So much of photography — the kind that I often do — is the result of good fortune. It is presumptuous to call it anything else. Sure, you need a decent camera and know the basics of how to use it. You need to spend lots of time roaming the area you want to capture. Most important, you need an idea of how to compose a shot: how to keep it from being boring. The rest is luck. Unless you are in the right place at the right time and the right people appear, street photos are often forgettable.
“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.”
– Kahlil Gibran
“And a huge dose of microplastics.”
– Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle
Sorry about that. It isn’t that I don’t love the sea. It is one of the things that inspired me to spend my life on a Caribbean island. My earliest memory of life in Puerto Rico is of an almost daily pilgrimage from my room a few miles inland to the beach. I even remember the first book I read there (while waves caressed the sand at my feet).
It was Rodolfo Usigli’s…
It’s a single sun that shines over us wherever we are.
I know that may not be very original, but it is all that I have at this moment! I have been editing photos for a coffee table book I am preparing for my wife. She likes to sit back and recapture memories of our trips and doesn’t like to stare at a computer screen. She is not a Luddite, but she is set in her ways, and I like to please her.
Books are more enduring than memories — as many and as wonderful as memories may be. And…
I am not the person that you see
If you think it’s really me.
I’m not the words you read,
They are symbols that mislead.
Did some lapsed synapses form you?
How can you be sure the words
I’ve told you transcend the hoards
of syllables teased randomly,
Or tapped timorously, on keys?
I’m not the rhythms that you’ve found.
By none of them I’m bound.
Of me, I’m sure; of you, I’m not.
Your eyes and mind and other minds
I cannot know. I own my world,
I can only see within.
Only I can really know How deep…
I am a nature-lover but not a naturalist. I know a lot about some things and very little about others. I am, at most, a casual student of Mother Earth. I’m also a skeptic. I tend to take issue with things that I am told or that I read. Like which plants are weeds and which are not. Like which trees are invasive and which are not. Like which are allowed in and which should be kept out — and where should we build a wall.
It occurred to me that very few of the plants we grow are endemic…
“Folly and error, sin and avarice
Labor our minds and bodies in their course.
Gaily we nourish our pleasurable remorse
As beggars feed their parasitic lice.”
Charles Baudelaire in Les Fleurs du Mal, translated by Jacques LeClercq.
I have no memory of how I first encountered the poems of Charles Baudelaire. It was some 60 years ago, even more, since there are few books that rattled me in my youth as much as Baudelaire’s or that have retained an enduring place in my mind. I can still quote from memory — in English translation by Jacques LeClercq — many of…
Things have been going smashingly at Florilegium — the publication, not the archive. Yes, there are two Florilegiums. Our multitudinous followers (20 fine folks) enjoy an occasional newsletter like this one, see our posts first, and are invited to submit writing that meets our (sort of) strict requirements (quirky, creative, homeless). The other Florilegium is just an archive into which the editor (me) tosses everything he has written on Medium. You can probably ignore that one.
You should not ignore our latest offerings. Only an ogre would be so cruel. …
My Geriatic Journal #19
I am somewhat disoriented. Or maybe disoccidented. That should be no surprise to my often-neglected journal or to the select few who read it. After eight decades of existence, I am not sure who I am and what I am supposed to be doing.
It has a little to do with these strange times in which we are all living. After all, who among us has ever experienced a pandemic? (You’d have to be more than 100 years old to remember the Spanish Flu or be immortal to remember the Black Death — mid-14th century.) …
For me, there is something rather rude about the family of plants that my wife has been cultivating on the enclosed terraces of our home in the mountains of Puerto Rico. Not entirely in jest, I once published a selection of my photos of them on Flicker. The title was, I believe, “The Secret Sex Lives of Flowers.” They are the Anthurium, a genus of about 1000 species of flowering plants of the arum family, Araceae.