This might be a stretch. But if you happen to be a regular reader, you might be getting the idea that I am kind of a Rule Bender in a quiet-ish way.
This week, first came the Weekly Photo Challenge. I searched and thought and plotted to find or take a great Face-in-the-Crowd shot. I had the same weird internal ethical debates I always have about taking photos of strangers without their permission…even a face in a crowd.
Then my grandsons invited me to watch a movie. We watched Okja, an odd little Korean film. (Trailer down below, but it’s full of spoilers…better to watch unprepared, in my opinion.) By the way, Common Sense Media says 15 years plus, and though my grandsons are 12 and 14, I agree. My oldest one kept saying “one minute you think this is a great kid’s movie and the next it’s really, REALLY not!”
I will tell you that while watching it, I couldn’t help but thinking about the Weekly Photo Challenge Theme….which made me start thinking in a whole new direction.
I love animals and I tell you what, it is getting more and more difficult to eat anything with a face. I have been mostly vegetarian for almost 50 years…no red meat of any kind during that time and only the occasional fish and poultry…including Salmon of course ( I DO live in the Northwest after all) and Turkey on Thanksgiving!
With this movie giving me a new way of thinking of the face in the crowd, I remembered an experience a few years back that left me both in awe for the beauty of it and a kind of disgust and guilt for the fact of it.
On a repeated vacation to San Diego, the place where we stay has this massive Koi Pond. For a quarter, you can feed the spectacularly colorful fish.
They were beautiful and I suppose there is value in sharing that contained beauty with people if it heightens their consciousness about our cohabitants on Mother Earth. (Don’t get me started on the two sides of the whole Zoo Debate.)
But it was also an example of a pitiful and frightening feeding frenzy.
There was this one fish-face that caught my eye. I kept my eye on him so I knew it was the same one over and over. His face kept appearing midst the fevered quest for food.
Maybe it was that he was so huge and that made me wonder if this had been his whole life, battle after crowded battle for tidbits of man-made cereal nuggets.
That thought made me incredibly sad. I mean, Koi can live for up to 200 years! And these guys had already been trapped in this resort pond for 35 years that I know of.
It just felt wrong.
I don’t know any resolution, or if there even needs to be one. I mean, I raise Giant Leaf Bugs and keep them in a terrarium for their entire lives…my rationale being they live almost a year longer in my captivity than in their native wild. My cats are strictly indoor cats for the same reason…longer lives than if they ventured out among the hawks and coyotes in my area.
Anyway, this is my Face in the Crowd post for the week.
I’d love to hear what you think.
5 Interesting Facts About Koi Fish from https://www.sweeneyfeeders.com/5-interesting-facts-koi-fish/
1. Koi fish originate from Japan and represent love and friendship in Japanese culture.
2. Most koi fish outlive their owners, having a lifespan of 200+ years.
3. They come in a variety of colors, not just orange. They may appear orange, yellow, white, red and black.
4. Owners who received their koi fish as a gift are believed to have good luck.
5. In Japan, koi fish are often passed down from generation to generation, as a family heirloom.
I love them. When I see them, something confusing happens in my cells…as if there is a part of me that remembers a time when a cloud was just a cloud. Yes, sometimes it could have resembled a buffalo or a face, but it was just a cloud, no geometry involved
There was no one up there drawing perfectly straight lines across the sky…..
Can you imagine being Native to our country and looking upward to Father Sky only to see views like these?
Lessons in Prejudice
This might be a stretch, but I have discovered a hidden prejudice.
I’m not being too hard on myself for it though. We have all been inundated with this bias for eons. Not that a history of being misinformed excuses racism or anything.
But this is a black vs. white thing.
I know the bad guy is usually on the black horse and the good guy on a bright white steed. I know black cats are supposedly scary and bad luck. I also know the black dogs in an animal shelter are the last to be adopted. Oh, and supposedly we all have this dark side and we need to be sharing more light in the world.
What the hell is all that anyway? Where did it come from?
I’m sure someone out there knows way more about all this than I and this is not really a post about the archetypes in history anyway.
It’s about Mushrooms.
I don’t really know anything about mushrooms…except that I will enjoy them in a salad or sometimes even sauté them in butter and they are yummy. But what isn’t yummy when sautéed in butter, right? But that is the extent of my knowledge. (I know, I know, I came of age in the 1960’s in California so I should at least know about “Shrooms”, right? I just never went there…)
But on my daily walks, I recently spotted some of these fungi growing and started photographing them. I found quite a variety, including some cute little patches that reminded me somehow of tiny fairy villages…or families.
There were a lot of different kinds, shapes, sizes and colors. I do live in the Pacific Northwest after all and it is seriously WET up here.
All of these were so interesting…their patterns of growth, their shape, size, and their similar but different hues. I’m probably passing up some fancy truffles or something, but I also know some mushrooms can be toxic. I have no idea how to identify those, so I just left them ALL alone for whatever creature eats them in the wild of my suburban neighborhood.
Then I spotted these, right in my own yard.
They literally popped up overnight and gave me the creeps when I bent down to snap a picture with my phone. They just LOOK evil…like they could reach up and grab me, or spit blinding venom in my eyes or something.
Even if someone told me these mushrooms were an extremely sought-after delicacy, I think I’d rather eat a snake than go near these things again. I’m afraid to even remove them. They might release deadly spores into the air.
They are scary looking…especially because they are black, not a clean white or a warm, enticing golden color…you know, how mushrooms are supposed to look.
I purposely did not Google (yes, it is now officially a VERB) mushrooms before I wrote this because I didn’t want to influence my initial reaction. I finally tried Wikipedia, Googles Reverse Image, etc., etc. But I never found my new arrivals. James says they look like they are from Mordor.
I did find this one interesting site.
I could not find this dark thing anywhere and it grows right in my front yard!
But again, this whole thing does NOT have me wondering about gourmet VS toxic food.
It has me thinking about Black VS White…..
My friend Michelle’s collection…
I love my son…more than anything else…in the way only the single mother of an only child can understand.
He and his sons live with me now. They are here to help me out.
I imagined his moving in with me would enhance our relationship…we are both old enough to be true friends now. He is 45. I am 69. I thought we would talk all the time, every day!
But his life as a single Dad is packed!
So it is loudly silent around here sometimes.
Music has always been a bond for us and one day, when I had almost become dissatisfied with his silence, he sat me down to share a music video with me. He told me the first time through I should be very patient, keep my eyes closed, and wait for it.
By the second run through, we were holding hands and crying, both so f-ing moved by this amazing performance.
You may well have heard it before. I have even posted about it before but if you haven’t, treat yourself to a listen, with an open mind and heart (and your volume cranked up!!!)
Ironic to be posting a song when the theme this week is silence, but how could I not share it?
Here is “Sound of Silence” by Disturbed.
Remember, don’t judge, just wait for it….It is everything BUT Silence!
Now that the weekly WordPress Photo challenge happens on Wednesdays, I find myself trying to combine it with my previous favorite photo challenge, Wordless Wednesday.
Wordless Wednesday has always been a great test for me because I do tend to be a bit wordy! (no…really?)
But today I can’t really find a way to join the two challenges together so try to ignore the non-sequitur-ness of this post…
Here is a slide show on Winter Growth in my neighborhood. I love seeing all the new baby branches reaching for the sky!
And here is my Wordless Wednesday post.
I call it the Breakfast Club.
I suppose if I could talk on Wordless Wednesday, I would say that my Breakfast Club is GROWING!!!
It has become so much more cooperative (and populated) every morning since the Evil Squirrels can’t climb the bird-feeder pole any longer. They tend to knock the feeder to the ground, often breaking it. And then they decimate the food supply. We installed a squirrel repellent “Slinky” on the pole and so far, it’s working.
Don’t you dare feel sorry for the squirrels. They get plenty, believe me! Those beautiful flocks of Finches (House and Yellow) knock plenty of seed to the ground for the Quail and the squirrels.
And when the Flicker shows up, he is so messy, there is a feast.
Even the Crows and Seagulls stop by for Brunch.
See? “Wordless” is a challenge for me!!