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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter Faces

A proper post about Winter Faces should begin with a sundial face. This one is in Norma's garden. She went out early and Normaphotoed it cold and covered with frost --so was the sundial.  I can't see it very well with all its ice but calculate it reads about a million o'clock in the morning, which is earlier than anything should be up or about. In fact, on winter nights especially, the whole world, populations, oceans and landmasses, should be brought indoors by sundown. 

And yet, there is some charm in finding a face in rose leaves. Its frosty beard and brow remind me of a favorite childhood relative...
...who never tried to pinch my cheeks or kiss me like other aunts did --who just liked me and played checkers, took walks and said things that made me think. 

On cold days I often think I'll go inside and see what the smell is. Sometimes it is a gingerbread man or, historically, an homunculus --a tiny but fully formed being from which a human is believed to develop. The idea took hold of theology after scriptural editing of the Septuagint (or, for argument's sake, Ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα) off which text the following snippet was snipped from Genesis as the archetypal  humans were being created: 

Passing angel to God: "Well, You seem to know what You're doing!"
God: "Whatever gave you that idea?"

Which brings us to the closing enigma of spontaneous generation.  We see this most commonly when rainfall creates earthworms on sidewalks. We step carefully lest we demolish miracles. But in California, after 8 years of drought, we find this enigma elevated to the top shelf of the barn. That is where I keep boxes of old VW engine parts, all dark gray in color, and have noticed life-forms emerging from among them. Observe:
They grow fur and stare back at us with the implied question: "I am some old car parts you'll never miss that have transmogrified into a barncat, problem?"

Norma takes her photo. I grant this miracle hunting rights on our property. It does not say thank you. Miracles are like that. Yes they are!


 

30 comments:

  1. Winter is such an elegant season. Pared back, simple, beautiful. Albeit sometimes harsh.
    Love the Normaphotos, and envy your temperatures. And of course I love the fur bearing ungrateful miracle.

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    1. Kind EC, we share an appreciation for winter --its calm place among seasons. Even Barncat seems less grumpy this time of year.

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  2. What a wonderful post! You would be a delightful companion to sit on a chilly afternoon with and drink tea. A nice Earl Grey perhaps. I suspicion you would appreciate the subtle taste of a hint of bergamot oil that makes the Earl Grey special.We could talk of literature and growing things, of youth and strength and other lost possessions.

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    1. Thanks, I'd be delighted to have tea with you.

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  3. You are a wonderful miracle spotter, helping us to see them too. Norma's capture of the frost adornments is just simply beautiful and rather wonderful. You two give us warming thoughts for winter pondering

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    1. Tom, I always pass photo compliments on to Norma. She is our photographer now that my skills in that area are obsolete. I've never learned to use a digital camera.

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  4. Good idea about bringing the whole world, populations, oceans and landmasses inside before sundown. I have found that just by sitting down with a nice glass of wine, and cuddling the dog, and just thinking about the whole world etc., does the job just fine. Trouble is though, one is apt to fall asleep counting the world's population......and yes, we are miracles! All the best for 2017 and beyond.

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    1. Thanks! Wine, dog, world --soporific indeed. I bet the census bureau is raucous with snoring. Best wishes to you as well.

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  5. Miracles just are ... but in winter they are harder to find. If I store some old car parts somewhere do you think one of them will turn into a cat? I'd be willing to try.

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    1. Spontaneous generation of cats from car parts is a new study for me, but I will report any progress, Delores. Trust you will do same.

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  6. Dear Geo., Norma's photo of the sundial is wonderful!
    (I collect sundials with my camera too - but never ever caught one with hoarfrost on it - this is a very very beautiful visualization of "time stood still").
    Your aunt sounds very sensible.
    And using a marble rolling pin is sensible too (I have the same - makes gingerbread men say -- oh, I just notice that your idiom differs - we say "Da bin ich platt!/That makes me flat", while you might say "You just blew my mind!"
    Language remains a miracle too...

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    1. Dear Brigitta, language is indeed amazing and the translator is no stranger to its miraculous mechanisms.

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  7. Do you suppose that life as we know it sprang from phenomena at your place? It would be a good subect for the next sermon.

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    1. Emma, I'm certain of it, but now it's only producing grouchy barncats. Still, as you suggest, there might be a sermon in it.

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  8. I was about to compliment you on your excellent free-association paper, but reading your comments above, I see I have not yet gained the sensitivity.
    I'm working on that, starting tonight. I got a six pac of PBR, and warming up some short ribs that got put in the freezer during the second Bush administration.
    I'll figger it out......
    Cheers, pal
    Mike

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    1. Many things went into the freezer during those years of evil memory. Good idea to make room for more. Oh dear.

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  9. I thought you were in a warm area of California, one without frost (kind of like where I live)

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    1. This part of the state enjoys apricity in winter. Frost is essential. When it does not form naturally, we have it imported.

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  10. Geo, the crystals that the wonderful Norma photographed are, indeed, a thing of beauty. Sometimes when we get a light ice storm here in the east and our trees look crystallized, we are in awe over Mother Nature's artistry . However, I would prefer your winter to ours any day.

    Happy, happy New Year to you and Norma and may 2017 be kind to you both.

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    1. Beautiful Arleen, I needed a kind compliment, especially one I could pass along to Norma --and one I could in compassion consider, then extend in return to you. Thank you for providing one. 2017 --we are seriously into this new century now, aren't we?

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  11. Bless you, Geo. You've filled my heart.
    x

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    1. As you delight mine. Best wishes to you, Laura!

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  12. The frosted sundial is beautiful! My compliments to Norma.

    There are many times that I wish I could take all of nature into our warm home. Alas.

    Warm wishes to you and Norma for a happy and healthy 2017, Geo. May it be so.

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    1. Warmth and happiness to you too, Jenny, and a new year to explore.

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  13. Geo - ever since this Blogger change of format, I keep missing posts. Just wanted you to know that I'm here...undoubtedly better late than never.

    I LOVE all of the winter faces - especially the frosty sundial and (of course) that car part of a cat.

    New year blessings to you and Norma!

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    1. Thanks, Jon. Good wishes to you as well. Took me a long time to find "Reading List" in lower left of what remains of our dasboards too (between "Settings" and "Help"). Glad you found me again.

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  14. Great shots, all. I especially like the frost on the sundial.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Kind Squid, thanks! Happy new year to you too!

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  15. I've often suspected that God didn't know what he was doing. But Norma, as a photographer, certainly does. The frosty photo of the sundial is spectacular! She caught an ephemeral moment of beauty for sure. You have given me new insight into the phenomenon of those poor, icky worms on sidewalks. Certainly evidence that God didn't know what he was doing. Have a good one!

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    1. Thanks, Louise. I'll pass compliment on to Norma. She's truly got an eye for miracles --which is what we call frost and especially rain in California now.

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