The Delightful Disorganization of the Crape Myrtle

In spite of my raging perfectionism, I ascribe to the notion that things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Dropped, broken, scattered, random – these are the things that catch my attention and give me inspiration. I like a clean, well-composed editorial photo as much as anyone, but life won’t always let you editorialize it. Sometimes it just is what it is, and there’s the real, right there in front of you, and you’ve got to do anything you can to take it home with you.

(I suppose this is what I get for learning photography on the fly, at weddings where it is swim-or-else.)

I don’t generally like crape myrtle (only in the winter after the blooms have gone), but there is a particular crape myrtle in the yard at the end of our street that I have been watching since last spring. It’s got smaller blossoms that some of the more flamboyant crape myrtles in Charleston, and they’re scattered more at random through the tree than the organized blooms on the other trees. It’s been teasing me for over a year to take its picture, but I’ve been so busy…

Finally on Saturday, I had enough. We got home from our second outing of the day, and I walked down the street with my camera, trespassed on my neighbor’s yard (with a cop and his radar down the street, no less!), and shot the gorgeous heck out of that wild-and-random thing.

I’m pretty sure that I was supposed to take these pictures in my busy time, that I was supposed to let my editorial “plan” to shoot it go and just take that tree where I found it. “Let go of perfection,” it seemed to be telling me. “You love this crazy.”

And at 95 degrees with a heat index of 109 and thunder rolling in from the distance, I didn’t have time or energy to argue.

And besides. The tree was right.

8 thoughts on “The Delightful Disorganization of the Crape Myrtle

  1. Megan Willome

    I love crepe myrtles because when it’s 100+ degrees for two straight months, it’s the only thing that stays in bloom. Sort of like a pretty roach–you can’t kill it.

  2. Danielle

    Love this. I actually love crape myrtle and want some for my yard! I’ve been admiring other people’s for days, so it’s funny this post should pop up now!

  3. LoraLynn

    So pretty. We’ve got crepe myrtles all over the place here. You’re welcome to come visit and photograph them any time you want. ;-)