Welcome to Saturday’s Share – Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!
This week’s Share is three little white flowers with a big voice.
I took this picture at Sayen Gardens in Hamilton, New Jersey in early June, 2013. I love the shape and slight decay evident on these blooms, and the way they stand, fragile and proud, against the background. These flowers almost shouted to me, with a voice I knew. They said their name was arytana, and that they were the answer to a question I’d had for a long time.
It’s been this way most of my life. I live many of my moments twice – once in my own reality, as myself, and another seeing the world through the eyes of my characters and their realities.
Here, in this world, this flower has a name, but that’s not what’s most important, to me.
Because, in my other, fictional, reality, it’s arytana – the most common flower on my female lead’s homeworld, which blooms in a continuous cycle throughout the year, and is crucial to many plot lines and relationships, and to all the cultures of her world.
I had a vague idea of what the plant looked like, but it was sketchy, and I’ve been seeking a more accurate image for some time now, since it is such an integral part of my story world. I wanted to know what arytana looked like, smelled like, how it moved on branches, how it decayed… to learn arytana well enough to describe it, to experience it through my characters, because it is a nearly omnipresent part of their world, the way sagebrush was to me, when I lived in northern Arizona.
Many of my characters have known arytana their whole lives, as deeply as I have known the rolling hills, the scent of frost on crisp leaves, the sound of crickets and the flashes of lightning bugs.
And, when I saw these flowers, I came closer to knowing arytana.
It’s not exactly like arytana, this plant. Arytana is a vine, but the flowers stand out as these do. Arytana is a little thicker, more like a succulent. It has more blooms for the same surface area, and so it’s a little heavier on the wind, and less likely to sway.
But I know arytana better now than I did before I snapped this picture.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened. My mind works best in images and emotions, and thrives on images that evoke emotion, or emotions that evoke images in my mind. When something is bothering me, finding an image helps me to name it and describe it. When I have a puzzle to solve, putting an image to it helps. When I need to express something, coming to it from an emotional place helps me to find the deeper truth in it.
I’m learning to move with this, to give myself to it, and let it work with me. I know myself better, and express myself better, because of it. Sometimes I wish I knew it sooner, but then I realize that these are things of patience and perspective, and, for me, those things have deepened as I have gotten older or as I become more aware of a problem . I wasn’t ready to understand that about myself – until I was.
So, in this image, there are the shadows and textures of three different ways of living the bloom -the initial experience,on that day in the gardens with a friend; the fantasy that wove through it, of a flower that drives a world and an epic,improbable romance; and a path toward more fully knowing myself.
That’s a lot for three small flowers at the end of their lives…
Are there things in your life that trigger deeper self-knowing for you, while at the same time feeding your imagination? Are there images you’ve captured, or seen, that speak to you of things for which you have no words? I would love to hear about them!
Feel free to drop a comment, image file, or link into the receptacle below – I love sharing, especially when others join in!