Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why All The Glitter In Our World

COBWEBS DANGLING on branches and dripping with moisture came to life during my walk in Crescent Beach recently.

When rays from the sun pierced through the morning mist dewdrops brightened suddenly like diamonds.

But when I came home and saw the pictures that I took ...

the images looked pale in comparison and I wondered why I had been so charmed by the real thing earlier.

As the world turns so does the turmoil in it. Amid the chaos a bit of sparkle can feel like an unexpected gift and suggest something wonderful can happen despite our problems.

They say imitation is a form of flattery. We honour these manifestations of nature by trying to duplicate them, whether by sewing sequins onto dresses or dabbing glitter on festive dolls or greeting cards. I like to put glitter on my handcrafted Penelope cards.

I saw lots of glitz on the Christmas ornaments displayed at a store I visited later. The decorations reminded me of the Crescent Beach scenes.

Why are so many of us drawn to sequins and glass baubles? Are we on a quest to grasp an ethereal spark or is something else going on? In search of clues I stumbled on interesting genetic explanations in an essay by Casey.

We bring faux snow into the comforts of home ... glad not to feel the genuine cold in our staged wonderlands. This is the season when city streets also overflow with shimmering objects.

I think most people in the "wet coast" find themselves thrust into a dream world of glitter during the lit-up holidays. It is as cheering as the sun breaking through the veil of fog that lingers in coastal BC from autumn to winter.

As elating as such sights can be perception is no doubt the key to how profoundly we experience these moments and how faint a spark is needed to light up the imagination. Perhaps it is the way Anais Nin described when she said: "We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."

Although I have always liked the mysterious gray, for a time the twinkling elements of nature, both real and artificial, conspired to carry me away like a fairytale princess from the gloom of the day.

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Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. I know what you mean about sometimes feeling that looking at something is more magical than what I download but I think your captures are wonderful. The web is fantastic and all the shots have a magical feel.

  2. This post reflects your thoughtfulness as ever, Penelope. Nothing is so moving than the nature’s manifestation. The mystery of nature could never be presented through description or man-made things including arts, though it could only be suggested, and the simpler the suggestion, the greater its effectiveness. Despite this traditional Japanese idea, I was moved by your photo of the cobweb with droplets. I wish I could take the photos like yours myself!

  3. Your photos of both natural and artificial glitter are lovely, Penelope, and your investigative research fascinating. I read Casey's essay and the light bulb went on for me. When watching birds, my greatest pleasure is to catch a shine in their eye(s). I think it may be an unconscious desire to connect, even for a moment or two, with a being that can fly. I must add, though, that your "mysterious gray" photo also felt magical. In the end, as your last paragraph implied, we come back enriched after momentary flights to enchanted worlds.

  4. Hello!
    Very beautiful and interesting photo!
    Beautiful and interesting blog. Oh, now approaching Christmas.
    Fantastic scenery. I come from Carver!
    I send greetings

  5. I think that the gliter and sparkle are there to chase away the darkening afternoons, the light that reaches too deeply into our souls this time of year.

    When spring comes and a longer light we no longer crave those sparkly beacons..

    Your photos make me homesick to be able to walk through the parks, the beach, to smell the water..


  6. I love that quote from Anais Nin. It's so true!

  7. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. Whoa..gorgeous photos! I love that spider web!

  9. I love spotting sparkles in nature and looking for the wonderful little surprises which seem to be there each day.

  10. I, too, love the quote from Anais Nin -- one of my favorites and so true! Really beautiful captures for the day, Penelope! Thanks for sharing the sparkles on this very gray and rainy, cold day in Seattle!! Have a wonderful week!

  11. Lovely series of photos, especially the last one. It's great to meet another Canadian blogger, especially one that lives in my favourite part of Canada. I'm visiting from Our World Tuesday.

  12. Oh the wonders of Christmas and winter snow scenes. On a dark and dismal day when natural light has deserted us for a while, nothing gives me greater pleasure then the sparkle from twinkling lights adorning the numerous Christmas trees in gardens and shop windows.

  13. Wonderful post ..... viewing nature thru our eyes is the very best we can hope for .... capturing it with our camera is second. I think you've done a lovely job capturing it with yours.

  14. Great post, Penelope! You probably have heard (good) people being compared to sheep - they can't help but follow:):)As long as it's a little glitter, I'm fine!

  15. I'm a sucker for glitter and sparkle, although I'm always more excited when it is natural, because I know it's ephemeral. best of all is when light strikes a dewdrop and sends out just one pure colour after another - red, then blue, then green...All but impossible to photograph, because it depends on the exact angle of the light of course

  16. Hi penelope,
    Like Jenny, I am a sucker for glitter and sparkle, especially shining raindrops or drops of dew. Sometimes, their shinning is so subtle that it is difficult to catch them by a camera. And I am amazed with a wonder of nature because there is none of the same unlike the artificial ones.
    Thanks a lot for your very interesting blog giving me a good chance to think over it.
    Have a great day.

  17. We need all that glitter with the shorter days of daylight. I some how missed your post altogether. I have removed that visitors thingy on my blog as it was a problematic bug. Hope all is well with you!

  18. A lovely post, indeed. Glitter has its place, but I do enjoy the subtlety to be found in life's natural hues. And I did like Jen's true...:)


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