Purple Passages and a Mirror

 

FlowersHappy

The earth laughs in flowers.”     –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

MIRRORS

Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.   – Ernest Holmes

 MirrorSandraC

Mirrors can both reflect and distort as Tennyson suggests:

And moving through a mirror clear

That hangs before her all the year . . .

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror’s magic sights . . .

– The Lady of Shalott

An old friend is the best mirror.   – George Herbert

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Definition of photograph before the digital era: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.    – Ambrose Bierce

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.  – Dorothea Lange

Later we’ll look at photographs, the way every family does, making much of the frozen moments, the icons of ancestry, the dead laughing right in your face, or just staring that non-committal historical gaze.”     – Patricia Hampl   The Florist’s Daughter SadieLandisPortrait

 

What Tallulah Bankhead thinks about photographs: They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum. Ha!

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Photographs and mirrors. Your thoughts or quotes about either.

Do you think they have anything in common?

 

Coming next: Milk Bread: Good for What Ails You

2 Easter Vignettes: Sacred and Sentimental

* Poem for Easter – British poet George Herbert loved to explore the soul’s inner architecture. He often wrote poems with shapes representing a theme, the resurrection in this case. The poetic lines, “increasing and decreasing to imitate flight,” also mimic the spiritual experience of rising and falling.

Easter WingsVertical_poem_4x5_300

Then viewed vertically the poem displays images of two butterflies, symbols of new life: Emblem poetry (technopaegnia) printed in a shape that reflects the subject of the poem.

Manuscript from the Bodleian Collection, Oxford University, 1633
Manuscript from the Bodleian Collection, Oxford University, 1633

Since by long centuries of custom the date of Easter is annually determined from the first Sunday after the full moon on or after March 21, the intertwining of physical and spiritual seasons is virtually inevitable.

Wisdom in Waiting: Spring’s Sacred Days by Phyllis Tickle

* Easter parade at Rheems Elementary School

My Mennonite school teacher, Miss Ruth Longenecker, was an artist. Though she dressed plainly with hair in a bun and a standard regulation prayer covering, her life brimmed with color, design, and pageantry. She painted in oils, preserving the old sycamore tree by the bridge at the old Martin home place on canvas:

Sycamore tree and bridge along lane leading up to the Martin farm Oil painting by Ruth Martin Longenecker
Sycamore tree and bridge along lane leading up to the Martin farm       Oil painting by Ruth Martin Longenecker

In her classroom at Christmas time was a tall tree laden with brilliant bulbs and glistening tinsel at school, though Mennonites were discouraged from having worldly Christmas trees at home. For St. Patrick’s Day, my classmates and I wore Derby hats and huge green shamrocks. But Easter was a real blow-out. Students brought hats and silky flowers from home to add to the creative collection (pasted, stapled, sewed). We paraded up and down the village streets near Rheems Elementary School, our teacher preserving the frivolity on her 16 mm movie film. Even the boys wore hats, some even more flower-encrusted than the girls.

Hand-made millinery on display at Rheems Elementary School
Hand-made millinery on display at Rheems Elementary School

Thank you for commenting. You can count on me to reply.

The conversation continues . . . .

Coming Monday: Guest post on Mary Gottschalk’s blog: Flying the Coop: Leaving Mennonite Land