What else besides "writer" and "activist" then? I'm not so interested in showcasing my day job on the site; that's what LinkedIn is for. My father likes to joke that I'm forever trying, unsuccessfully, to be a curmudgeon. It's never clear whether he's trying to goad or dissuade me. Hmmm... Thanks, Dad, for item #3: writer, activist, aspiring curmudgeon.
When I looked at the titles of my posts so far this month I realized I've been skewing pretty heavily toward my pessimistic, curmudgeonly aspect, and even the arty and bookish posts were kind of heavyweight. So with only a few more chances to blog in April I think what's called for is something lighter. Something ... purty.
Those who keep an eye on my Tumblr know I take a lot of walks around Berkeley, especially on the weekends. And to take a walk in Berkeley is necessarily to admire the lovely front yards of a city with more than its fair share of excellent, committed gardeners. It would be impossible to pick a 'best' front yard, or a 'favorite' flowering tree or bush or bulb. Seriously, Berkeley is awash in vegetal eye candy.
But the iris pictured in the images here -- snapped with nothing fancier than the camera built into an iPod Touch -- took my breath away the weekend before last.
In its startling strength, its simplicity and delicacy as a thing, a life, and a work of nature's art, this lone iris reminded me of the pared-back power of imagist poetry.
Think William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow:
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
That's the thing about being an aspiring curmudgeon, but not quite measuring up. Just when you imagine you've attained the height of bitter snarkiness, a flower by the roadside changes everything.
Related posts on One Finger Typing:
Mark Rothko on art and oedipal struggle
It's the culture, stupid: blindered blather on Amazon, Apple, and the agency model
Flowery front yards in Berkeley