When you watch a milkweed seed pod burst and scatter its tiny dancing seeds to the wind, it is easy to understand how nature balances the strong and the delicate, and finds finds the most elegant of solutions to the problem of continued existence.
The Oxford Dictionary offers several definitions of delicate, including “Very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality”, “Easily broken or damaged; fragile” and “Requiring sensitive or careful handling.”
There is much in nature that is fine and intricate. And as we humans are discovering, such things are also easily damaged, and require much more careful handling than many of the systems and institutions we have developed seem to permit.
Posted to the Lens Artists Photo Challenge |delicate
Rather like “eerie” which was the subject of yesterday’s post, delicate is a very nuanced word.
I’m a robust, and fairly buxom, woman (Reubens-esque on a good day) who has grown only gradually from feeling like a totally klutzy child into an adult comfortable with, and able to celebrate, my body. I have dark eyes and (once upon a time) dark hair, and could not – under any circumstances – be described as delicate.
But delicate is a word used often to describe my gender; and in literature, art and popular culture, delicacy has been regarded (by men at any rate) as a desirable trait for women. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons for my very ambivalent relationship with the word.
There are of course some images that ” delicate” connotes with which I am comfortable; pale, fragile blooms, handcrafted glass art – or a parent holding their newborn, muscles straining to achieve a gentleness perhaps unknown.
This post is part of Ailsa’s Travel Theme: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/11/01/travel-theme-delicate/
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