When I saw the prompt for this week’s photo challenge, my first thought was ‘Easy!’. My life and experiences seem unlikely to me – as everyone’s would, if we only spared time to think about it. Photographically, I would have said I notice the unlikely. So why is it that looking through my pictures, I can’t find anything unlikely? Not really. [The truth is, everything is just as likely as it is unlikely, given the nature of the world and recent conjectures about it. Don’t blame me for the wooziness of that statement, blame the late, lamented Stephen Hawking.]
I seem to hear someone object “What’s unlikely about this? The mermaid isn’t real. Were she real, I’d hand it to you.”
OK, I know this isn’t really an underwater garden, just an impression of one in the corner of a real garden. A collection of containers, garden art, natural objects, plants, structures and vines have all been co-opted to create a garden vignette.
The fence paint mimics the blue ocean. A curtain of mother-of-pearl disks and diamonds gives the effect of water or bubbles or whatever home decor a mermaid might have. The mother-in-law’s tongue recreates seaweed fronds; the starry succulents, huge, sprawly starfish. The opulent seashell arch? Perhaps all mermaids have them.
Whether it is unlikely or not, I’ll leave you to decide. I’d have thought so once, but everything you see pushes at the edges of your tolerances and expectations – something seen can never be unseen.
Now, in my version of the surreal world we all share, a mock underwater mermaid garden is just as likely as a birdhouse garden, or Chihuly’s Garden and Glass, Seattle or The House of Their Dreams… looking out into my sweetheart’s leafy, birdsong-filled garden is pretty surreal too.
Likely or unlikely, the mermaid’s undersea garden strikes me as wonderful, in every meaning of the word. I’ll tip my hat in celebration of the wit and creativity of the gardener who dreamed it up, Lucinda Hutson, and I’ll usher you away, back to your form of reality, allowing just a lingering backwards look at Lucinda’s purple house, vine-covered garden gate and fish and cactus-topped wall.