In the first week of April I photographed among the Cherry Trees in Golden Gate Park. But I was interrupted before I posted them. Since then I learned from Vanessa Diffenbaug’s novel “The Language of Flowers” that the cherry blossom means “impermanence.” The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey everything from devoted love to mistrust and jealousy.
The flower is appropriate for my own memories since this past week I journeyed back to Schenectady, New York, to join my brothers and their families to conduct our dad’s funeral. No matter at what stage or age of life, the death of our parents still brings sadness as we let go of that relationship which our childhood eyes saw as permanent. We are reminded that like the cherry we each have much to offer throughout the blossom of life, but still we are transient beings.
These images of the cherry blossom are much in the style of my father’s love for flora photography: get in close, fill the frame with the beauty of your subject and let the color pop! Most of the cherry trees in Golden Gate Park are past their peak or now completely covered with their emerging green leaves. And unfortunately today garbage gathers around many of their trunks after the huge 4-20 this past weekend (but we won’t hold it against the marijuana itself).
The exact time we gathered to close dad’s casket the first bomb went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. This act is another palpable reminder of the impermanence of life. This time garnered by anger, mistrust, violence, and hatred.
In imagery or bouquet I will seek to include the cranberry, the flower/plant, which brings “cure for heartache” as we move from last week to a new day.
A few days before and a few days after the burial I walked the road in Riley Cove on Saratoga Lake. Carl and Marian have built a beautiful home on the property where our grandparents had a camp since 1930. This square sepia-tone image captured and processed on my iPhone is a good impression of those “not-yet-spring-in-the-air” mornings. But fortunately this too is impermanent and the renewal of the earth in that place is already set in motion.
In addition to my dad’s artistic eye he was a talented trumpet player. The Central Park Junior High School Script of June 21, 1944 reported: “Jim Boorn can really hit the high notes, Boy, can he play Mairzy Doats.”
Be sure to clink on the link to “The Language of Flowers,” a mesmerizing and heart melting novel.