|Rosa 'Baron Girod de L'Ain' & Hosta 'Whirlwind'|
This blog is dedicated to my perceptive friend John MacLachlan Gray who says he does not understant my plant scans.
In 2001 when I first started scanning the roses and other plants from Rosemary’s and my garden it was on a lark. I must have been bored. But little by little I was drawn in and I tried to figure out my purpose. By scanning the plants making sure the colour rendition was accurate and doing so at 100% size I was going for botanical accuracy. I gave my scans the proper botanical names and most important I put the date of the scan.
Through the years many of the plants I have scanned many times. The plants that bid me goodbye do not make me feel too sad as somehow their scans conserve their essence.
And is that word essence that pulls me to write this blog. I have written how all the cats we ever had and the present two, Niño and Niña, all have this identity/element that I call catness.
In Shakespeare’s we know "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a popular reference to William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family's rival house of Montague, that is, that he is named "Montague".
In the late 50s Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. inculcated us on all things Aristotle. I admired the apparent exactness of the philosopher. It was not until I studied philosophy under Ramón Xirau in Mexico City’s Universidad de las Americas that I became most attracted to Plato’s world of ideas. That everything we saw in nature was a poor copy of an ideal idea was a concept I became drawn into.
In this century legions of photographers are using their digital camera macro lenses to get close to roses and flowers. To me this is a wasted effort that does no justice to the essence of these flowers. For me my scans of my roses and other plants respect what they are (they are not cropped) and somehow they become (I see it that way) essences. Each scanned rose is a Platonic rose much like my cats are the essence of all the cats that we had before them.
The paradox about this is that these days I see myself scanning companion plants or plants that are close to each other. In some cases they are roses in which Rosemary chose to plant clematis as companions. I take time to arrange these plants before I scan them. I believe I am delving into the “artistic”.
But if there is an excuse, justification or apology for them I do the scanning with a modicum of respect.