more pictures than you can shake a (blooming) stick at
My enjoyment of my first sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan has been dampened a bit by the fact that I seem to be allergic to them. I had a mild sinus headache lurking in the background for a week or so, and then all of a sudden one afternoon (after spending the morning in the park taking birthday portraits of Jackson) it exploded into something very similar to a migraine - I literally had to take a Zofran (left over from my bout with H1N1) to stop the headache-induced nausea. The next day, I was fine - until I went outside. Bam - another killer headache. That's when I remembered that back in my Philly days, I used to get sick during the spring. I used to get sick all the time, so that isn't really saying much, but I remember this one time that I bought a bouquet of all my favorite flowers at the corner store, and the whole week that they were in my apartment, my nose was too stuffy to be able to smell them. That's when I started to suspect that I was allergic to either cherry blossoms or oriental lilies. Well, I carried oriental lilies in my wedding with no problem; and now during cherry blossom season, I'm getting headaches that could slay a dragon. I think the mystery has been solved.
Well anyway, I started taking a Claritin every morning and I'm back to the nagging background sinus pain. It's annoying but at least I'm able to function.
Despite all this, I'm still enjoying the beauty. The blossoms peaked a few days ago - Saturday, actually. It was the first truly gorgeous day we've had so far this spring, and I'd been planning on taking the train to Kamakura anyway. I'm SO glad I took the risk and took the boys somewhere by myself. (It helped that it was somewhere that we've been a few times before!) We had ice cream, I had a McDonald's shrimp burger for dinner (always a day-maker), and I got a lot of cool shots with my Lensbaby.
Today, Brandon's preschool class took a field trip to the park to take their class picture. The stage the blossoms are at now is my personal favorite: when the slightest breeze sends them floating through the air and they start to cover the ground like some kind of magical flower snow.
If it hadn't been such a tiring field trip, I would've brought the boys back out to the park after school to take another round of portraits. But by the time we all headed back to the preschool from the playground and the picnic lunch, almost every single one of those kids was half asleep on their feet, including (and especially) mine. I guess I should have gone anyway, because there's rain in the forecast tomorrow. Again. Ugh.
Despite what that series of Lensbaby photos might lead you to believe, the vast majority of the pictures I've taken in the past couple of weeks have been closeups of cherry blossoms - some with the Lensbaby, some with my absolutely superb 50mm macro lens. Here's a few of my favorites, but just a few, because even I don't have the patience to look through all of them again right now.
I kind of wish the sweet spot on this one had come out sharper, but it's hard to manual-focus on something while your 2-year-old is trying to push you out of the way to grab said object.
I'm having trouble thinking of a good way to wrap this up. Let me fall back on what I learned in first-year writing. In conclusion, I have taken many pretty pictures of cherry blossoms ("sakura") this year, despite the evil, evil pain that they cause in my head. I expect that I will take many more pictures as they continue to fade, and that I will take pretty much exactly the same pictures again next year, although hopefully with better weather and therefore better lighting. The end.
I believe that women's lib means I can live however I choose - even if that means staying at home, baking cookies from scratch and knitting baby booties all the livelong day. I believe that discriminating against anyone based on their color is racism - even if they're white. I believe that the bad auditions on American Idol are the end result of twenty years of focusing on self esteem - "you are perfect no matter what" - piled on top of a century of growing up consuming music rather than making it together as a family. I believe the children are our future. I believe in miracles. I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.