. Those rollers were not just relegated to private life, slumber parties and long, boyfriend assessing, telephone calls. Soon rolled up tresses evolved from function to craze. And so, they rolled into becoming an integral part of modern women’s lives. Especially teenagers, those folks who have not been known to under indulge in their need to be looked at. Like many beauty trends, there was pain, loss of sleep, undo scalp wear and tear, opportunities for sibling torment. It was short lived in the overall life of big hair fashion but nonetheless the emergence was a core symbol of the turbulent sixties.
Big rollers make big hair, there is no question.
For other hair photography, see also: