Still life

still life with Cinnamon fern fruitThe other day during lunch I cast my eyes around the room as I always do and instead of looking through it to my own messy thoughts I actually saw the clutter and made a mental note of it. And rather than just noticing a mess in need of a tidy – which it most definitely is – I saw how interesting the day to day clutter of our work is. Now, before you think this is just an ingenious way of procrastinating neatening, let me reassure you that I have no intention of making a permanent museum-display out of the stuff. But part of me does, of course, want to interpret it for you. I’ll spare you that too though and only confess that I did take a little license and removed a box of Miracle-Gro Miracid from one of the still lifes. (I’m loathe to give that company any placement in a picture but have to admit that Miracid, applied by Gail a couple of times over late summer, is responsible for the re-greening of yellowing citrus leaves.)

still life with cardoons and teaselstill life with honeycomb

Heading full-speed as we are into the Thanksgiving/re-opening-day week it’s abundantly clear that life is not still at all. In fact, isn’t this when we’re all in a big hurry to clean up the residual unintentional still lifes of summer (if we haven’t already *ahem*) and make new intentional ones? still life with sparkly ribbonMaybe one reason we decorate and go through all of the hoopla of setting tables and carefully laying out food, is for the glimpse of stillness we get in the microsecond before plates are heaped and passed. And maybe one reason to visit the mansion over the holidays is to take a moment’s pause in the freeze frame of lavish decoration and sparkle.

The onset of winter itself begins to resemble a still life too – some life is dormant anyway – and we gardeners at least might take a little solace in quiet winter landscapes during the frenzy of the season. I know I will (probably right before pie). You too?

still life with lichenstill life with Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!