Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 54 of 365, Beauty & Strength

Day 54 of 365, Today's Photo Challenge was 'Something Icky'.  I will talk more about that topic later in the post.  I want to put that off a bit because something beautiful is just simply,...more appealing.  The first picture posted is of a Japanese Magnolia.  When I saw this tree today, it was beautifully and gloriously loaded with big white flowers.  I was attracted to it and I have lots of photos in my file to prove it.  The image that you see has been edited till the cows come home.  The original capture was very pretty, as shot, but I kept fiddling with photoshop layers to add a touch of lagniappe.  I like how it turned out.  For the vintage camilia, I did the same thing...tweak, tweak, tweak, layer, layer, layer.  I wanted to soften the image so that it would have a hint of an aged effect.  I like flowers, so I would consider top two pictures to be pretty.  Now, for the not so pretty...check out my elephant and my old post pictures.   Those images are not particularly what one might call pretty.  When I was challenged to photograph something icky, I did not straight off think of elephant hide.  But, as I was reviewing my files, I decided to used this capture as my 'something icky'.  I captioned that image with the title, 'Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize...Poor Baby'.  Obviously, the poor elephant's skin looks pretty decrepit.  Then, check out the image of the brown post with the rope around it.  It has a certain character, perhaps...but, pretty?..nah. 

Now, I am not trying to put down elephants and old posts.  Stick with me, I do have to make a point.  Actually, I would like to make an analogy.   These two brown, weathered, rugged images have a characteric in common.  For me, one word comes to mind immediately.  That word is strength.  Do you know someone who might have weathered skin from age or a lifetime of hard work?  You might think of them like the elephant because they are loyal, steady, dependable & strong.  Or, perhaps your elephant is not so weather beaten by age or sun, but you consider them an elephant, none the less.  Strength does not always mean physical muscularity.  You might know an elephant with admirable strength of character.  When you see them, in your mind's eye, you see a force of will power, determination & fortifude.  This kind of person, man or woman, is said to have 'backbone'! Wishy washy, noodle spine?  No, no!...not the elephant. When an elephant sets his/her mind, you might just as well take it the bank.  Yes sir, I have several people who are elephants in my life and I am deeply grateful.  If I need help, they are the first ones to 'be there'. 

As for the rugged post which is rooted deep and solidly into the earth, I am reminded of a song from about a decade ago or longer.  A Contemporary Christian Group called 4 HIM sang a song titled 'For Future Generations'.  Here are a few lines of the chorus which talks about standing strong (rooted deep and solid) for what you believe in.  ...

So I won’t bend and I won’t break
I won’t water down my faith
I won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been I cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
I must be a light for future generations
Lookin’ in the eyes of the children
Knowing that tomorrow is at stake
When the choice is up to them
Will they have the strength to say

We won’t bend and we won’t break
we won’t water down our faith
We won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been we cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
We must be a light for future generations

I have never thought that I wanted to be an elephant.  Actually, who has ever wanted to be called an elephant?  "Not I", said the little red hen.  But, the more I think about it, I would do well to aspire to be an elephant in today's world of turmoil.  The world needs more people who are steady, loyal, strong and dependable.  So, how about it?  Of the four images, how many depict beauty?  Perhaps, in a certain way...I might say, "All four".  What do you reckon? 

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