September 17th, 2007

abstract butterfly


Endless fountain, originally uploaded by gurdonark.

I used to live near a huge willow tree. It grew across the street from our home in small town south Arkansas. Willlow trees are rather mixed blessings to a child. They are not particularly climb-able, and their non-climbability is so well-known to adults that strict injunctions against assaying the heights are routinely issued.

As with so many things, the chief virtue of the willow tree is also its key drawback. Those limbs that sway and make lovely moaning calls in the wind also buckle when children climb. Oaks, by contrast, are far more dowdy in the elements, but can, if the branches are properly braced, make for a fine climb.

Our yard now has two crape myrtles, which will never be climb-able, nor do they make a pleasant sound effect in the rushing wind. But they ornamentally bloom, and are patient with the flood and drought north Texas weather. Their chief virtue is they do so well. In our neck of the woods, their chief drawback is that they do so well that everyone has one.

I like the way that scenery can give rise to visual pleasure, in the same way that I like the way that music touches something deeply within. Most of all, I like the chief virtue and vice of memory and ideas--to lend a sense of story to the fabric of everything, like a fountain gushing spray amid willows and oaks.