i am finally setting up my shell table, the one i mentioned in previous new york posts, which was an ordeal to ship out to oregon, but finally made it out here this year. the week off after christmas always allows for random nebulous projects to progress, and i finally dove in and unpacked some of the treasures that have been boxed up for the past decade, awaiting their chance to be displayed.
you’ll be surprised to know i’ve chosen a rainbow theme for the table, shown here in work-in-progress form, and also selfie form. after the tears it brought, it’s about time it is bringing me smiles again. the table itself is really a great big selfie, full of so much history, the story of my travels and adventures, laying inside a family heirloom (my great uncle was a printer, and it is an actual drawer from his printing business). i opened up the film canisters of sand i had carefully labeled from far-flung geographic locations, and emptied them into the spaces to serve as the backdrop. the purple sand in the bottom right corner is from the far east end of long island, montauk, my favorite color sand of all. yes, film canisters. back when i still used those….
red: i think hummingbirds embody “being the rainbow.” always in the magical present moment.
red: soldier lichens at the base of our redwood tree, adding new layers of texture and color to the already groovy bark.
peachy-orange-salmon: december sunset blur
orange: if you think film canisters date my dusty collection of “treasures,” try the cassette tape cases holding butterfly wings and dragonflies. a wonderful opportunity to downsize and consolidate my nature collection at long last. some, like this one, downsized to a digital image and released for good.
yellow: or silver and gold, as in, “it’s better than silver and gold,” a photo about my sweet fiance. “we got something that’ll never grow old.”
green: i love this smile bringer. rich and i had ventured outside to check on a woodpecker who had run into the window, and quinn came to check on us. the bird survived and flew off, and the boy also fluttered away to do his thing.
green: angels in the trees
blue: i remember collecting this particular dragonfly off the deck of a schooner on which i was working, where it had landed to die. those tape cases really enabled some serious nature collecting, even in conditions that should have been impossible for such ephemeral things to survive.
purple: sea urchin and bird skull. i have been wondering what it is about the delicate ephemera that has always captivated me, and made me want to defy the elements in order to preserve? i think it’s a bit like the paradox of being the rainbow – being in the moment while also documenting and reliving and sharing the moment. i think the lesson in the tiny, breakable, fleeting artifacts is the impermanence of all of this. the butterfly wings and sea urchin shells, the printing industry and cassette tapes, all pass away. i’ll never stop trying to hold onto my favorite moments and treasures, if only to keep teaching myself how to let go of it all. to continue the neil young song, “i used to have a treasure chest, it got so heavy that i had to rest, i let it slip away from me, didn’t need it anyway, so i let it slip away…” the true treasures can’t be held onto, and yet, they can’t be taken away.
a splash of color on monday
a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed