Saturday, 25 September 2010

Saturday Photo: Sunflowers and the End of Summer

Sunflowers seem, at first glance, to be the emblematic flower of summer. They stand tall, face the world, and reflect the sun which is the origin of life, in many respects. Gustave Caillebotte's Sunflowers on the Banks of the Seine successfully conveys their energy on a midsummer mid-day.

But in this part of the world, summer is brief, and the sunflower's time is limited. One of the loveliest and most haunting scenes of the end of the season is The Tangled Garden by the Canadian artist J.E.H. MacDonald. When I first saw it, I found it troubling in the extreme. After living here for a long while, however, I understand the mixture of satisfaction and regret that comes at the end of summer.

The photo is mine, taken without the artistry of Caillebotte or MacDonald. But the way the heavy flowers lean away from each other, and begin their long swoon toward the earth evokes for me, at least, some of the emotions of the beginning of fall.


Martin Langeland said...

Mary, this is off topic and so don't bother publishing it. I just thought you and Lee would enjoy this very well done piece in today's Japan Times.

Roger Pulvers writes in the Japan Times of Lafcadio's return to his Japanese haunts a century on:
> I am the first to note that being away for more than a century assuredly "dates" an individual; but I ask you, what could "Awesome Ninja Turtle Dude" mean to anyone? I knew ninjas. I drank tea with ninjas. Some of my best friends were ninjas. But not one of them aspired to be a turtle — not, at least, in this life.
Very witty.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Very witty indeed.Thanks for sharing it.