Scheherazade and the Inner Workings of Plants

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I am often asked where I find my inspirations for my paper collages. I have to say that my themes come from many different and often unexpected places. I often find inspiration from nature, music, and  my reading.

Each winter, living on the edge of the woods, I find myself fascinated with the inner workings of winter plants. I look out the window and see all these trees, grasses, and shrubs stark, snow-covered, grey and bleak. They appear dead. Memories of their autumn splendor, spring time awakenings and summer abundance  run  through my mind. How can these vibrant plants just stand there, day and night for months, appearing dead and yet still carrying within them the spark of life? Against all evidence they are not dead.


This morning I turned on my Scheherazade CD and decided to read up on just what plants are doing in the winter. As the music began I found myself imaging the inner workings of plants set to music. What interesting ballets or concertos could be based on these themes. I  thought my horticultural reading would be uplifting and poetic. I imagined with the music in the background and the frozen grasses outside my window that I would be transported in some lyrical manner.


Unfortunately that did not happen. As I began to read i discovered words like tracheids, xylum, vernalization, extraorgan freezing, extracellular freezing, conduits, desiccation and freeze-thaw cycles. Not very inspiring I am afraid. Many words even my spell check did not approve of.


So I closed the book, turned Scheherazade up louder and went back to admiring the frozen swaying grasses. As I watch their winter dancing, I imagine a tiny flame of life deep within them held lovingly by the plant’s dreams of summer days to come. And I imagine them  as ballet dancers swaying gently to the evocative strains of Scheherazade.I lovingly pick up my scissors and papers and continue to collage my thoughts about the inner workings of plants  and I join the grasses in the music of the spheres.