Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday at Week's End

A feeble pun on wit's end. I have been busy this week setting up a new watering schedule and devising a new way to do some of the watering chores myself. Two half gallon milk jugs and a watering can come into the kitchen sink and are filled then hauled to the porch to do the honors. People are away this weekend and so I want to see if I can manage this myself before finding more friends to help. So far so good. I have also potted up the irises a friend brought over in holding pots before someone can plant them in the ground.

The larger of the yellow roses that I posted Tuesday grew to be six inches across. A truly large rose. Three Mr. Lincoln's are fading on my counter now. As they fade they turn an almost purple not quite magenta color that I can't quite capture with my camera. (I probably need filters that I don't have. As well as knowledge that I don't have.) The camera is such a gift. My digital camera was preceded by a 35mm camera, a gift from my parents when I graduated from high school.

This week I have been scanning slides from that time into my desk top computer. It is amazing how many Christmas tree pictures my family took. As though we would never have another Christmas tree, we snapped shot after shot of the trees. The shots with the lights on never turned out. Then as I was laughing at myself for having expended so much film on the trees, and wishing also that I had taken more shots of the people, I found it: the magic Christmas tree.

One year in the eighties when a tree truly wasn't in the household budget and I had not expected to have one, Papa came into the house on Christmas eve day with a scrawny, not terribly beautiful tree, the last one in the grocery store lot. He went to the garage and brought in the boxes. He set it up where I would be able to look and look and look at it and even helped me decorate it. I hadn't thought that I had any pictures of it at all and the slides had turned a funny color, magenta like the roses on the counter. With the help of the computer, I brought it back to green again. It was such a joy to see it again. I spent hours that Christmas, in the evening with my feet up on a stool just looking at the tree. That was the first time, too that we did not put lights on a tree. It was so dry that I did not think it was a good idea to put the light on it. Papa was grateful. I have never put lights on one again. Symbol of the Light as it is, it doesn't need electricity to make it work for me. Everything on it is shiny and catches the light. I take better pictures of it this way too.

Somehow I think the picture taking is an attempt to fix the object. The picture is never quite the same. It doesn't capture the magic. It is why I keep taking pictures of the flowers too, I think, turning the ephemeral into something that lasts longer; holding on to memory that I don't quite trust to do the job without the visual cue.

Memory too is an elusive thing, not as fixed as we think it is, the memories change as we go forward in time. The way that I remember my childhood is not the same as the way I remembered it in my twenties. My memory of the Christmas trees, or the roses, is not the same as the trees or the items themselves. I will still try to hold the moments in time making memories by taking pictures for as long as I have the gift to see well enough to use the cameras. For the art, the technology and the gift of sight, I give thanks tonight and am grateful.

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