Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thistle Thicket


Even the spiny thistle has its own character and beauty, and Nature’s wise hand plays its magic on both the buds and blossoms of that we customarily think of as a weed. Maybe our emphasis on labeling things is just a superficial convenience that really fragments our minds and closes off our perception. We dismiss things too easily, because we have labeled them by our own accord, i.e. by our verbal traditions, either personal or acquired. Whether we refer to something with a nickname we have coined or by the vernacular of our time and place, we may limit its impact on our lives by relegating it to a negative mindset and meaning. What do you think?

Image and Text c Lynda Lehmann

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25 comments:

  1. Kia ora Lynda,
    In nature I enjoy so much the micro world, I may not know the scientific name for all I see, but I feel like sometimes I am greeted by old friends and just appreciate being amongst them once again. I try to bring that out here now as well. Kia kaha.
    Aroha,
    Robb

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  2. Robb - I agree that it's much more important to feel things in our hearts, than to belabor the words and labels that we put on them in everyday life. "BEING" has no words--words that fragment our reality into definitions and dichotomies. "Being" is a nameless, unconditional relatedness and "wholeness." I feel it in the woods and by boulders, peaks, and running rivers! And in the friendship of kindred spirits.

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  3. Nature has a way of speaking to us if we only learn how to listen. This is a gorgeous shot.

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  4. I adore thistles and your photo is one reason why.

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  5. Hi! Been away far too long, but you know how home renos are. I'm jaded but I'm heartened by the fact that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Did you finish your home renos?

    Thistles? How can a weed be so beautiful!

    Take Care,
    Peter

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  6. @ Poetic Shutterbug - It's lovely when nature speaks to us, but when we start answering back, do we have a problem, lol? (I answer with my camera, as you do...)


    @ CONDA - They are a paradox: pretty, yet prickly. Nature is full of contradictions!

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  7. @ Peter - I'm glad you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

    Our tunnel just gets longer every year, as we move through the list of projects. This year's project is to finish the walk-in basement into an extra bedroom and my art studio. Summers are particularly busy for us, and it's hard to keep up with blogging and my art.

    How is you granddaughter? She must be teething by now!

    Hope you're happy with your home renovations!

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  8. Hi! Seven teeth all up with Emmi turning one come September! How time flies!

    Take Care,
    Peter

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  9. well... all flowers are just cultivated weeds!! at one time some one must have made judgements about them and decided which ones would be in the garden and which ones would fall by the wayside! I certainly agree about labeling! and I think it is one of the powers of the artist to recognize that labeling is just another box. art should have no rules... it doesn't make it comfortable for everyone, but it ensures creativity!
    thanks for dropping by my blog! so nice to meet you in bloglandia!
    ciao bella!

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  10. The Thistle is considered a noxious weed in these parts, but the flower is beautiful! (It brings to mind the Peter Paul & Mary song "Lemon Tree" about the sweet flower, but the fruit impossible to eat! I do cut down the thistle as I do many other weeds....& always feel a pang when I do. I figure I'm in charge of what I want in my garden, just as in my art work what is left is mostly the result of what I cut out!
    Thanks so much for your recent comment on my blog. It was so appreciated!

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  11. La Dolce Vita - Nice to meet you too! I guess if you think about it, the systems and values and a lot of the judgments generated by humans, are to a large extent, arbitrary!

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  12. Marie - It was my pleasure to visit, and to read your beautiful and very poignant tribute to your dad.

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  13. being in Scotland I have a lot of respect for thistles, it's also our national plant.

    I agree too about what you say about negative nicknames, both aspects of nature and groups of people can suffer from this

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  14. Lynda:

    I agree with you. labels are so restricting. Even a person's name can be misleading. If you have an odd sounding name, or one that's hard to pronounce, it can send a negative message. The psychological profession, if you can call it a profession, adopted this point of view a long time ago. Labeling is risky business when you are assessing a person's mental state. Does that sound crazy? lol

    Happy trails.

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  15. A beautiful shot Lynda. I love how you get the sharp detail of the blossom and the blurred background. The blossoms of thistles are lovely.

    My memory of thistles takes me back to childhood on the farm. Not good memories. We'd get thistles stuck on our clothes and in our hair. And when the dogs got full of them we spent a lot of time pulling them out. Not much fun for the dog. I much prefer looking at your photograph :)

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  16. For sure Lynda, stuff is what it is, there is so much beauty in the world that we need to slow down and take it all in, no matter what it's name. Beautiful image.

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  17. @ Crafty Green Poet - I didn't know it was your national plant! Glad to hear it's appreciated in your neck of the woods. :) I bet Scotland is beautiful!

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  18. @ Peter - I thought it was about a year. Yes, time flies! She is giving you and your family much joy, I'm sure.

    I hope you cherish every minute. My bet is that it goes even faster than raising your own children. And we all know how fast THAT goes!

    I was just thinking today about the nature of time and memory, and how memories bring the past into the present, and how the present never really comes. It's all a strange paradox.

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  19. @ Swubird - NO, as a matter of fact, that sounds very rational. In psychiatry above all, the nature of words can be so limiting and damaging, and create negative connotations that stick and damage a life still further.

    To me, if a person becomes "sick" because of a lot of traumas or bad experiences, it's a natural response. I think a person is "crazy" who does NOT react to neglect, abuse, deprivation, pain, etc., in a negative way. Finding the positive comes after acknowledging and confronting the negative.

    Nowadays, the media foster one-liners, quips, awful sound-bytes and the misuse of the English language. So many anchors just murder grammar!

    I'm not a "Language Snob," but I DO believe that if we contrive a certain system of sounds and symbols (i.e. words) to communicate with, we ought to agree and abide by some rules that will limit the chaos language can cause.

    I also think that if we communicated more and better, there would be a whole lot less loneliness, alienation, and mental illness among the peoples of this world.

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  20. @ Davina - I would LOVE to hear stories of your childhood on a farm! I bet you had some grand adventures! ;)

    Were you a tomboy, as I was?

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  21. @ Bob - Yes, there is SO much beauty on this Earth, in the seas and in the skies.... I'm glad you are still pursuing and writing about the wonders you find in the heavens!

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  22. Lynda I absolutely love this photo, and love the flower. Its flower too me. You know the thing about labeling always been in my head. For example, the prefect example of confusion. I used to have a friend who wouldn't eat spinach. One day his future wife made him spinach and he said I don't like it, but he tried and told her - no that is not spinach. All his life he was eating rapini, called spinach by his mother.

    I had lot of flowers in my garden, and been told many times that they were weeds, but to me they were flowers.

    Anna :)

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  23. Great shot, but it doesn't look like any thistle I've ever seen. Even the leaves & stem are smooth & spineless. Strange.
    Around here we get invasive bull thistles with blooms about the size of my fist. Invasive or not, they're lovely.

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  24. Hi Lynda, so very true. I agree with you. By limiting ourselves inside a box-type vision that hardly penetrates the walls, we become blind to beauty hidden in small things. Landed on your nice blog from Lana's blogroll. Glad I did. Your thoughts are inspiring and thought-provoking. :)

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  25. Anna, Lana, and Punam - It's wedding week here so I've little time online! But thanks for your visits and I'll talk to you soon!

    Puman, I'm glad you found me on Lana's site. I will visit as soon as I can.

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