Monday, November 21, 2011

Skyflowers blossoming

From a poem titled The Snowfall is So Silent by Miguel da Unamuno (1864-1936), translated by Robert Bly:

"The flakes are skyflowers,
pale lilies from the clouds,
that wither on earth.
They come down blossoming
but then so quickly
they are gone..."

The rest of the poem is here on

Snow, delicate snow, says Unamuno.

Which is all true.  But yes, snow is strong and unforgiving, too.  Snow takes hold and moves in and refuses to pay the rent.  Snow can be dangerous.  It flirts and flits and stings.

But how beautiful it is - this sugary substance, so silent, so cold.  

And by now you are wondering why there is a book covered in snow in my backyard.  (It's still there, being transformed by snow and cold and wind - waiting for another photo shoot, waiting to see what happens to it next).  Part of my winter experiment.  Which has to do with observing, with attempting to see the beauty in this particular season, harsh and glorious. I'm not sure what it means, this particular series.  But I like watching how the snow gets into the pages, what it sticks to and what it slides off.

I'm not huge into processing things.  I don't have photoshop.  If I did, I'm pretty sure I'd never write another word again but would instead be enthralled by all the possibilities of the program. But I did do some minimal tweaking in Picasa on these. Mostly because, it's not easy to shoot snow and have it look like anything.  

I like the way that snow can appear to look like clouds.

I sprinkled snow over this book with my bare hands because my mittens were too clumsy. After that I ran in the house because it stung so badly.

The ones on the chair aren't precisely what I was after.  I'm not sure that you can tell that it's a chair even.  This is the spot in the garden where I write in summer.

And so that's phase one of my mad experiment with a book and some snow.  I think there may be more to come.  Won't promise one way or the other.

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