I was lying in bed the other night, almost asleep, when very softly, these words began to play in my head:
Time it was/And what a time it was, it was/A time of innocence, A time of confidences/Long ago it must be/ I have a photograph/Preserve your memories/They're all that's left you.*
In just a handful of syllables, the song, Bookends, captures the fleeting nature of time; the ever changing landscape of a life. When I first heard the song many years ago, I thought that the words referred to adolescence. Now, I know they refer to any collection of moments in life.
Up in my studio, I've been trying to capture, as in a photograph, this same transience. I gather the plant materials and know that the tender, tiny leaves of the Nandina will be gone in several days, replaced by tougher more mature leaves. The sprigs of jasmine buds that I'm printing will yield to the fragrant white blossoms.
Earlier in my series of prints, which I call "Shift," I was celebrating the plant forms of the Sacramento Valley. In any series, the more you explore, the more nuances are revealed and this spring is no exception. I am enchanted by the way plants pile new life onto old. New green stems push their way out of seemingly dead branches. A flirting shoot of jasmine twirls around a twiggy, yellowing stem.
I look forward to witnessing how this element of surprise plays out as the season continues to unwind. I'll be preserving them in prints.
* Bookends, Simon & Garfunkle, 1968