Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beauty in a forgotten place

I went on a walkabout yesterday around lunchtime. The new camera gives me many built-in excuses to try it out, to grab snippets of the world around me in the name of learning my way around this strangely magical black piece of glass, plastic and technology. My wife, thankfully, is highly understanding.

My goal this time: A ravine near my house that's chock full of trees. My intent was to capture some brilliant colors before the whole works came tumbling down. I left the house with visions of coming home with scenes of spectacular yellows, oranges and reds.

As I meandered through the mucky path in search of my colorful prey, I couldn't help but notice the depth of leaves already on the ground. Unlike a city-owned park or a private lawn, this wasn't some pristinely cared-for, sprayed and raked stretch of grass. It was nature as it existed long before we came along.

In the end, I brought home some images that scored off the color charts. But it was this one that stuck with me; a forlorn leaf, sitting forgotten amid layers of other forlorn leaves, ignored by everyone who passes by in search of the more glamorous ones. An analogy of life, perhaps.

I snapped this one quickly. The light was iffy due to the still-thick canopy above and the thick cloud cover that occasionally and unpredictably gave way to brilliant sunshine. I didn't even bother with the tripod: I just stooped down, composed and shot. The image shouldn't have even come out. But it did, and I found myself staring at it on the camera's screen as I trudged the last couple of blocks back to my house. The yellows, oranges and reds may get all the headlines, but this is fall to me.

Your turn: Why are the plain janes of our world so much more interesting to contemplate than the debutantes? Why do the debutantes still garner the most attention? What does it say about us that this is so?


Last Girl On Earth said...

A new camera? You lucky boy! Beautiful shot. I'll need to pick your brains about cameras. Hanukkah-Claus is looking into getting me a new one.

Michele sent me tonight. I'll have to give your question some thought tonight. As usual, you've got me thinking!

scrappintwinmom said...

Hmmm... speaking as someone who has always been a "plain jane"...the debutantes get all the attention because its a quick fix. You have to invest time to learn more about the plain janes, and there aren't many folks left out there who are willing to do that. Here via Michele!

Dak-Ind said...

i LOVE this photo. i, too, find myself snapping pictures of stumps and barns that have tumbled in on themselves, but those arent the shots that make the blog. the shots that make the blog are the standardized versions of beauty. as i scrolled through over a hundred pictures of the oregon coast to post on my blog, just 5 minutes ago, i posted the startling beauty instead of the mundane. i suppose im just showing off.

Dak-Ind said...

i forgot to mention, hello. michele sent me. i was so excited over the post i over looked it, and thats a no no.

Sandy said...

Ok, I love your new camera. Or at last, I love what you're doing with it.

Karen said...

Cool photo, Carmi. That just about captures what it looks like around here. Damp, leaf color fading and many on the ground.

Just stopping by to say hello. Have a great day!

Paige said...

It is the plain that brings comfort the everyday things that are overlooked that bring a since of normalcy. It is the above average, the beauty that shines and lets us know we have more to hope for more to reach for and yet even more that can be attained. Even by us plain and mundane beings called human

Jef said...

Debutantes are like junk food. They're packaged attractively in plastic and filled with unnantural chemicals to prlong their shelf life. However, after eating too many one becomes sick and longs for something with more sustenance--the plain janes. Think hot potato soup with homemade bread with real butter. It's food that demands to be eaten slowly, savored, and explored.

I believe it's all about a cycle of maturity. When we're young, we want to eat candy all day long, but as we mature,we find we actually like brussel sprouts.

Tracie said...

What a great picture. I love how you always capture the things that the rest of us pass right by.

I'm so jealous! I want a new camera!