Flower Freak

floral freak -ondine.co

And so beings my Flower Freak series… If you’re a freak like me and blooms are busting out of your hands, head, and heart do reach out and let me take your portrait. Also if you have any flowers in all phases of life and death you would like to offer up to this project I would be forever grateful.

floral freak -ondine.co
ondine.co

Looking for Light at the end of the Pantry

ondine.co floral styling

I recently moved into an old home in Seattle, WA. I have been keeping pace with the cat, taking up residence in all the corners of light. It is the first home I have lived in with a pantry. At the end of this stocked corridor there is a window. I find myself arranging a grocery store medley of flowers beneath this window. I think about the petite woman that this space was built for and I praise the window again. I think about her leaning over this same surface kneading bread. Perhaps the view wasn’t another building a mere five feet from ours, but maybe the same winter light that passes through these tulips. I am grateful for the choice I have had in this era to do “women’s work” and that the walls were not built up around me but rather torn down by every woman who came before. Her name was Pearl, the wife of the man who built this house in 1904.

ondine.co floral styling

Ode to the Wreath

ondine wreath
ondine wreath

What is a wreath? An emblem of home, of hearth, of merriment. A circle; the primordial shape. A portal to the woods, to the over-grown alleys, to my mother-in-law’s garden. Wreaths are for the meanderers, who quicken at life gone-to-seed. Wreaths are for those that don’t see bracken as browned and brittle but it’s dried curves as the meridian of their final dance. Wreaths are a final dance. I have been weaving bits of botanicals together this season in this form almost daily. I let the materials tell me how they want to move and let them hold themselves together. I have shed wire, glue, and rings in this work. A reminder that all we ever need is our natural world…

ondine wreath

Waiting to Land

suspendedleaf copy.jpg

Most know me as a home body, and yes I like curling up with my cat and my morning coffee ritual. But more than anything, every fiber of my being craves putting my roots down. Digging in. This past July I moved deeper into the PNW and landed on Bainbridge Island, WA. Having grown up on an island, albeit off the coast of Maine, in some ways I was going back to my roots. There have been moments where low tide and Rosa Rugosa stop me in my track. The sound of blue berries dropping into an empty paper cup, roadsides lined with queen ann's lace and red wing black birds keeping pace with my bike. These are the times where all thoughts of doubt and lonesomeness are stilled. And then there are moments when the slightest change in current, perhaps getting someones voicemail instead of their voice, throws me off course.  I am learning to trust the fluidity of not being embedded in the earth. I am trying to remember that the season of the in between is how one should approach every chapter whether or not the discomfort is front and center. These are the times we grow into our stronger, more knowing selves.

My Angel Wing Begonia

Angel Wing Begonia, Wandering Jew, Staghorn Fern Kokedama

Angel Wing Begonia, Wandering Jew, Staghorn Fern Kokedama

As you may have heard I am in the midst of a transition. Uprooting from the sagebrush and tumbleweeds of Bend, OR to be amongst the moss clad branches and blackberry brambles on Bainbridge Island, WA. I have come to know just how much this dusty high desert soil can nourish. Perhaps it's not the land as much as its people that have helped me grow.

 One of those lovely people has gifted me an arm from her prosperous Angel Wing Begonia. Her Angel Wing has quadrupled in size and split off into mason jars scattered across town. I will hold this one dear. A reminder of its OG Angel, the only girl who brings the fixings for deviled eggs to the park (paprika and all) and makes them right before you on her picnic blanket. The woman who rips down the ski slop in a prom dress, and demands you get the hot pink rubber clogs at your favorite thrift store.

This Angel Wing is also a reminder, like many propagated plants, that not only will I be okay without earth beneath me, I can grow roots wading in water.

 

Curling In: A Dance To Decay

ondine leaf inspiration 1
DSC05751.jpg
ondine leaf inspiration 3

I am a big believer that the greatest art is always signed by nature itself. Whether it's a turtle's shell, a hummingbird's nest, or a knot in a tree, my being is left brimming in revere. I am currently putting off real life with a month in Costa Rica. Here, it is easy to applaud the greenery, the shadows cast by palm fronds, the roots of an orchid embracing a tree. It is easy to forget to see the beauty of death in all the fruitful life. These three leaves, collected walking back from the beach, struck me with their grace. They seemed to be preforming a fluid dance to decay. And once again I bowed down to the nature of things. I absorbed their lesson that sculpture is movement at a glimpse.  

Dainty Footed Donkey

larm-rmah-134222.jpg

When you tread lightly off the path, as a dainty footed deer, but when you know you are all donkey. And the wild flowers you bowed down to just moments before --the Lupin you cupped in your hands-- now bow for you. You know you are not worthy. Nobody is, but maybe the dear. Yet you ache to be that kid again. The one that swings his legs before him, rather than lifting his knees. You don't remember the last time you stubbed your toe and think you might miss it. You want to rattle down this hillside like the toboggan you should have bailed from you want to fall in love with gravity again, but your notch in the door way is too far from the floor. A painful romance however deep. You don't want to have to worry your weight and the weight of the world. But you know now... that you do not tread lightly.

The Petal in the Kiddy Pool

The petal in the kiddy pool is nothing more than a petal in a kiddy pool. And it doesn't have to be more, to take pause, to take comfort in the knowing that you are its witness and thus, time is not passing you by, or rather dragging you along its rapid course of waiting and racing. It doesn’t have to be more, to hold close the knowing that there are moments and moments to come. It doesn't have to be more, to praise your eyes that see the light pass through the petal, to praise the skin that feels the summer cross over your shoulders and the hose water cool your toes, to praise your ears that hear the baby’s squeals of delight as he shreds apart the poppy and puts the petals in the pool. It doesn't have to be more to understand all his destruction is a part of his making. It doesn't have to be more to realize he has yet to be told how to take on the world so all he knows is how to take it in. The petal in the kiddy pool is nothing more than a reminder of how to take in the world.

Winged-Things

ondine.co

Was it my mother who taught me about winged-things? There was the dead gold finch on a plate in the freezer waiting to be painted, a still life. There were the faux Matisse Cut-Outs she made with our cereal boxes to hang on the Christmas tree. There was the half inch origami crane she wept over. And then the stuffed dove she made out of a pair of my grandmother’s elbow-high, white, leather gloves. Yes, my mother made it true, there is no greater state to be in than that of a winged-thing.

It's a mad kind of love. One that robs your body. I bury three birds without their wings. It does not get easier. Each a thundering silence louder than before. Who am I to try and preserve your flight. But I can't stop. I cover the birds with dry desert soil. Are they even birds anymore?