Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vanitas

When still life painting was a common motif, painters used to include rotting fruit, or skulls, or fruits that grew in both spring and fall; all to point out that life is temporal. Nothing is fixed and in the end we all die. Cheery, yes?


The hurricane is over, at least for Maryland, although the sky is still spitting and gray. We got away with something, it appears, based on the warnings and also how other parts of the country fared. Crisis shouldn't be defined by comparison but I'm glad for our relative fortunes. The kids love the rainbow of leaves strewn everywhere. They don't think about how green leaves shouldn't fall, about how that tulip maple is six houses down, the oak is even further, and I can't even picture the nearest willow, how nature's path wouldn't ordinarily arrange these leaves together. It's an unnatural composition on our driveway, a vanitas, and the kids identify beauty and I identify how lucky we are.

We're both right.



Pin It