XXIX The Lent Lily

'Tis spring; come out to ramble
The hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found.

And there’s the windflower chilly
With all the winds at play,
And there’s the Lenten lily
That has not long to stay
And dies on Easter day.

And since till girls go maying
You find the primrose still,
And find the windflower playing
With every wind at will,
But not the daffodil,

Bring baskets now, and sally
Upon the spring’s array,
And bear from hill and valley
The daffodil away
That dies on Easter day.

— A. E. Housman

Three Baked Goods Purveyors on Crimea

3 of 3, Nadia

I asked vendors at three sidewalk bakery stalls in Brighton Beach to share their opinions about the situation in Ukraine before the vote on Sunday. Nadia, who is originally from Russia, pictured here outside the Brighton Beach subway stop, serves pirozhki.

"There are many different opinions in Brighton Beach. It’s easy to go around and talk about politics. Brighton Beach lives in its own world."

Three Baked Goods Purveyors on Crimea

2 of 3, Vera

I asked vendors at three sidewalk bakery stalls in Brighton Beach to share their opinions about the situation in Ukraine before the vote on Sunday. Nadia, also from Ukraine, is seen here serving customers on Brighton Beach Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.

"You have to live harmoniously," she said. "That way, people could solve their problems by talking them throug hand there wouldn’t have to be war."

She believes that most, if not all, Ukrainians don’t have anything against Ukraine. She also believes, however, that they have the right to choose how they wish to live.

"What will happen? Only time will tell," Vera said.

Three Baked Goods Purveyors on Crimea

1 of 3, Aunt Luda

I asked vendors at three sidewalk bakery stalls in Brighton Beach to share their opinions about the situation in Ukraine before the vote on Sunday.

In this image, a woman who chose to be referred to as Aunt Luda retrieves a pirozhok, a fried bun traditional to Russian cuisine.

Aunt Luda, as she referred to herself, is from eastern Ukraine and still has a daughter and grandchildren living over there.
"Of course it is a very difficult question," she said, speaking about the political situation in Ukraine, "but this has happened in other countries: a referendum. I just want things to be well for everyone."

A patron came up to the stand and Luda asked if she agreed with her opinions. Upon learning that the patron was from western Ukraine, she said that she did not wish to speak about the topic because, “Western Ukraine is responsible for all this.”

"Spread the bubble love!"

This is a photo of a man named Ed that I met in Union Square. Ed told me that he recently lost his job and has taken to bubble blowing to pay the bills. He does it for the kids, with the hope of getting some donations so that he may continue his work.

I have been reading The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt. It is dense and I have not gotten halfway through in the nearly 4 months that I have been reading. Especially since moving to the city, the specter of falling asleep on the subway has proven to be a major obstacle to completing the book.

However, I have managed to consume a great deal of the book’s teachings on work and labor (I haven’t gotten to the part on action yet), and meeting and photographing Ed finally gave me an anchor for these ideas.

Work, according to Ms. Arendt, is the act of creating something permanent; an attempt by humans to somehow establish themselves in eternity. Painters, architects and legislators can all count themselves as workers.

Labor, on the other hand, is tied to the necessities of human existence. Those who participate in labor are doing so in order to sustain themselves as humans. They work to create nothing permanent. Whatever it is that they make is quickly consumed.

I think that making bubbles is probably tied firmly to the world of labor. There are few such vivid representations as a bubble being created and popping almost immediately. Especially bubbles of this size. Hardly created before they were destroyed, it made the one that managed to float across the square all the more satisfying.