‘yet know i how the heather looks…’ (e. d.)

‘yet know i how the heather looks…’ (e. d.)

tomorrow is emily dickinson’s birthday (december 10th), the title of this post is one of the lines of her poem, which was on top of my old blog for a long time.. ten years? i composed little something about a ghost pipe this summer and wanted to share it tomorrow. the words lined up by themselves in my head and i was about to fall asleep. it was nice. but if i won’t find a proper way to show it, this little heather celebration will be here. i did not know that date until quite recently. just happened to see it in november. i was supposed to be born on the 11th, but it happened of the 1st of december. we are so close. one and zero is one. and after this movie i suddenly felt such a strong connection to emily. deeper than the words, profound and clean. like when you feel the exact feeling, with no doubts and questions, even to yourself. oh! happy happy heather birthday!

and here is one of the forest watercolors for such an occasion, it’s called ‘low spruce – high heather’. this botanical composition is like a poem, don’t you think?

forest was rich in heather this year and my mom gathered a little bit more than usual, so we made these sets.

‘…the medicinal properties of an infusion of heather tops were used to treat coughs, consumption and to soothe the nerves, and heather tea and ointments were used to treat arthritis and rheumatism. ‘moorland tea’ made from heather flowers, was reputed to be a favourite of robert burns. the soporific aroma from the dried flowers was also put to use to make heather mattresses, by packing long lengths of dried, flowering heather together in the bed frame, flowers uppermost and leaning slightly towards the bed head…’ (paul kendall)

в этом году мама собрала чуть больше вереска, чем обычно и поэтому сложились такие наборы: вереск в чай, мешочек из старинного хлопка с розовыми полянами (мама их сшила тоже на озере!) и две открытки с веточкой вереска. его можно заваривать отдельно, а можно смешивать с другими травами или зеленым чаем и хранить в том мешочке. в эту осень к моей большой радости и удивлению люди выбирали дома на камнях, больше, чем обычно и с домами вместе часто упаковывала вереск. берег онежского озера, где собирали камни, совсем близко к лесу, который подарил нам вереск!

и вот ещё страницы из этой хорошей карманной книги валентины астаховой ‘клады на болотах’ 1976 года.



lupine is my first floral childhood memory.. it’s pungent scent brings me back to my hometown, suojärvi. i still remember where all the wild patches around the neighbourhood were, where we were trying to find the rare ones – in pink. i’ve grown and some days i am feeling myself like miss rumphius (barbara cooney).. so here is a heartfelt part from this book and few watercolors (postcards are here!) from one summer ago.

‘lupines,’ said miss rumphius with satisfaction, ‘i have always loved lupines the best, i wish i could plant more seeds this summer so that i could have still more flowers next year.’

but she was not able to.

after a hard winter spring came. miss rumphius was feeling much better. now she could cake walks again. One afternoon she started to go up and over the hill, where she had not been in a long time.

‘i don’t believe my eyes!’ she cried when she got to the top. for there on the other side of the hill was a large patch of blue and purple and rose-colored lupines!

‘it was the wind,’ she said as she knelt in delight. ‘it was the wind that brought the seeds from my garden here! and the birds must have helped!’

then miss rumphius had a wonderful idea!

she hurried home and got out her seed catalogues . she sent off to the very best seed house for five bushels of lupine seed.

all that summer miss rumphius, her pockets full of seeds, wandered over fields and headlands, sowing lupines. she scattered seeds along the highways and down the country lanes. she flung handfuls of them around the schoolhouse and back of the church. she tossed them into hollows and along stone walls.

her back didn’t hurt her any more at all.

now some people called her that crazy old lady.

the next spring there were lupines everywhere. fields and hillsides were covered with blue and purple and rose-colored flowers. they bloomed along the highways and down the lanes. bright patches lay around the schoolhouse and back of the church. down in the hollows and along the stone walls grew the beautiful flowers…

three strong and tall candles! not only because of their shape, but the whole waxy structure. northern candles they are, burning dimly…



some dark violet purple ones.


some tricks with leaves. double leaf, unfurling leaf, just leaves like palm trees…

люпины – мои первые цветочные детские воспоминания. не выбирая любимого цветка, так получилось, что сиреневый люпин, именно дикий сине-сиреневый люпин стал моим главным цветком. его аромат, такой терпкий, даже резкий, и узнаваемый, часто можно почувствовать издалека, как можно почувствовать земляничную поляну. вдоль железной дороги, по дороге на озеро, на склоне у библиотеки…

home-dried hoshi-gaki

one month ago i started stringing persimmons on the drape runner and this third curtain in the setting of two linen ones is still growing. it’s the perfect spot above the heater and aside from a slightly open window. usually we have up to three dozen of persimmons there. from time to time they need a gentle massage. i call them festive garlands as they are the most beautiful and tasty decorations ever. an ancient delicacy. three autumns ago, after watching the ‘little forest’ (リトル フォレスト ), it has become our tradition.

we do not have hachiya (蜂屋柿) variety here, but large azerbaijani acorn-shaped persimmons are just perfect for such occasion. they have plenty of tannin, too and all the stringency only after one month transforms into heavenly honey sweetness. i am enjoying one right now! here are some slices from our first pair of hoshi-gaki. shaped like a paw (ah!), some alvar aalto creation and, of course, a heart. there is always a heart…

sometimes i want to go deeper and read something scientific and connect some dots with my own thoughts and speculations: ‘the fact that the tannin in persimmons becomes highly localized during the process of ripening was pointed out by the japanese investigator aso in I900 (a physiological function of oxydase in kaki-fruit. bot. mag. tokyoI4: 179. I900). he calls the cells ‘tannin sacs’, but all he mentions concerning them is that the tannin is stored in large cells, and he accredits its deposition largely to the action of an oxydase…’ now, when buying unripe and solid persimmon i am seeing these long tannin cells concentrating, then sealing themselves, lurking, restoring.

i am using thick linen thread, looping it first to insert the stem and learning new japanese expressions from the kaki-world… tsurushi-gaki (吊るし柿) – a sight of stringed persimmons and kaki-sudare (柿簾) – more like a screen or a mat or a curtain of persimmons, probably i would call that our composition at home. shibu-gaki (渋柿) – tart persimmon, the one you will peel and hang to dry…

давно было пора посвятить этой традиции отдельную главу. хошигаки, сушеная прекрасная хурма, больше вяленая, после одного месяца под карнизом у нас в комнате. теплая батарея снизу и приоткрытое окно сбоку. в этот раз они особенно вкусные. это азербайджанские, очень похожие на японский сорт хурмы хачиа (хачия) по форме и размеру, с острыми носиками. очень вяжущие, прямо как нужно. при сушке они все темнеют, оставляя яркие кончики. без белого сахарного налета, но с благородным матовым блеском. они намного слаще сахара, кажется!