A poem inspired by the German fairy tale “Undine” by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. It’s been years since I’ve read this story, but somehow the image of a water spirit wouldn’t leave me alone today and so I wrote this as a result.
A stone in the stream
Parting the water with her presence
The current swirls around her
Ribbons of white and blue
Pulling the fabric of her dress
Transforming it into a purple flower
That blossoms in front of her
Bit by bit it dissolves
Tiny petals of violet
To some unknown place
Until she is bare
Her skin pale
Her body chilled
Her spirit refreshed
Droplets fall from her hands
When she lifts them into the air
Catching the sun
Containing each a whole universe
Yielding to gravity
Returning back to their source
Like a summer’s rain
Returns eventually to the sea
And the snow on the highest peaks
Nourishes the deepest roots
She was home
Back in the brook
In the heart of the forest
The whispering wind
The faint buzz of bees
Filling her ears
Her mind wiped clean
Of worries and fears
Certain of herself
As she was in her youth
I have been revising this poem for the last few days, but I think it’s finally finished now; this is the third version of what was quite a bit longer the first time around.
I can’t remember who said it originally— maybe it was Hemingway?— but the teacher I had for my creative writing classes at university told us we should keep writing even if we thought a piece was finished. I did that for my initial draft: I got my ideas out so I had all the “raw materials” to work with. What started out as a very freeform 38-line poem is now a much stronger 20-line piece.
Editing is a hard process for me; it takes me a lot of time and effort and most of the time I cut things out only to put them back shortly after because I figure “I put it there for a reason, why take it out now?”
Each time I approached this poem I managed to chisel a little more away, always tightening the structure, and distilling the words until I had only the essentials. Some lines or images I quite liked didn’t end up in the final version, but that just means I can use them in a different piece.
Typically most of what I write is heavy, sad, or dark. As such, I’m happy to say that this piece deviates from that mood a bit, and moreover that it might be my new favorite 🙂
Wishes From Me to You
Forget diamonds and pearls
Instead bring me a daisy chain
A thing so delicate
Made with your own two hands
Forget a dozen long stemmed roses
Instead bring me a single flower
You found on your way home
To show me that you thought of me
Forget talk of money and wealth
Instead tell me all your dreams
Share with me your mind and soul
And I’ll share mine with you
Forget a mansion or estate
Instead let us build a simple home
One that grows and shrinks with us
Breathing like we do
Forget a legacy to leave behind
Instead let us build our life
A stream of moments
Bound together by our love
Here is the second part in my Colorful Sydney series, as promised in my previous post.
Water is one of my favorite subjects to photograph; it’s dynamic, beautiful, and at times wild and unpredictable. Besides that, it exists in so many different shades and colors– from a deep blue to a playful and bright turquoise, and as such it makes various other colors pop as well.
I loved taking the ferries around Sydney. There’s something magical about them. That sounds a little funny, so let me qualify that: for someone that lives in a suburb in dry California where the most common method of transport is a freeway system that resembles a parking lot more so than a freeway (or highway or motorway– call it what you will) most of the time, the prospect of gliding across the water freely is quite appealing. I’m sure I could have spent an entire day just ferry-hopping and I would have been quite content. I’m a girl of simple pleasures, what can I say? 🙂
My focus in this sequence is on water and the ferries, as the title suggests, but on top of that I concentrate on color– shifting from vibrant yellow through to green and red– and lines. It took a bit of revision to get a tight collection but I am very pleased with the results. I enjoy finding patterns (I think it’s a very human thing to do) and playing with them in my work. Sometimes there’s something almost soothing about a predictable, repeating pattern that the eye can trace, something almost hypnotic. Maybe that’s just me, thought 😉
It’s only fair, given my black and white series of Sydney, that I follow that up with a series celebrating the many colors the city has to offer. In case you’ve not noticed yet, I quite like Sydney and I wish I could spend more time there. 🙂
These images are the first in a set; basically I didn’t want to post too many photos at once, because if a photo is worth 1,000 words this sequence would be novel-length once it’s done… okay maybe a novella, but who’s counting?
Anyways, here are the sights– in full vibrant color– that caught my eye on my most recent trip.
Enjoy a little digital vacation; go slowly, smell the flowers (beware the spider), and take a lovely stroll along the Harbour.
There’s something wonderfully idyllic about a brown jeep parked on soft, white sand, the turquoise waters behind it, and a surfboard strapped on top. If I lived near the beach and knew how to surf I’d love to be able to park my car like this whenever I’m free and enjoy the time in the sun and sea.
Usually in California the only people I see drive along the sand are the lifeguards. It was nice to see the tractor– a vehicle I associate with my childhood in the country and summer afternoons spent sitting in the back on a pile of fresh hay as it trundles along the dirt path– in a completely new environment. Boats often took off and came into this bay and I loved seeing the incongruity of these two vehicle companions working together.
Next time I’m in Seal Rocks I’m hoping to maybe go out on one of these boats. It’d be awesome to see the area from a completely new perspective.
The typical sights in Sydney– the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge– have been photographed to death and since it’s been my aim to always try to show new or different things here I considered skipping them entirely this time around. Still, somehow it didn’t feel right to leave them out, precisely because they are so iconic, so I filtered through all the photos I took and chose these few to share.
Because these sites have significant histories, I thought it would be cool to post them in black and white, sort of as an homage to classic film photography of the past. In a way it almost mimics an archive or museum exhibition of the Circular Quay area, the gaze panning from left to right (assuming the viewer is standing at the wharves).
Hopefully my shots still have a touch of novelty, even if the subjects are familiar. 🙂