Friday, August 19, 2011

When A Picture Is Not Worth A Thousand Words

photo by Lacie Myers 2011

I write because even though a picture can be worth a thousand words, even a photograph can't capture the grandeur I feel when I'm surrounded by snow-capped mountains or the majesty I feel when I walk through the miles of wild flowers on Table Mountain. 

Nor can a photograph capture the delight and satisfaction I feel at having the perfect bouquet of orange and yellow roses from my own garden in a luminous emerald vase sitting on my bathroom counter to look at while I brush my teeth and get ready for the day. A picture cannot capture the way I feel about that. I know because I took about fifty pictures trying. I wish it could because I want to save that feeling, record it, and pull it out to look at this winter when my roses aren't blooming, and neither am I. 

My bouquet represents a hot morning spent in the yard -- I pruned overgrown rose bushes while my son loaded them into the bed of the truck. I rescued all the buds and flowers I could from the tangle of long shoots, spent, dried flowers, and rose hips. I stripped off all the leaves and made tight topiary-like bouquets. I wouldn't dare make them at any other time because it would seem a waste of the buds-- but these would have been wasted anyway.

photo by Lacie Myers 2011

It evokes memories of my daughter and a day eight years ago when I came home to find the sweet preparations she'd made for some guests. She had filled several vases with flowers in this same topiary style and placed them around the house to be discovered. She taught me to make bouquets this way. More refreshing proof of how we saw the world differently.

It reminds me of my Grandma Jean whom the oddly shaped, squat round vase had belonged to and that before my daughter showed me, I had little idea how to make use of it's odd design. 

It makes me think of the woman in our neighborhood who started a flower business on her land this year. She taught me to put a little sugar in the water to keep the flowers fresh longer, and so I did that.

It reminds me of Grandma Myers and how even at eighty years old she helped me trim my rose bushes. She never complained about her bumpy knuckles, though they must have hurt at times. Will my occasionally aching fingers still be able to trim rose bushes at eighty or will I have enough money to hire someone to do it for me? 

I estimated how many weeks will go by before the roses blossom again - weeks without bouquets -- and I put one of my arrangements in the fridge to preserve it. I'll bring it out in a few days when the other bouquets are wilted. 

I'm not saying all these things run through my mind every time I walk by my innocent little flower arrangement, but they are part of how I experience it's beauty. 

What things open the floodgates of your memories?


    1. You are an incredible writer, Lacie. I was picturing in my mind your rose bushes as we sat and looked at them last month. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your talents!~Rebecca

    2. Keep up this expressive venue and we ALL will enjoy the blooming of other flowers this winter, along with YOUR memorable recounted events. I will enjoy keeping up with your Expressive artful bouquets.

    3. grandpa is right. I could practically smell roses while i read this and while i don't remember that particular occasion, i definitely remember loving to cut the beautiful flowers you always grew and arrange them in vases. your blog could definitely be a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day. I know how it will go. (kind of like today) I'll be lying on the couch cause i just don't feeling like exerting the energy for anything else. I'll already feel like my brain is fried from spending too much time looking up pointless things on the internet and need a change but not be able to tear myself away. Then i'll think "hey! I haven't read Mom's blog in a long time, i'm gonna catch up." In your posts i'll be flooded with things "virtuous, lovely, and of good report" and, in the case of this post be deeply touched by the fact that my awe-inspiring, talented, knowledgeable mother could have learned something from me (even if it was something as simple as arranging flowers, which to me felt like a combination of a lack of creativity and the simple desire to see as many roses packed next to each other as possible). The end result will be that i will feel uplifted and inspired to get up off my duff and do something creative or productive. I love you mama.


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