Another Sunday arranging my “home office” pausing for memories,

 looking at pictures, and dreaming of new projects.

This is one of my favorite times, all alone with myself,

when the future and past sometimes get pleasantly confused in my thinking.

I happened to see in a book a picture  by Cecil Beaton,

a photographer I always enjoy spending time with.

Who was she? So great and stylish?

I did not recognize Ruth Gordon, what a change!

 I came to know about her in the 70’s when the movie Harold and Maude

became un unexpected  part of my life.

Ruth Gordon was a great actress and also a writer,

but she started her career as a beauty.

Here she poses as Serena Blandish where Ruth played the role of the ingenue,

a defenseless woman exploited by men who never married her.

Cecil Beaton took this great picture of her for Vanity Fair in 1929 ,

posing with calla lilies, long before her beloved sunflowers became her favorite flower.

 

Just for pure fun, of course, I did a quiz, “which flower are you”,

now everything can be done and supposedly there is an answer for everything…

so following the test I am a Lily… calm and a little shy…

but with soothing effects on others… Uhmm… Why Maude wanted to be a sunflower?

For me, this is one of the most romantic movies I have cherished since the early 70’s.
Love beyond age and culture, beyond environment and education, just pure joy.
In 1971 the film was at first not well received.  Later it was recognized,
and now is preserved in the National Film Registry
because it is “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant”.
It has now a cult following… and I am really happy, it is a jewel.
A hippy movie, of course, as Hal Ashby the director
was embracing an alternative lifestyle,
but also the most unforgettable ending when Maude dances with Harold,
before she leaves life and she says “I cannot imagine a better farewell”…

The dark humored existentialist drama focused on Harold’s obsession with death,

 is in fact a serious essay about life.

It is beautifully and romantically  expressed  in a flower,

when Ruth says “they grow and bloom, and fade, and die,

and some change into something else.

Ah life! I should like to change into a sunflower most of all”.

 

 

“Don’t be shy let your feelings roll on by…”

Cat Stevens wrote these songs specifically for the movie Harold and Maude:

 great  lyrics and melodies. Unforgettable to sing along… if only I could sing…

“And if you want to be me, be me! And if you want to be you, be you…”

When you go to Tuscany and drive through the country,
there are many fields of beautiful sunflowers;
in Italy too we grow these beautiful flowers.
 They say they have been around for over 5000 years.
Surely the indigenous American people used the Sunflower
as a symbol of a deity of the Sun. Long before they became so useful
 with the oil of the sunflower now becoming an economically important flower.

I have always collected Edward S. Curtis photogravures from portfolios and volumes.

  He was a photographer and ethnologist of the native American people.

This picture of Zuni women carrying pottery on their heads

and heavy black blankets is a beauty.

They are part of the Peublo people

who live by the Zuni river (New Mexico) for over 1300 years.

And lots of sunflowers grow there…

 

This drawing of a snake with flowers by Kris: what a sweet combination.

It is a fact that the simple, beautiful sunflowers can save a life from snake venom.

Apparently the Native American tribes

(including the Zuni People) chew the fresh

or dried roots of sunflowers before sucking venom from a snakebite

and applying a poultice of the root to the wound… the magic of Sunflowers!

 

 

Posted on: Sunday, August 25th, 2013

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