Paltry As Those Lives Are

“The spider Mercer gave the chickenhead, Isidore; it probably was artificial, too. But it doesn’t matter. The electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Manmade Stream and Naturemade agave plants Downtown Dallas, Texas

Manmade Stream and Naturemade agave plants
Downtown Dallas, Texas

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Her Heart Were A Green Flame

“Doesn’t it seem as though her heart were a green flame? Perhaps it’s the cold green heart of a small green snake, with a minute flaw in it, the kind of small green snake that slithers from branch to branch in the jungle, passing itself off as a vine. What’s more, perhaps when she gave me the ring with such a gentle, loving expression, she wanted me to draw such a meaning from it some day.”
― Yukio Mishima, Spring Snow

Spring Snow, Richardson, Texas

Spring Snow,
Richardson, Texas

Patterns in Nature

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

Trinity River Audubon Center
Dallas, Texas

Cattails

Cattails

“In a room the size of a ballroom the Pattern was laid. The floor was black and looked smooth as glass. And on the floor was the Pattern.

It shimmered like the cold fire that it was, quivered, made the whole room seem somehow unsubstantial. It was an elaborate tracery of bright power, composed mainly of curves, though there were a few straight lines near its middle. It reminded me of a fantastically intricate, life-scale version of one of those maze things you do with a pencil (or ballpoint, as the case may be), to get you into or out of something. Like, I could almost see the words “Start Here,” somewhere way to the back. It was perhaps a hundred yards across at its narrow middle, and maybe a hundred and fifty long.

It made bells ring within my head, and then came the throbbing. My mind recoiled from the touch of it. But if I were a prince of Amber, then somewhere within my blood, my nervous system, my genes, this pattern was recorded somehow, so that I would respond properly, so that I could walk the bloody thing.”
― Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber

Vines

Vines

“To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings.

We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.”
― Oliver Sacks

Natural Sculpture

Vegetation growing on the wall near the entrance at the Dallas Museum of Art Sculpture Garden.
Dallas, Texas

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

“We are made aware that magnitude of material things is relative, and all objects shrink and expand to serve the passion of the poet. Thus, in his sonnets, the lays of birds, the scents and dyes of flowers, he finds to be the shadow of his beloved; time, which keeps her from him, is his chest; the suspicion she has awakened, is her ornament”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

A Sprig of Rosemary on Ice

Tell her to find me an acre of land
(On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Washes the ground with so many tears)
Between the salt water and the sea strand
(A soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine
—-Scarborough Fair/Canticle P. Simon/A. Garfunkel, 1966

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

There was a sound like that of the gentle closing of a portal as big as the sky, the great door of heaven being closed softly. It was a grand AH-WHOOM. I opened my eyes – and all the sea was ice-nine. The moist green earth was a blue-white pearl. The sky darkened. … [T]he sun became a sickly yellow ball, tiny and cruel. The sky was filled with worms. The worms were tornadoes.
—-Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut

Crape Myrtle in Ice

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

During the killer summer heat here in Texas one bit of beauty that survives are the bright colors of the Crape (or Crepe) Myrtle trees, blooming on the warmest of days.

Crape Myrtle blooms.

Crape Myrtle blooms.

They also have these amazing limbs, covered in smooth bark.

Crape Myrtle grove at the Dallas Arboretum

Crape Myrtle grove at the Dallas Arboretum

This winter, the ice storm showed another side of their beauty, glowing like crystal in the faint sunlight filtering through the clouds.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)