In a Vase on Monday: the Ink is Black, the Page is White

The ink is black
The page is white
Together we learn to read and write
A child is black
A child is white
A whole world looks upon the sight
A beautiful sight

I unexpectedly noticed the delicious looking berries of  Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ last week and immediately visualised them in a vase with the contrasting white berries of the ‘devil’s plant’ Symphoricarpos albus. Once picked, I couldn’t keep the lyrics of  ‘The ink is black‘ from going round and round in my head,  hence the title; after choosing the background colour, however, these thoughts were replaced by the joke ‘What’s black and white and red all over?’ (a book/newspaper), but that potential title will have to wait for another vase.

The reference to writing made the choice of vase and prop easy – a little glass inkwell and vintage fountain pen. I am sure the pen is very similar to those I used in my early days at school, which I clearly remember being in a marbled shade of early plastic (makes me sound ancient but the pens had probably been around far longer than I had); sadly I never ended up with the shade I coveted, nor the opportunity to be ink monitor and pour ink into the inkwells of my classmates…

I am sure most people have other things to do today rather than finding something to pop into a vase or reading about other people popping things into vases, but for those who do visit IAVOM today may I wish you peace and joy as we move towards the end of this year and on to the unknowns of 2020.

ps I suspect the ‘glowing’ snowberries are due to a dirty camera lens and not some strange phosphorescent phenomenon of symphoricarpos


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49 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: the Ink is Black, the Page is White

  1. I too remember those steel tipped pens and inkwells! A wonderful poem for a world riven by conflict.
    A very Happy Christmas and a wonderful growing 2020.

  2. Heyjude says:

    What lovely lyrics. Wishing you all the best and happy growing in 2020 💐

  3. pbmgarden says:

    That’s really getting a jump on things to plan next week’s arrangement a week ahead. Certainly works well. The berries are effective. I recognized the lyrics but in my head I too immediately jumped to the joke you quoted! Hope you have wonderful holidays Cathy. Thanks so much for hosting each week.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that’s just me, Susie, combining Christmas and New Year in my head, forgetting that next week’s IAVOM is still in 2019 – so not clever at all!

      • pbmgarden says:

        Oh, I was referring to your having noticed the berries last week and come up with the purple and white combination at that time. 😄

        • Cathy says:

          Oh, I see! 😀 It’s so easy to combine thoughts of Christmas and New Year into one’s planning, forgetting sometines there is a week between them

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy IAVOM.

  5. the running wave says:

    Happy Christmas Cathy, and I think your message with your vase is brilliant, especially at this time of year! I am really Christmassy today and with my vase comes all good wishes for a very happy and peaceful Christmas time. Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      It wasn’t really meant to be a message, Amanda, although I could have focussed on an equality issue if I had included all the lyrics 😉 Off to see your Christmassy vase now…

  6. I like the photo effect from the snowberries, it is nice to see Ophiopogon berries contrast with them. I could never deal with that pen and ink thing. I am betting your penmanship is beautiful from being taught that way. I never see inkwells here but I always covet the ones I see IAVOM. Happy Christmas and Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – we didn’t have a choice of implement back then (late 50s early 60s) and insufficiently neat handwriting was the only thing I ever got punished for at school, and regularly so!

  7. bcparkison says:

    I have a hard time writing with a pen like this. Those who do well have a talent .

    • Cathy says:

      Wouldn’t dream of it these days although in early adulthood I enjoyed using a proper fountain pen – now I like the Pilot real ink rollerball pens

  8. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: Merry Christmas / Frohe Weihnachten – Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  9. Annette says:

    Exceptional as always, Cathy, your creativity knows no bounds. I like snowberries, we used to make them ‘pop’ on the way to school when I was a kid. Didn’t think I’d be able to make it today but here comes my xmas contribution: Happy Christmas toy ou both xx

  10. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: the returning of the light | acoastalplot

  11. Sam says:

    I had lots of other things to do today but didn’t want to miss the opportunity to join you, Cathy! Here’s my post:
    Compliments of the season to you both 🙂 x

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Skin-tight jeans! | Frogend dweller's Blog

  13. Interesting and beautiful! Happy Holidays!

  14. Clever and effective. I love it! Happy Christmas Cathy.
    Here’s my post:

  15. Kris P says:

    A nice study in contrasts, Cathy! I lost track of the morning and almost forgot to hook up but here’s my post:

    Merry Christmas!

  16. alison41 says:

    Loved the pics and the little verse. Wishing you a healthy & happy 2020 – may your garden bloom beautifully!

  17. Anna says:

    Oh I like those contrasting berries Cathy and reminiscences of fountain pens and inkwells. I have vivid memories of knocking a full bottle of ink over one of the best table cloths at home when I was doing my homework one evening. Sadly my vase plans for today were nipped firmly in the bud as it were. Peace and joy to you too and to The Golfer xxx

    • Cathy says:

      Thank Anna – as soon as I saw the black berries I knew what needed to accompany them. Crikey, you must have been devastated at your Big Ink Incident – hope your Mum was understanding… Best wishes to both of you

  18. Chloris says:

    Creative as ever Cathy. Oh gosh, those pens and inkwells and the trouble you got into if you had blots on your work. I always did. I never got to be ink monitor either. It’s just as well, I managed to get ink everywhere anyway. Happy Christmas to you and the Golfer.

  19. Cathy I love berries and the contrast of colors. The poem is wonderful. The ink pen is divine and is lovely. I wish you a Merry Christmas full of peace and good memories. With much love Greetings from Margarita.

  20. Noelle says:

    Another well crafted post….Best wishes to you and the Golfer and family. Thanks for keeping us all going. Noelle x

  21. Pingback: Happy Christmas 2019! | Words and Herbs

  22. Cathy says:

    Very pretty. And your props/title are as always quite fitting! Wishing you a very Happy Christmas. I am late, but also have a quick post for Christmas with a vase, here:
    Thanks Cathy! xx

  23. tonytomeo says:

    ‘Devil’s plant’?! Oh my! I never heard of it like that. I now it only as snowberry. It grows wild here. It is not a very impressive plant, but the berries are nice, especially since white is my favorite color. Years ago, I grew a few black flowers, such as pansies and bearded iris, and made a point of pairing them with their white counterparts. I am not sure if the black made the white look prettier, or if the white made the black look prettier. I would like to graft albino redwood onto other redwood trees so that I would have a source of white foliage closer than where the albino foliage grows.

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