In spite of winter hanging on much longer than normal, with snowflakes falling in my yard this very morning, the ephemeral spring wildflowers are poised and ready to bloom. One of my favorites is Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, a delicate, white-flowered species known for the the blood-red juice in its roots. Bloodroot flowers are swelling in the forest near my house today and my mind wanders to some of my favorite patches that inhabit natural areas not far from town.
For a couple of years now, I’ve been visiting a robust bloom found next to a small forest stream, where I’ve attempted to characterize the “suchness” or “way of being” of Bloodroot using the video medium. While photography can produce stunning detailed portraits that are slices in time, video lends itself to capturing motion. “But wait a second,” you may ask, “wildflowers don’t move, so what’s the point?” Well, flowers do move. They wiggle in the wind and their form and color changes as light plays upon their surfaces. Insects come and go and silken threads (attached to the flowers by spiders and caterpillars) dance to the slightest breeze. One can also move the camera to create motion, or else document motion in the background, such as moving water or plants swaying in the breeze.
In the above video, I’ve brought together my favorite clips and ordered them to help convey the luminous quality of the Bloodroot flower informed by the depth of my personal experience of being there, sensually immersed in the bloom and in search of creative expression. Let me know what you think. Does the video convey something new to you, something unexpected yet wholly reflective of the Bloodroot and its immediate surroundings? I must admit that I feel a certain element of success, yet I know that I’m just scratching the surface of what is truly possible. One must approach this kind of thing as if one were painting a portrait of a loved one.