Friday, May 30, 2008

Alice Walker and The Color Purple -- Boy, It's Hard to Remember to Spell American

This is so cool. It is grey, chilly, damp today in southern Ontario. It’s not supposed to be, at the end of May, but it is. And The Weather Network SAID it was 19C today – but it sure didn’t feel like it. I felt about appropriate to the weather, and I took my camera out to walk the South Shore Trail and see if there were any trilliums left. If not, what there is. I didn’t make it to the trail though – when I woke up this morning I got a bad cramp in my left leg, and it took me a while to realize it was still bugging me. All I knew was, walking was uncomfortable.

The only cheerful thing was a house with wisteria. Not the deep purple kind I love best, but wisteria nevertheless. First I’ve seen this year. Somehow, as I walked into the village and back, I started to think of Shug Avery telling Miss Celie in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple that she thinks God just wants to be admired. Then I started to notice how many purple flowers there are today – lilacs, irises, periwinkle, violets, pansies, columbines, wisteria, tulips. I ran out of memory or battery on the camera before I got to the lilacs – got to smell them though.

I started taking pictures of all the ones I could. The woman at the wisteria house came home from work while I was taking pictures – I asked her if she minded, and she said no. She said, they’d never been as good as they are this year, and she doesn’t know why the one branch in particular was so spectacular. The woman at the Brew-Your-Own-Wine-And-Beer store came out and asked if I was a professional photographer, and I said no, just taking the pictures to make myself happy, and did she mind? Nope. She even offered to come and take MY picture in HER garden!

Then a man with a dog stopped to talk, while I was taking pictures of the hidden purple pansies – it wasn’t his house, it was his friend’s. He said her garden is whimsical. He lives around the corner. His wife had passed away last summer, after more than 40 years. He’s a photographer, and gave me his card so I could see some of his work online. Wow! He’s a PHOTOGRAPHER. Me – I’m making myself happy and learning how to use my new camera. We talked about living alone after decades of marriage, and the difficulties of cooking and eating alone. He has a very nice dog, too.

Then I came home and SAW my pictures. They made me very happy. I wanted to share more of them than I can easily on the blog, and I wanted them big, on a black ground. There was no help for it – had to be PowerPoint. I hate PowerPoint presentations at seminars, in school, in church … And, I’ve never done one. But I DID today, and I did it myself, without asking for help. Then I wanted to upload it here, and found out that’s not as easy as picking up a video from YouTube. I followed links to several sites that are supposed to help you make your PPT files embeddable – one’s not taking new subscriber’s, one didn’t work, one I’d have to start from scratch … Ugh. But I was happy, excited and persistent, and VIOLA!!! Here they are. Well, some of them. I took about 60 – I’m not making you watch them ALL. I won’t be test-driving this til I’ve published – if the pages advance every five seconds like I set them, it should take about a minute.

So -- I met three new people and one very nice dog. I learned two new things. I not only stopped to admire the colour purple, I went looking for it, and I'm sharing. I don’t think God’s gonna be pissed off with us today.

Read this doc on Scribd: I think it pisses God off


Wormwood's Doxy said...

Bravo, Kate! They are beautiful! I particularly liked #9 and #13.

And I love The Color Purple, and its sequel, Possessing the Secret of Joy. To me, Alice Walker captures people's emotions so beautifully and simply.

Doorman-Priest said...

Lovely photos. Just like spring here.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Oh, Kate...the columbine...the subtlest shade of pinkie/purple. These are beautiful!

I also loved your post. It cheered me up substantially!

I'm sure you're not surprised if I tell you I love Alice Walker. :-)

Kate Morningstar said...

Thank you, Doxy. I think #13 might be my favourite -- but I also love #10. You can just tell here -- but when it's blown up full-size on the screen you can see the veins in the petals, and that green is so soft and pretty.

Thanks, D-P. Except, you get spring earlier there. Oystercard lives near London, and he often sends me photos of flowers blooming in his garden when everything's still snow-scape here.

Sphinx -- I did have columbine in my garden when I had one -- but I don't remember them looking like that. Writing that down wakes up Marshall McLuhan for me -- the medium and the message. Maybe it's that when they were in my garden, I didn't look at them the way I look at the photograph.

"The Color Purple" substantially changed how I think about God, as Lewis's "The Last Battle" in the Narnia series did. And Miss Celie -- I need to read the book again, because I used to feel just as trapped in my life as Celie did, living with Mister.

FranIAm said...

Oh Kate! Wow, these are amazing - so beautiful.

Thank you for sharing them.

I loved hearing the story of your day as well, thank you.