The Thistle

I began a project this spring (2019) of documenting weeds, inspired by the last stanza of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem Inversnaid, “What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left, O let them…

The Thistle

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I began a project this spring (2019) of documenting weeds, inspired by the last stanza of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem Inversnaid,

“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”
-Gerard Manley Hopkins
https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Poems_of_Gerard_Manley_Hopkins/Inversnaid

I’ve ended up focusing on an amazing thistle that was down by some barns near where I live in Mount Tabor, NJ. My partner, Liza, was especially fond of the thistle and wasn’t able to get out to see it due to terminal illness. She took great pleasure in seeing my videos. There are five episodes. Here are the basic descriptions as I posted them on Facebook.

1. Thistle, with Coyote. Long live the weeds. June 4.

2. The thistle down by the barns in Mount Tabor, NJ, Episode 2. June 21.

3. The thistle down by the barns in Mount Tabor, NJ, Episode 3. July 4.

4. The thistle down by the barns in Mount Tabor, NJ, Episode 4. July 12.

I have been documenting this thistle for Liza Trent Savory, who loved it along with thistles and weeds in general, but was not able to get out to see it in person. Here it is on the day of her dying, July 12, 2019, with its first beginning blossoms.

5. The thistle down by the barns in Mount Tabor, NJ, Episode 5.
July 19.

Shock, sorrow, disappointment, anger even. It’s gone. The correlation with Liza’s death, for whom I had been documenting the thistle, I have no words for other then to refer, in one word, to one of her central interests: ephemera.

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