Tag Archives: beauty

Blink It's Gone | Mysterious glim, fleeting light of forest nights. Magic extinguished. | HartHaiku.com

Blink It’s Gone | Extinction

A little magic for your Monday. Enjoy it while you can, as sadly the entrancing little insect that conjures childlike wonder is also on the endangered list. Our insects are disappearing at an epidemic rate! I opened my FB this morning and was confronted with: Fireflies are now threatened with extinction.

We can choose to just shrug, I suppose, but as the article points out, “[Fireflies are] a valuable diagnostic tool. By injecting chemicals found in a firefly’s tail into human cells, researchers can detect diseases like cancer and muscular dystrophy.” And, The Selangor Declaration of 2010 declared that, “The decline of fireflies is a cause for concern and reflects the global trend of increasing biodiversity loss.”

So from my point of view, shrugging it off is not an option. Insects are at the bottom of the food chain. As they disappear, it affects every living creature that depends on insects for food, not to mention other repercussions related to the balance of nature. And on it goes. We may feel like it is mildly affecting us now, but later, perhaps not. The Monarch butterfly here, the firefly there,… where will it end? We humans like to think we are immune from extinction, but, are we?

If you’re wondering about the science behind fireflies, I found Scientific American’s How and why do fireflies light up? a very interesting read. When I was a kid, I thought fireflies were pure magic.

Blink. They’re gone.

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Photo courtesy Taylor Savage, HD Wallpapers

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Blink It’s Gone © Susan L Hart

Dragon Sprite | Gossamer faerie, neon being of lightness. A fire-breathing fly? | HartHaiku.com

Dragon Sprite | Being light

The magical dragonfly is a fond girlhood memory of summer. Paddling around the lake on sultry afternoons, I loved to watch their iridescent colors flitting among the graceful lily pads. They captivated me.

Legends abound, particularly among indigenous peoples, about the symbolism and teachings of the animal world. They believe that the Earth speaks to us through all living creatures.

Being named after the legendary dragon, there are many meanings (including lightness of being and symbol of change) attributed to the dragonfly in various cultures. More reading on dragonfly symbology here: The Meaning of a Dragonfly: What Does a Dragonfly Symbolize?

Or, simply sit back, relax, meditate on the beautiful photo. And like the dragonfly, be light.

Inspirational quote:

“…What if the point is to stop, then,… and listen to the birdsong, to watch the dragonflies hover, to look at your lover’s face, then up at the undersides of leaves moving together in the breeze? What if the point is to invite these others into your movement, to bring trees, wind, grass, dragonflies into your family and in so doing abandon any attempt to control them? What if the point all along has been to get along, to relate, to experience things on their own terms? What if the point is to feel joy when joyous, love when loving, anger when angry, thoughtful when full of thought? What if the point from the beginning has been to simply be?”  ~ Derrick Jensen, A Language Older than Words

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Photo courtesy Pixabay, Pexels

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Dragon Sprite © Susan L Hart

Artful Soul 2 | Saucy sunflowers, bright golden faces laughing, bound for Monet fame. | HartHaiku.com

Artful Soul 2 | Monet

Monet v.s. Van Gogh. Is it a competition? Paul Gauguin, one of their (also later famous) artist peers thought so. The quote below is from The Met Museum website:

In November 1888, Van Gogh wrote: “Gauguin was telling me the other day – that he’d seen a painting by Claude Monet of sunflowers in a large Japanese vase, very fine. But – he likes mine better. I’m not of that opinion.” Critics had earlier praised the “brio and daring” of Monet’s technique when he showed this still life, depicting sunflowers that grew along the pathway to his garden at Vétheuil, at the 1882 Impressionist exhibition. 

Monet’s is softly idyllic and otherworldly, Van Gogh’s harder edged, quirky and less “refined prettiness”. See my Van Gogh post from several days ago. For me there is no competition. I find them both beautiful and interesting, for different reasons.

And these two sunflower paintings perfectly illustrate that there are many ways of looking at the same thing. One is no more “good” or “bad” than the other, which is duality thinking and narrow, part of the problem in our world right now. They both demonstrate creativity. In fact, both artists were attempting to break out of the mold of what was “acceptable” in the world of art in their time.

And any renaissance requires taking a wider view, thinking outside of the box, breaking the rules.

There are several definitions of renaissance. In fact, Monet and Van Gogh did not paint during the Renaissance art period, with a capital “R”. I am talking about the general definition: A revival of or renewed interest in something. ORIGIN from French renaissance, from re- back, again + naissance birth(from Latin nascentia, from nasci be born).

We have become lazy thinkers. Our world badly needs a renaissance in creative and critical thinking, a broader perspective, a fresh way of looking at things. And we need it now.

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Claude Monet, “Bouquet of Sunflowers”, 1881

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Sun Totem | Star-struck sunflowers. Nothing hold a candle to their idol, The Sun. | HartHaiku.com

Sun Totem | Sunflower Luv

If you delude yourself that your sunflowers are impatiently awaiting your arrival in the garden, think again. They have only one thing on their minds, which is, “Where’s Mr. Sun now?” Any tiny part you play in their world pales in comparison.

The behavior of sunflowers turning to the sun is called heliotropism. They have a 24-hour tracking system that follows the sun everywhere. They’ve even been known to wait in the field at night with their faces turned to the east, awaiting the sunrise. Now that’s adulation!

More here: What Is It Called When Sunflowers Turn & Face the Sun?

Inspirational Quotes:

“My work is the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird – equal seekers of sweetness. ~ Mary Oliver

“A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns.” ~ Corina Abdulahm-Negura

“Which way will the sunflower turn surrounded by millions of suns?” ~ Allen Ginsberg

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Sun Totem © Susan L Hart

Wild Interlude 3 | Fair regal Monarch, you ruled my childhood gardens. Where's your kingdom now? | HartHaiku.com

Wild Interlude 3 | Monarch

The beautiful Monarch Butterfly, “king of the garden”, graced my childhood years in notable profusion. The Monarch’s dance of fire among the flowers was a constant summer delight. Sadly, the Monarchs are disappearing.

As this Monarch Butterfly article points out: “Endangered species like lions, elephants and porpoises grabbed everybody’s attention, but the decreasing population of Monarch was only very recently noticed. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service disclosed recently that from the year 1990, around a billion Monarch butterflies have vanished.”

And a very recent article, January 2019: Are Monarch Butterflies Becoming Extinct?

Why am I writing this Wild Interlude series? Because I am of a generation that remembers when things were different. I want to not only share the beauty of nature, but the realization of what we are now rapidly losing if things don’t change. The negative effects of how we are handling our natural environment are growing exponentially. They have far-reaching permutations and repercussions.

Today, in this moment, drink in the beauty of the regal Monarch Butterfly. See why I miss them?

Inspirational quote:

“We humans think we are smart, but an orchid, for example, knows how to produce noble, symmetrical flowers, and a snail knows how to make a beautiful, well-proportioned shell. Compared with their knowledge, ours is not worth much at all. We should bow deeply before the orchid and the snail and join our palms reverently before the monarch butterfly and the magnolia tree. The feeling of respect for all species will help us recognize the noblest nature in ourselves.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Photo courtesy of Cindy Gustafson, Pexels

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Wild Interlude 3 © Susan L Hart

ARtful Soul 1 | Burnished swirls of gold, proud ochre orbs, draped in grace. Vincent, we're smitten. | HartHaiku.com

Artful Soul 1 | Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh. Millions of art lovers worldwide revere his name and works. His “Sunflowers” particularly are beloved beyond his wildest dreams.

I love sunflowers – they have long been a favorite flower – so Van Gogh feels like a kindred spirit. He painted 12 sunflower works in all, between 1887 and 1889. In my career as an artist, I have also painted them numerous times.

Vincent created some of the paintings specially for a visit of (the also later famous) Paul Gauguin to his home. Apparently, he proclaimed to his brother Theo that sunflowers would become his artistic signature. Little did he know how true that would be! More here: 10 Facts that You Don’t Know About “Sunflowers”.

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A Vincent Van Gogh quote:

“What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then – even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

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Artful Soul 1 © Susan L Hart