I was on my way to work one morning, on the ferry as usual, when all of a sudden a single frangipani blossom landed on the deck beside me. Where it came from I don’t know.
I wanted to photograph it, but hesitated. First, what would the other passengers think? Second, I’m sure the crew already thinks I’m batty, and they may be right.
But the real reason I hesitated is that the blossom wasn’t perfect. There it was on the deck, blowing around, hitting a small puddle of water that was sitting there … and all I could think was “shame – it’s not perfect”. Beautiful, but not perfect. And the scent – I wish there was smellography so I could share that too.
I picked it up, put it down, and it blew away. I felt a loss and picked it up again. I had to shoot. Even if I didn’t show it, because it wasn’t perfect.
But I’ve thought about it, and I think maybe it is the imperfections that make it beautiful. The same applies to people. We could make an exact duplicate of a perfect frangipani blossom out of some unnatural material. It would last for years, and always look the same. Extract some scent and spray it occasionally, and you’d have the same effect as a real flower right? No.
The reality, fragility, and imperfections combined with the improbability of it landing on the deck beside me are what made this beautiful. After all, I pass by a frangipani bush every day, covered in gorgeous blossoms. I’ve never spent the time staring at them that I did at this one imperfect blossom.
© Sara Lamond 2007. All rights reserved.