Saturday, November 12, 2016

Build gardens. Not walls. Pt 4

Dear King Willem-Alexander,
In light of the recent events in my country, I am writing to you to inquire as to whether you might consider the creation of a new and very forward thinking position within your royal court; that of Royal Flower Photographer. It occurs to me that yours is a country filled with millions of hectares of rolling beauty and color, and that you might be willing to partake of my particular set of skills and extreme passion. Wouldn't it be nice for you to rekindle the Renaissance tradition of patronage of the arts during these tumultuous and unsettling modern times. As magnificent as Rembrandt and Vermeer were, I'm sure you would agree they did not do justice to your country's flowers. Flowers which lift our spirits and unify us while we celebrate their individuality, beauty and uniqueness...providing a metaphor for what is possible as a global community.
I wonder whether things here might have taken a decidedly different turn had someone...anyone... spoken of building gardens rather than walls. But sadly, hindsight gets us nowhere. And we must move here I stand contemplating safe haven in your beautiful country.
(As a brief aside: may I ask whether your famed windmills were more active given the fierce, gusty rhetoric that swept out of my country as the metaphorical dams (and more literal "dames") were burdened beyond measure and could not contain it all?)
I will await further instructions as to what additional credentials or letters of recommendation you may require of me.
I stand here committed to the role with high hopes of making the world that much more breathtakingly; or at the very least, your particularly beautiful corner of it.

Respectfully yours
Alan Wright Shapiro
Your humble (future?) servant.

#seekingasylum #fromthemadness #findingnewgardenstotripin #hollandorbust

Build gardens. Not walls. Pt 3

Dear President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
No doubt you have heard about recent events in my country and I am writing to you to see whom I might speak with in your government about a special project that would run approximately four years but result in a huge influx of new export trade for your country as well as an influx of tourism.
As a budding flower photographer, I have long since felt the Icelandic Poppy has not gotten the global attention it deserves when compared to other papavers like the headline-grabbing Papaver somniferum or the showy but incredibly shallow Papaver orientale (which bears a foreboding resemblance to our new leader when he is speaking loudly). My proposal is this: let's create an ongoing campaign celebrating the purity, strength and fortitude of your countries most awesome blossom, (not unlike your people i might add.) I see this campaign driving global export business for this cottage industry (Let's give Holland a little healthy competition) and see if we can't grow a tourist industry to come capture these beauties in addition to all the icebergs, ice flows and icicles. I know many of my friends seem to consider your country a home away from home but they are merely snowbirds compared to what I am suggesting.
Now you may be wondering "Alan, why would this take 4 years?" To that I say we must be thorough! As one who has personally spent great lengths of time translating Stephen King's works into your native Icelandic, I am sure you can appreciate the patience required. Not to mention the fjords to ford and glaciers to galavant over to document these magnificent creatures while talking to farmers, botanists and PR executives about the huge potential I see. What say you, Mr. President?
I look forward to your response

Alan Wright Shapiro
Icelandic Poppy Fanatic

#poppy #forpeaceandprosperity #notpoopheadswhogropepussy #lookinfornewplacestotripthrough #icelandorbust

Build gardens. Not walls. Pt 2

Dear President Pena Nieto,
It's been a rough few months for our countries' relationship, with all the talk of building walls, deportation and ending NAFTA. Dark and turbulent times are looming for us all. It is unfathomable to me that we can suggest such over-the-top (hint. hint.) isolationist acts particularly with one of our two closest neighbors.
   So here's a counterproposal: let's offer to build a ginormous garden. The world's largest and most succulent of gardens. Filled with species of all shapes, colors and political leanings. Yes there will be some thorns and barbs but that is to be expected. And we shall need tens of thousands of people from both our countries to plant, cultivate and weed this new place thus providing jobs in the most positive of work environments. After all; who doesn't love a beautiful garden particularly one that will run for 1,989 miles. Now here's where I come in...I would like to offer my services to you as the official photographer of our new NAFGA* proposition. I promise to exceed your every expectation and provide an unlimited supply of images for you to share as part of Mexico's ongoing Goodwill messaging (and perhaps as a metaphor for all the beauty that comes from your great country.) All I ask for in return is asylum, a small hacienda filled with some healing spirits (of the agave variety) and a weekly shipment of churros from El Moro. Simple enough, si?
   I have but one concern to share. While there will be a few poisonous creatures that roam our beautiful new garden, there will be but one particular snake whose venom and bite has the potential to do irreparable harm. The good news is that he will be taking up residence in our mid-Atlantic region and travels with such a large entourage that we can take precautions in advance.
   So, Señor Presidente Peña Nieto, what do you think? Shall we build a garden rather than a wall?

A centro, adentro!
Y Churros para todos.
Alan Wright Shapiro

*North American Free Garden Attraction

#buildgardensnotwalls #seekingasylum #fromtheasylum

Build gardens. Not walls. Pt 1

Dear President Hollande
I have long been a fan of lavender. Also of baguettes, foie gras, Les Miserables, Napoleans and Napolean as well as a vast assortment of fromage français. Also pommes frites about which I could wax poetic endlessly but that shall have to wait for a future discourse.
Today, I am wondering if there might be a hybrid position that would represent a win/win for both of us. I am nearly certain that I might be able to trace some lineage back to Henry IV (by way of Murray I, Ellis I, Morris VIII and Abe the Terrible) and have been wondering if there might be a place for a ceremonial and practical figurehead for the seemingly forgotten House of Bourbon. [Mmmmm…bourbon.] I say ceremonial because I will make a solemn commitment to celebrate and toast all things trés belle et trés beaux throughout your country on a daily basis. As for the practical side, it has been a long while since Monet’s time at Giverny and I fear your great museums needs some freshening up. To the end, I promise that a great part of my new position will be capturing the vast and varied numbers of spectacular flowers that your country produces. And not just lavender…oh no. (Although remind me to tell you of a skirmish I recently got into with some friends across your channel about English vs French Lavender. Pfffft…how ugly things turned around such a beautiful topic. Ahem…not unlike the foul stench that seems to hover over my country of late.)
I shall spend weeks on end with the Lilies, Gourdon and Iris Flowers that grow wild across your country. The Rosemary and Cacti Cours Saleya will bat their petalled eyelashes at me and blush as I capture their souls for all eternity. Then on to the myriad Multicolored Roses, Poinsettias, Sunflowers, Daffodils Gerberas, and Castile.
Sound like a plan?
If it helps my case, my many friends at the House of Coty will vouch for me.
I await your reply.
Passez une bonne journée
Alan Wright Shapiro

#seekingasylum #escapingtheasylum #buildgardensnotwalls #makelavendernotwar