The Blackeyed Susan is a hearty flower. I know because they’re growing by a rock wall, next to my house. I didn’t plant them and I do nothing to care for them.
Unfortunately, I have come to face the fact that I’m a plant killer. I don’t mean to, but somehow I forget about them. Even when I try to nurture plants, they seem to linger a little while, but eventually fail to thrive.
Maybe the flower fairy felt sorry for me one day. Flying over my barren property, she may have dropped a little fairy dust in the form of seeds. Walking past the rock wall this summer, I noticed a profusion of happy daisies with golden petals and dark, come hither eyes - the non assuming, but in your face, Black-eyed Susan.
Black-eyed Susans symbolize motivation and encouragement. They’re not fragile and won’t wilt with the first frost. I wouldn’t call them exquisite like an orchid, or lovely like a rose, but they are fun, flirty and dependable.
By the way, ever wonder where the name, Black-eyed Susan came from? An old English poem was written by Poet John Gay (1685-1732), who penned the name. The poem was about a young man named William who was setting sail for the high seas. Before his embarking, his true love, Susan, came on board to say goodby.
“ All in the downs, the fleet was moored,
Banners waving in the wind.
When Black-Eyed Susan came aboard, and eyed the burly men.
"Tell me ye sailors, tell me true
Does my Sweet William sail with you?"
In any case, I’m very glad the sweet Black-eyed Susan popped up in close proximity. For their own sake, I will leave them alone and admire from a distance.
A 14 yr old girl comes up to my table one day and takes her time looking at everything I have to offer.
She points to an octopus necklace and says, “I thought that was a jellyfish.”
I smile and say, “No.”
She answers, “I love jellyfish.”
Hmmmm... jellyfish. I grew up on Long Island. In the summer, our family went to RobertMoses or Jones Beach. Jellyfish sightings were definitely common and I can’t say i was a fan. Even so, the jellyfish were the more benign terrors of the sea.
I never did like the fact that the ocean water wasn’t clear. Step by step, I wandered out into the ocean depths wondering when I would step on a crab or worse. The nice thing about jellyfish is that you can avoid them if you are careful. They swim close to the top of the water and are visible. If I ever saw one, I muttered, “Yikes!” and slowly moved away from it.
So, this girl was a lover of jellyfish. In her honor, I decided I would do an alcohol ink painting of one. I knew the orange-pink color of the jellyfish would contrast well against the blue of the ocean.
Funny how people affect each other. If it wasn’t for this young girl, I don’t think I would have ever painted a jellyfish.