Friday, January 17, 2020

it's here

Hooray!
It's here!
That January feeling.
And only two weeks late.
I thought I had missed it somehow when Newness was being passed 'round.
I've always loved January possibilities.
Loved to feel afresh an urgency to paint and sew, quilt and write, sketch and bake.
To rifle through fabric and pull unfinished quilt tops out into the January light;
Gifts to my new self.
To reread books that claim they were Christmas gifts in 1992 and find them just as comforting.
To squint at recipes folded between flour speckled pages as garlic and ginger waft from a soup pot.
Hooray!
I might have missed the starters gun on January the first but I'm making a dash for it the same as always.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

I heard the bells

I have a favourite Christmas carol. It has been my favourite for so many years that I don't even remember beginning to love it. It is just part of Christmas for me.
I went to a tiny little church in a tiny little town when I was a child. The pastor was a passionate and theatrical man who loved to sing and maybe I first heard it sung there. Or maybe I learned it from the printed sheets that were doled out every December in school, hand over hand from desk to desk.
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day began life as a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was 1863, right in the middle of the Civil War which now that I think of it explains the pain and passion so palpable.
Nine years later a musician and composer named John Baptiste Calkin, set Longfellow's poem to music and it has 'rolled along th'unbroken song' ever since.

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th’unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Till, ringing, singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Monday, December 16, 2019

artist's portfolio

She looked very small sitting in the giant office chair.
She had scrolled and tapped until she sat gazing at an online tutorial. "How to draw a cup of Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows."
Taking a fresh piece of white paper and a pencil, she was soon seriously sketching and erasing.
All was going so well.
When her picture was finished, I was summoned to fetch felt pens and she began to outline as carefully as can be.
I love when my grandchildren are creating.
I was pondering the joy of it all when I heard a little voice cry out.
"I don't LIKE it!"
This was followed by a heartbreaking wail.
And then, "It didn't turn out the way I wanted."
Wails turned into sobs.
How strange that I was suddenly filled with inexplicable delight.
Delight?!
"Oh, you're and Artist!" I gasped.
"That is exactly how Artists feel many times," I added, thinking of the many times Artist's Angst has gripped me.
We soon had her picture taped to the window and a fresh piece of paper taped over it.
She carefully traced it and began again with the felt pens. I showed her how to keep the spots of light that were so important to her.
She colored it all in.
There is such happiness in pushing past the angst and finishing.
A giant manila envelope became her Artist's Portfolio.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

think I could

"Cut my pie into four pieces. I don't think I could eat eight." Yogi Berra

Thursday, November 7, 2019

arcanum somnum

I woke in dim early morning light, ascending slowly up from the depths of sleep.
I'd been dreaming;
One of those strange, long, complicated tales where things are both bizarre and familiar.
It occurred to me that my life is being reviewed while I sleep.
Bit and pieces and chunks of experience not deemed necessary for filing away, end up knee deep on the editing room floor.
And then, some impish sprite gathers them up willy nilly, splices them together and there it is, my dream in living color and surround sound;
A dream, flickering at the back of my eyelids like a strange indie movie with an obscure plot.
Arcanum somnum, mysterious sleep.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

their prime

Leaves are crisp and curled in November.
Maple red, Alder orange, Birch yellow.
But not the fern.
They are in their prime.
Lush and lacy green
 Catching the slanting sun of Autumn.

Thursday, October 24, 2019