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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Ouroboros

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas DECEMBER. 31, 2020


[148-365] 31st. December 2020- I am always looking for something new to take a photo of. It's one of the requirements of setting yourself the exhausting task of coming up with something interesting and different every day for 365 days in a row.


So whatever else we are doing, however mundane, I take my point and shoot in my pocket in case I see something.


Addendum - Re-posting this over a year later it dawns on me that I never explained why Ouroboros. Ouroboros is the circle of life represented by the snake in a circle with it's tail in it's mouth. An ancient symbol that has slightly different associations in different cultures but generally represents the life cycle, renewal and rebirth as in the New Year.


Today we went on a mission to find Seville Oranges with which I can make marmalade. I try to make it every year at about this time. The particular oranges you need are not usually available until after Christmas and marmalade making is a "first week in January" job.


Having tried the largest supermarket in the area because the very good greengrocer in the high street had not answered my Facebook message, I discovered that they didn't seem to know what they were, as I was told they haven't had them since the summer. I didn't like to point out that they don't grow in summer but are harvested in December.


Failing at the supermarket we walked into town to investigate in a less virtual way the actual greengrocer already mentioned, where I engaged in a conversation, with me in the street and him inside, which I think resulted in the possibility that I have ordered four boxes of oranges which should materialise next week at some point. He was wearing a mask and I am half deaf so I may have imagined that, but I have a good feeling about it. He did explain that while he doesn't really do Facebook he is quite good at emails and sure enough I have since received an email which appears to confirm I may be getting 4 boxes of oranges next week.


In consequence we found ourselves walking along the quayside where I spotted under some overhanging branches, two trees that appeared to be happily thriving, growing on a solid rock outcrop with their toes in the tidal waters of the creek. I thought they were things of great beauty, particularly this one which, if in miniature, in a shallow glazed dish, the other side of the world, would probably be declared a national treasure and a work of art. Well it's my local treasure now. I marvel at how long it has been since it's small seed, with it's stored codes and instructions on how to become a tree, wedged itself into a crack in the rock, and then I marvel at all the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" this tree has experienced in it's life in this vulnerable spot, to cling to life, literally on the edge of the possible.


To be, or not to be: that is the question Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?


Of course a tree is not able to contemplate it's lot or to philosophise about the purpose or meaning of life, it just has to live life to it's utmost, like a ball rolling down a hill is not negotiating it's route, it is just bound to roll continuously until either something gets in the way or it reaches the bottom.


An ending is always a beginning. Happy New Year.



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