Growth – My First Anniversary of Blogging

Growth drawingI you are into gardening you know that to stimulate growth, a shrub needs to be pruned.  A plant subjected to stress is stimulated to flower.

Originally my intent for this blog was solely to promote my artwork.  The events of this last year changed all that.  After the 2016 election, I was devastated. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in February.  My father passed away in May.  Disasters, man-made and natural, plagued my psyche.  I became blocked as a visual artist.  Then, I put promotion aside and began to write poetry and began my blog .

When I signed up for WordPress I wasn’t expecting more than just a platform to just plunk things online.  I found community, I found like-minded people all over the world.  I found hope, motivation, & inspiration.  I’ve grown as a writer and as a blogger. Two of my poems have been selected for publication.  There are followers on my blog and I follow the blogging journeys of others.  Finally,  It’s taken me a year but I have finally shed my fear and have started to create with heart again.

In the darkness I have grown. Through hard times, I have begun to flower.

Growth

Summer of Love 50 Years Later

img_1511.jpgLast week the latest AARP magazine (a magazine for the 50+ set) arrived in our mail box complete with a Peter Max Cover.  It was a celebratory issue of the 50 year anniversary of the Summer of Love 1967.  I was woodstock-art-568933_1920stunned.  Could it have been that long ago when I was an awkward teenager in the Bay Area of San Francisco trying to find my way?  It was a time of great excitement & energy that perhaps the youth could change the world for the better.  “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was the motto.  I am in my 60’s now.  Where did it all go?

 

50th ANNIVERSARY

It was post war

I mean the Second World War

My white generation made its appearance

With the “Leave it to Beaver” show & Betty Crocker

We were entertained by black & white TV

Glued to the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings

While eating red jello for dessert

 

It was a coming of age to weed, flower children, Rock & Roll, the Beatles

Rose colored glasses, Woodstock, tie dye, bell bottoms

Long hair, the Vietnam War, anti-war demonstrations, peace-love

Free love, Women’s Lib, anti-establishment

Back-to-the-land, and Save-the-Earth passion

 

Where did it all go?

Lost in this world of capitalism and intolerance?

We have blended into the mix of other generations

A thin strata of history

The idealism disappearing with the passing of years

 

Now, lost in a sea of gray hair

I strain to hear those hopeful voices I once knew

Above the din of racism and selfishness

Where did it all go?

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary

Of the Summer of Love

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Perspective From a Creative Eddy

IMG_1416The studio is cleaned and I am occupying myself with small tasks
IMG_1418 that have gone by the wayside in favor of loftier goals.  That would include painting my hallway, mending, making greeting cards, and doing a bit of experimentation with using my slab roller (for clay) as a printing press.

eddies1
photo courtesy empiricalzeal.com 

Taking stock of my situation, I am in a creative “eddy.” As a kayaker, I find that the sport and rivers offer so many metaphors for life.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, eddy, it is “ a circular movement of water, counter to the main current, causing a small whirlpool”.  You find these on the back side of rocks or behind a point that extends out into a river.  Sometimes you get sucked into them inadvertently, and other times you purposely “eddy-out” to get out of the flow of the river to rest and regroup
Continue reading “Perspective From a Creative Eddy”

Evidence

cave-paintig-490205_1920Some of my favorite art is the cave paintings from Paleolithic times or the rock paintings from ancient Native Americans & Australian Aborigines.  There is an ongoing debate about the purpose of this primitive type of art.  I believe it was about story telling or merely leaving evidence of their existence, much like tracks.  These images were made to be viewed by other people.  A simple hand print on a wall is powerful. It says “I was here.”rock-art-375225_1920

When I ask the question to myself, will my art have a lasting impact on the world?  The fact that I wrote or made is enough.  It proves that I

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Horse & Raven
Horse & Raven

was here.  It tells part of my story, of my experience on this earth. Fame is not in my destiny but evidence will be. It is part of me I leave. If someone happens to connect with my work, I am most fulfilled. 

I got this off Austin Kleon’s blog that inspired this post.  His take on the subject is worth a visit.  Keep on keeping on…….img_4441-768x614

 

 

Return

Travel… many write about their journeys to far flung places but what about the return?  IMG_1379How does one re-enter gracefully after days from home and hours in transit?  Last night I returned from a week in Alaska on the heels of a three-week trip to Ireland and tried to get my bearings.

RETURN

When I  opened the door

It was like revisiting a book I had set aside

Trying to remember the plot and the main character,

Myself, and my part in the story

Everything familiar

Yet strange

Piles of unopened mail, weeds in the garden

A routine obscured by recent memories

How do I continue in my role?

Do I rewrite my destiny or carry on as it was written?

I lay down on the couch exhausted,

Wrapping my arms around the soft, safe fur of my dog

And slept.

 

Departure 

I don’t know how you experienced travelers do it. For me to leave on any trip is a challenge, let alone an overseas trip. Here is a glimpse of my reality. The good news is, I am finally here my printmaking workshop at the Ballinglen Art Center, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland.


It all started with an idea 

manifesting

to a penciled entry on my calendar

Later changing to ink.

As the date drew closer and closer

Loose ends started appearing everywhere

Coming out of crevices

I didn’t know existed.

I tripped repeatedly over them

And as one grabbed my ankle

I fell into a vortex

Of whirling procrastination.

Round and round I went

Until I grabbed the

Dangling loose ends

Pulled myself up

Then tied them all together in a tight knot.

I finished gathering all my belongings

And left.

Breathless, I found my seat, buckled up

And sighed with relief.

The door closed

We taxied and took off.

Peering below were a few more loose ends

Shrinking in the distance

Gyrating like frustrated cobras

Trying to bite me.

But it was too late

I was off.
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The Penultimate Travelers- the Furred, Feathered, and Finned

Travel for humans, for the most part, is a lifestyle choice.  We travel the earth to seek &fall experience, new destinations that pull on our hearts.  But humans aren’t the only travelers on this planet.  When it comes down to it, we are totally put to shame by those in the animal world where travel is mandatory.  For many, the mysterious urge of migration calls some of the earth’s smallest inhabitants to take journeys unfathomable to our minds.arctic-tern-1249243_1920

  • Consider the Arctic Tern who flies from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back every year.  Monarch butterflies fly thousands of miles through several generations from regions throughout Canada to one small mountaintop in Mexico to spend the winter.  Pacific salmonsalmon-273062_1920 are born in mountain streams and swim down to the open ocean only to return years later.  They travel the hundreds of miles to that very spot where they hatched, to reproduce, & subsequently die.  The pull of migration affects tiny hummingbirds, whales, caribou, wildebeest & many other species too numerous to name.

butterflies-807551_1920As a trained naturalist, and as I ponder my own motivations for travel,  I wonder what it must be like for one of these creatures when one day, they wake up and its time for them to leave?  What do they experience when often they must depart the only place they have every known to embark on an unfathomable journey of such physical magnitude?

I wrote this poem thinking of a bird during its first migration & what it might be like….

 

 FIRST MIGRATION

A sliver of a moon

Shimmered off my left shoulder

As we pumped our wings

Rhythmically, silently

Through the darkness of the frigid night.

The urge unexplained

Tugged on my soul

& led me onward, North

Guided by stars

And the pull of the earth.

leaving the familiar behind

An unknown destiny awaiting.

I revel in the freedom of flight

Trusting the whispers from deep within

I follow the others to a foreign land

On a course mapped by generations before me.

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