Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Take Love for instance-- A couple of birds- cardinals

A couple of cardinals -- "We" -- the cardinal couple
Gay Bumgarner prized the cardinal birds for their their flash of red color and their friendliness. She loved photographing them, particularly in winter when their presence seems festive, Christmas-y, brave and romantic. Cardinals became one of her specialties and the depth of her collection is astonishing-- illustrating every type of "emotional" moment especially to those willing to let fancy run free.

Suzanne Rhodes and I created a web-sampler of winter cardinals for the staff at International Animal Welfare to use to select their official holiday card. As we explored and then chose the collection we found ourselves easily spinning stories.

So, here is one for fun, the familiar story of the arc of romance. Its the same the whole world over-- whether we've two feet, four feet, feathers or fur. Join us...add a line or two, suggest a picture or a plot twist.

It starts with magic. . . Everything is easier. You speak the same language. Your step is lighter and your song is sweeter. You can't get enough of each other.

Your lives intertwine you create a home and revel in the small domestic details-- preparing meals, social gatherings, entertaining the neighbors-- together.

Then come the holidays, with all the decorating and family visits. Something creeps in, you're not on the same page anymore, everything matters and feels effortful.

And then, with the holiday festivities in the past, it breaks down altogether ...... ouch. Foreigners to each other, your eyes don't quite meet.

Things that used to make you laugh aren't funny anymore. You move stiffly past each other and say "FINE!" a lot -- and silence follows.

But then, somehow, something gives. Is it hope, habit, fatigue, or compassion? You forget you're "supposed" to be resisting and in the face of even the smallest opening, you bend towards each other. The efforts of resistance seem to evaporate. You find yourselves softening, leaning in, the roaring has quieted. Its just "us" on our branch here. Relief flows in like fresh air as the normal becomes possible and humor is in reach.

Then, on that cold winter day with snow falling continuously, the photographer came and takes your picture -- the picture up on the mantle -- it's the warmth and connection you share that day that suffuses the picture and everyone comments on. There something in the color-- is it contrast or compliment? -- something companionable, even romantic again.

The well-being and simple pleasure are earned. It's no simple feat; it may be miraculous! Good to remember everything has it season. And if you are lucky you recognize the value of each season and don't panic when it isn't always summer.
If you have never heard it listen to the song/poem "Take Love for Instance" written and read by Bobbie Louise Hawkins At the Great American Music Hall. Its free to listen once on this site, and definitely worth it. If you have problems with the link let us know.

Meanwhile, inspired by the last cardinal image we have created official holiday postage stamps If you would like to purchase these custom stamps (or others with images by Gay Bumgarner and Mother-Daughter Press) please send an EMAIL request. Same goes for cards or small mounted prints-- give someone an image that makes them smile.

Be well and tell us if you "recommend" the post (it's similar to the "like" on facebook except we could only get the word "recommend". Love to hear just that... did you "like" or enjoy it-- no heavy sign in, no justification, just sign of life response. Thanks!


Gib Parrish said...

I like the love story and its cardinal illustrations! I guess that the preparations for those holiday dinners and get togethers were just too much...or was it the over eating?? It's a good thing that the photographer came along one snowy day to set things right again! Thanks for the fun story.

Unknown said...

Its easy to forget what is important and to get caught in the details eh? I like the one where he is flying gloriously behind her and she is pretending not to notice. Oh my.