Do look back

I don’t see too many other photos of the backs of flowers. I find them a fairly compelling photo subject. In my eyes, what lies behind is often as beautiful as the front view.

Perhaps I learned the habit as a little Mudlips, exploring creeks and turning over rocks looking for hidden things. Bugs, crayfish, frogs: I never knew what I might find. Many times there’s been nothing there but muddy impressions. But, the one-in-a-millionth time, a creature to poke and study squirmed in the muck and made the hunt worthwhile.

Or perhaps, I learned it from perusing used books stores; looking through the dusty stacks at the back of the store to see what was not yet displayed.  Used books stores vary substantially. Powell’s here in Portland is huge, organized and really doesn’t have those dusty corners to hunt. But, at one of my other  favorite old stores here in town, if you arrive at just the right time, you’ll see boxes or stacks of unshelved books. Oh, what fun to dip into those piles in search of treasure. Often the hunt is as enriching an experience as  reading a book I chose to purchase.

Or maybe,   I just don’t like to take things at their surface value. As good as I think my judgement is, I don’t have a perfect record in assessing the character of people.  I have, sadly, misjudged some wonderful people. So, now I try (emphasis on try) to get to know someone before I jump to conclusions based on my initial impression. For example, there was a woman customer who was asking some really basic questions and not understanding the answers. I really wondered (or should I say worried) about her ability to function out in the world. Later, I ran into her in the neighborhood and we chatted about community, politics, and a variety of other topics and my respect for her sky-rocketed. Turns out she’s very smart in other ways and very involved in making the planet a better place.

So, now, with flowers.  Their obvious beauty is the face they turn toward the sun and sky.  But, really, don’t you think we’re all missing something if that’s all we see?

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4 thoughts on “Do look back

  1. What a lovely little post and again I catch a glimpse of you – all these little moments that show us the heart of a person. Taking time to see behind, beneath and to understand beyond the apparent is something so easily forgotten in our world predominantly occupied with external beauty, superficiality and broad brushstrokes and easy labels for life. Thank you. I really enjoyed this introspection. And for showing us the other side of the flower rarely admired. Beautiful. Sharon

  2. It’s interesting how everyone looks at the front of flowers. I guess that is where the ‘display’ is on for pollinating birds and insects, so it is the most attractive. I will make a point of looking at the back of every flower now!
    I had never really thought about it before!

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