I believe in roses. And I believe in putting roses into a vase and sitting the vase on the table. I believe in getting lost and being found, I believe in going barefoot, and in laughter! My religion is to laugh at myself, whenever I can! I believe in the sunlight and in grey skies with big, beautiful clouds!
C. JoyBell C.
On a nightstand in a teenager's room, a glass vase filled with violets leans precariously against a wall. The only thing saving the vase from a thousand-piece death on the hardwood floor is the groove in the nightstand's surface that catches the bottom of vase, and of course the wall itself. The violets, nearly a week old, droop in the light of a waning gibbous moon. Wrinkled petals are already piling up on the floor between the nightstand and the wall, and a girl only six days sixteen stares at the dying bouquet from her bed.
Cookie dropped her purse and tried to catch it midair. In the process, she knocked over a vase. When she lunged for the vase, she slipped on the tile and overturned an entire table. A lovely handblown piece of glass flew in my direction, and all I could think as I caught it was, Really? Again? We were going to have to practice muscle control.
The instant before something comes into focus is more exciting than any sharp certainty. Photography, child, is about the passing of time. Capturing is the goal of literature. Timelessness is the task of music and painting. But a good photograph holds time just as a vase holds water. The water will evaporate and the vase becomes a memorial to it. What separates a snapshot from a masterpiece is that the latter is a metaphor of patience...
Alone, [Chamcha] all at once remembered that he and Pamela had once disagreed, as they disagreed on everything, on a short-story they'd both read, whose theme was precisely the nature of the unforgivable. Title and author eluded him, but the story came back vividly. A man and a woman had been intimate friends (never lovers) for all their adult lives. On his twenty-first birthday (they were both poor at the time) she had given him, as a joke, the most horrible, cheap glass vase she could find, in colours a garish parody of Venetian gaiety. Twenty years later, when they were both successful and greying, she visited his home and quarrelled with him over his treatment of a mutual friend. In the course of the quarrel her eye fell upon the old vase, which he still kept in pride of place on his sitting-room mantelpiece, and, without pausing in her tirade, she swept it to the floor, crushing it beyond hope of repair. He never spoke to her again; when she died, half a century later, he refused to visit her deathbed or attend her funeral, even though messengers were sent to tell him that these were her dearest wishes. 'Tell her, ' he said to the emissaries, 'that she never knew how much I valued what she broke.' The emissaries argued, pleaded, raged. If she had not known how much meaning he had invested in the trifle, how could she in all fairness be blamed? And had she not made countless attempts, over the years, to apologize and atone? And she was dying, for heaven's sake; could not this ancient, childish rift be healed at last? They had lost a lifetime's friendship; could they not even say goodbye? 'No, ' said the unforgiving man. - 'Really because of the vase? Or are you concealing some other, darker matter?' - 'It was the vase, ' he answered, 'the vase, and nothing but.' Pamela thought the man petty and cruel, but Chamcha had even then appreciated the curious privacy, the inexplicable inwardness of the issue. 'Nobody can judge an internal injury, ' he had said, 'by the size of the superficial wound, of the hole.
I took my pill at eleven. An hour and half later I was sitting in my study, looking intently at a small glass vase. The vase contained only three flowers - a full-blown Belle of Portugal rose, shell pink with a hint at every petal's base of a hotter, flamier hue; a large magenta and cream-coloured carnation; and, pale purple at the end of its broken stalk, the bold heraldic blossom of an iris. Fortuitous and provisional, the little nosegay broke all the rules of traditional good taste. At breakfast that morning I had been struck by the lively dissonance of its colours. But that was no longer the point. I was not looking now at an unusual flower arrangement. I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence.
Context is everything in both narrative and real life, and while the accusation is never that these creators deliberately set out to discriminate against gay and female characters, the unavoidable implication is that they should have known better than to add to the sum total of those stories which, en masse, do exactly that. And if the listmakers can identify the trend so thoroughly - if, despite all the individual qualifications, protests and contextualisations of the authors, these problems can still be said to exist - then the onus, however disconnected from the work of any one individual, nonetheless falls to those individuals, in their role as cultural creators, to acknowledge the problem; to do better next time; perhaps even to apologise. This last is a particular sticking point. By and large, human beings tend not to volunteer apologies for things they perceive to be the fault of other people, for the simple reason that apology connotes guilt, and how can we feel guilty - or rather, why should we - if we're not the ones at fault? But while we might argue over who broke a vase, the vase itself is still broken, and will remain so, its shards ground into the carpet, until someone decides to clean it up. Blog Post: Love Team Freezer
A Ming vase can be well-designed and well-made and is beautiful for that reason alone. I don't think this can be true for photography. Unless there is something a little incomplete and a little strange, it will simply look like a copy of something pretty. We won't take an interest in it.