Thursday, September 17, 2009

30 Days Creating-9/17-Vines and Character

Today in one of my art groups, a fellow artist posted an interesting art journal page about an overgrown vine. The story behind it was so interesting - it is worth your time to read.

I made the mistake of planting an ornamental hops vine in my shade garden. By the second year it had completely taken over and started crowding out all the other plants. So I knew it had to go. Then I made another mistake and treated it like any other plant when I cut it up and removed it. (No gloves and was wearing sleeveless shirt due to the summer heat) Subsequent research told me the reason I had all the rash on my hands and arms was because the little hairlike things all over the vine that it uses to hang onto surfaces with are actually little hooked barbs that stick in your skin and that just touching the thing also brings rash to just about anyone, not just people who are allergic to weeds.

Here is the part that interested me most:

I have trouble with plants, a lot of them die on me. But I love plants, even that damed thing, so I took pity on it and didn't kill it. But I did hack it up to within 2 feet of the roots. Then I felt almost sorry for it and planted what was left out in the sun by an old rusty laundry line pole which is no longer used. I did water it a couple times to, also cuz I felt sorry for it; but at the same time I was still mad at it. So I put it somewhere where I figured if it could survive there, then it deserved to stay alive. After about a month and a half, it has now started to regrow itself and has climbed up the pole about 4 feet with a few branches - so I figure it still wants to live. I think it has a better home there then it did in my shade garden and maybe the birds that use the birdhouse on that pole won't mind it crawling all over their house next year when they come back to nest. We'll see.

Such a sweet soul. It seems to me that it takes a very special person to feel sorry for something that almost anyone else would consider a weed -- and especially one that caused them to break out in a horrid rash. I remember my daughter used to feel sorry for the different cups in our cabinet if she didn't use them all regularly -- why should the blue and pink become the favorites when the gray and green were just as good though not as attractive? So she'd try to use them all alternately.

I think it shows a certain admirable quality of the soul to consider others even when (or perhaps especially when) they won't ever know they are being considered.

George Eliot said that "Character is what we do when we think no one is looking."

I believe that wholeheartedly.

I had fun creating this digital collage with viney brushes. That's my creative for Sept. 17!


Lisa said...


paperqueen said...

Absolutely true. I grew up with the notion that doing good deeds (or charitable works) was important. My father used to say that while all acts of giving were good, the very best ones were when the giver doesn't know who the recipient is, and the recipient doesn't know who the giver is. Just doing it to do it, not to get acclaim or thanks.
Maybe your story isn't exactly like that, but it reminded me of my father and his beautiful spirit. Thanks for sharing!

Jo said...

The colors in this are so pretty!

I too often feel bad for weeds in my garden, especially if they sprout pretty flowers. I love dandelions and will not rid them from the back yard. I think if we could all accept (our) weeds, we'd be better off.

After all, most wildflowers are in fact weeds!

eis4em said...

Terri, this is a very inspiring story, and I can empathize with those same feelings of feeling sorry for something.

Great art and thank you for sharing that!

eis4em said...

Terri, this is a very inspiring story, and I can empathize with those same feelings of feeling sorry for something.

Great art and thank you for sharing that!

Aimeslee said...

I saw your digital vines on ning and commented, but it's nice to know a little bit about what inspired it.

Great examples of Eliot's quote, Teri. I probably pass muster, but not when it comes to bugs and critters in my home. I'm pretty much Rambo, lol. But, I decided a long time ago that when St. Peter asks me if I've murdered, I will say yes, as Squatter's Rights is no real defense but it is what's what.

LisaC said...

Love the George Eliot quote. It is written very big on the foyer of my daughter's school and we have talked about it often :-)