A drift of fragrant petals, a bench, a quiet invitation to unwind, and let go. Escape
It was a lovely spring day, here in Kyiv. It was Easter. I had a loaf of Easter Bread, courtesy of my friend, Oleg, and Maggie and I each had a bath.
Maggie is my sweet Scotty girl. I call her the “Scottish Terror”. She hates baths. You can tell by the woeful expression in her eye. She then went and “hid” behind the coffee table and looked at me reproachfully for the rest of the afternoon.
I took this photo with the weekly photo challenge of “down” in mind, although it’s difficult to be directly over a very wiggly Scottish Terror.
Maggie has been a part of my life for 9 years. She has lived with me on Kodiak Island, Alaska; in Kosice, Slovakia, and currently, Kyiv, Ukraine. She has her own passport. She has seen me through good times and bad times. She has refused to give up on me even at my darkest hour. Every evening after work she greets me as if I am the center of her world. And no mater how bad the day, she makes me smile.
I hope this Easter time finds you in a good place.
Tomorrow is Ukrainian Orthodox Easter. Khrystos voskres! is the greeting you give your friends and relatives. (Christ is risen!) It’s like a little ritual. Then the gentlemen kiss you three times on the cheek. A lovely spring greeting.
The photo is of a madonna created by artist Oksana Mas. It is created entirely of “pysanki” the Ukrainian traditional Easter Egg. It is installed at St. Sophia’s in Kyiv, Ukraine. She has done many installations, and I find them fascinating.
When I was a girl we’d color eggs with vinegar and food coloring, or those little kits you got from the grocery store. My grandmother would tell me of the beautiful eggs from the old days, but I didn’t see them until I was older and met someone who made them. He made one for me and I carried it with me for a long time. I had heard there was a tradition that the pysanki carried the luck of the house. A piece of fragile luck, indeed. My “luck” broke during a move to South Dakota.
Since moving to this part of the world I see elaborate eggs, everywhere. I even have a collection of them. Some are dyed, some painted, some are fragile eggs, some are wooden, they are wrapped in ribbon and wire. Each a little piece of beauty. I have found them in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania. I’m told you can tell the region it’s from by the design, but I am not that much of an expert, but they do speak to me of the need to create, to express yourself, and bring beauty into your home. Even if that art, that beauty is created on a humble egg.
Here’s wishing you beauty and peace on this lovely Easter Saturday.
I love pansies. I love them so much that I have one tattooed on my ankle! I love the shape of them, the colors, their sweet pansy faces. I love to press them in books, with full intention of using them on a card, or making a picture with them, only to find them years later, fragile and faded.
Sometimes I think we do that to ourselves. Put ourselves between the pages of the book of our imagined lives. And we stay there, too long, not acting on what we dream, or want, until we become fragile and faded. A desiccated remnant of a dream nearly forgotten.
Does anyone out there in Blog-land remember “May Baskets”? My mother and I used to make them from the pages of old wallpaper sample books. Then we’d go hang them on neighbor’s doors. Mom always enjoyed it, and would talk about her mother doing the same thing. It’s kind of like the old fashioned version of “Random Acts of Kindness”. I wonder what would happen today if we made paper baskets and filled them with daisies and pansies and hung them on people’s doorknobs?
Here’s hoping you reach for your dreams before they become lost in the pages of a forgotten book.
Don’t forget to visit my photography page at http://www.facebook.com/RuthAnnKarnowski
But I’m running out of spring ideas…you got any?
It’s a sure sign of spring, the dandelion. This pervasive weed has spread globally. And yet, I can’t dislike it. It’s bright yellow head, the bitter taste of spring in it’s young jagged leaves. The delight of school children, as they proudly bring in the already wilting flowers to moms and teachers. (I got two pollen filled bouquets just today!) And no matter how it’s attacked, sprayed, dug, plucked, stamped on, it lifts it’s bright yellow head in the morning.
What a lesson.
I’ve been struggling with being able to let things go and move on, taking things too personally, letting others bruise me in too many ways.
A long time ago I wrote a poem called weeds. It was in my adolescence, and very emo, I’m sure, but one of the lines was:
Calling me from my garden, so well tended
Calling me to be free
To take a chance
It has gone from winter directly to summer here in Kyiv. The birds are singing frantically in the trees outside my flat. The air has cleared from the late winter fires of everyone burning what ever trash they could find. The snow is almost all gone, except for a few dirty and ragged piles in some shadowed places. I ran out with my camera to photograph what I could around my soviet-era apartment building. I’m so glad I did because I got some of the best shots of apple blossoms, and today, they are already gone.
As I’ve mentioned, I have a page on Facebook, as well, (www.facebook.com/RuthAnnKarnowski ) and my Darling Companion has suggested that I think of a theme per week. He then thought about my attention span and said, at least keep your photos themed around one idea per day! So, lets try that, and you can join in! I’d love to hear what you think of the theme, of the photos, or contribute your own thoughts and photos as well!
It’s been a difficult year for me. There’s lots of changes in my life, and as is true for many of us, I don’t deal well with changes. So, I’ve been “blue” and withdrawn. But in all that there are some constants. One constant is my little black dog (my own version of the LBD), Maggie Mae. She is always there, and always cares. The second constant is my need to be creative, and to share that creativity with others. It may be that lost little girl in me, still seeking approval, or it can simply be that I find beauty and want to share it.
Thanks to a dear friend, and “darling companion”, Derek, I have been more mindful of my photography. I can remember using a small Kodak camera when I was a girl, and doing my best with it’s limited capabilities to get “artsy” photos. I would make my friends pose in abandoned buildings and photograph them. Today it would be called all very “emo”.
More recently I’ve discovered I don’t photograph people all that well, but I do photograph places, flowers, things, rather well. And that’s the focus of what I do. It is the focus of the Facebook page I’ve started, http://www.facebook.com.RuthAnnKarnowski I hope you’ll stop by for a visit and browse, let me know what you think, share with friends, and come along with me on this interesting journey.
I’ll start by sharing with you, one of my favorite pictures. “Darling Companion” says the internet is all about cute cats. Well, I don’t have a photo of a cute cat, but I do have a photo of a little black dog, who reminds me always, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.