Sunday, March 21, 2010

In My Head

I sketched the delicate flowers of the witch hazel the other day, before it snowed and when it was relatively warm. I have long admired the flame-colored streamer petals -- four long, skinny rectangular petals that extend from each flower and gradually turn from deep red to bright orange to yellow. Inside each flower, barely discernible reproductive parts hide. But what I never remember noticing before was the fragrance. I sat downwind as I drew, and the bushes emanated a heavy, almost sweet smell. It was what a novelist would call a heady perfume. I don't even know what this means, really, but as I breathe it in and my lungs just seem full of this scent like it almost makes me dizzy, and it pops unbidden into my mind... a heady scent.

What is most amazing about it, though, is its newness. Just the fact that you can see something all the time, observe it closely, take pictures of it and notes... and still not know all there is to know. You can still learn new things, make new discoveries, and without going at all far afield. It's funny, students all the time point out that they've already studied something, already drawn it or seen it or learned it... as though you did something once and then you were finished. You have gotten all their is to get about this thing, because you studied it once. What an absurd notion! There is always so much to learn...

ps -- Today was sunny and not all that warm, but above freezing, and yesterday's snow is all but gone. I took a photo of some crocuses today, too, which I may publish tomorrow...

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