Saturday, January 23, 2010


As I was getting into the car the other day, a perfect snowflake landed on the sleeve of my coat. But this tiny ice mandala only lasted for a moment before vanishing. I remembered reading that no two snowflakes are identical (just like each one of us) and I wished I’d had a camera handy to make a record of it like Wilson Bentley, the Vermont farmer who made photographing individual snowflakes his mission in life.
Bentley’s obsession with snowflakes began when he received a microscope for his fifteenth birthday in 1880. He tried drawing them but since they melted too quickly for sketching, he eventually turned to photography (see below) and took thousands of pictures of snowflakes until his death in the 1930s.
Today I discovered that Bentley was the one who came up with the no two snowflakes are alike theory, which is now generally accepted as a scientific fact. “Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated,” he told a reporter in 1925. “When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.”
I really like the idea that the universe in general is teeming with abundant individuality …everything from an atom to a star, although I don’t think I could reproduce the snowflake I saw. One thing I do know is that it was different from anything else I’ve ever seen and has enhanced my life in its own small, sweet way.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Believe in your plant

Hazel—one of my plants—has had more lives than a family of contented cats. She has been completely dead (apparently), sort of dead, on the verge of passing on, semi pathetic, extremely pathetic, depressed, deflated, so-so and so on. Well, I’m sure you get the picture. But as you can see, Hazel is flourishing in her present incarnation. One blossom is in full bloom and another couple are just waiting to unfurl. Given Hazel’s history, I’m ashamed to admit I considered tossing her into the compost many times. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it because David gave me Hazel for my birthday a few years ago, and it just seemed plain wrong to abandon her. And I’m glad I didn’t.
Hazel has convinced me that you shouldn’t give up on anything that’s important to you—no matter what the evidence seems to suggest. Even though it appeared she was a goner, John put her in a new pot and I watered her anyway. Everything else Hazel has done on her own, and it’s very gratifying to know she’s got a new lease on life.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Color for 2010

“Turquoise Transports Us to an Exciting, Tropical Paradise While Offering a Sense of Protection and Healing in Stressful Times,” says Pantone the company that provides professional color standards for the design industries (and obviously loves to capitalize Just In Case We Miss Anything).
This year the company has chosen Pantone 15-5519 Turquoise, “an inviting, luminous hue,” as the color of the year.
“Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of well being.”
Whew! But wait, there’s more…
“In many cultures, Turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of color. It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. Through years of color word-association studies, we also find that Turquoise represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.”

Personally, I love the color turquoise, but I can’t help wondering—would Pantone ever pick Beige as the color of the year? Could a copywriter wax poetic over Beige? Having been one myself, I’d say if I had to, I could. But I think I’ll just settle for wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy, Creative and Colorful 2010.