So here I sit, thinking of you, a bit distracted by everything going on around me, but never without you in my heart.
There are so many things blooming before my eyes, moments and thoughts and memories, that I don't want to miss. I search for words that I can share, because according to poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, "Words will have a bigger life if you share them." So here I sit, thinking and watching for all the glorious moments that present themselves before me. The beauty of the very simplest things in life distract and fill me...calming of candlelight, the idea of poems stuck inside linen pockets, birds at my feeders, good reads, quotes, daydreams, landscapes, small little objects handsewn into beautiful images of children's dresses, purposeful pauses, hand-sculpted animals that suggest tenderness and sensibility, and words, everywhere, that describe an awareness of seeing and listening . I love "Tuesdays" because of the wonderfully talented and inspiring women who show up.
Pages in my journals fill up, like life on a busy day, sometimes more quickly than I can process. If I am lucky, I can return to them to reflect.
Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet who celebrates life in the simple everyday occurrences. On Being host, Krista Tippett, interviews Nye for the podcast, Your Life is a Poem. Nye says, "I have always loved the gaps, the spaces between things as much as the things. I love staring, pondering, mulling, puttering. I love the times when someone or something is late - there's that rich possibility of noticing more, in the meantime...poetry calls us to pause. There is so much we overlook, while the abundance around us continues to shimmer, on its own."
Drawing small panoramic sketches may be a way to capture quick snippets of the tender moments that fill the gaps and the spaces in between.
"The beauty about going back to the same place over and over again is that you keep noticing something new. The place is inexhaustible." - Michael Longley
Krista Tippett interviews Irish poet, Michael Longley, on The Vitality of Ordinary Things. It resonates deeply within me, having only just, for the very first time, stopped to witness how the leaves of the old Black Oak, on this very day, were tiny and pink, like a thousand newborn babies hanging from its branches. In contemplation of letting go I've become so much more aware of soaking in every detail of every wakeful hour. There's a humbling compassion and kindness in paying attention.
Here's one stanza from the poem, Kindness, by Naomi Shihab Nye. Maybe you will decide to carry it inside your pocket.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.
After 22 years, we're moving from our farmhouse. It caught us off guard, with the sale of our home happening much more quickly than we anticipated. I'm not sure how I'm doing. I may not know until we drive away for the last time. I'm pausing more than ever. I feel like a human movie camera desperate to record every possible moment and memory I can. This was our last spring to watch the turning of the dormant fields, right before our eyes, into a lush rolling landscape of vibrant green, and our backyard Elm's new buds into young and malleable leaves, linked to the maturing of our fledgling young children into adults. As I purposefully clean out closets and drawers I have discovered a relief in letting things go. Old letters and words have comforted me by how lovingly we expressed ourselves and communicated with one another. Our love and values are embedded in so much more than our belongings. The comforting wisdom of words, not the material things reassured me. "Home is where our heart is."
Katrina Kenison from The Gift of an Ordinary Day wrote, "Watching, listening, learning, I begin to feel at ease where I am, come to know the language of the wind, and the daily path of the summer sun, the proximity of the stars." In this short you tube Katrina reads a chapter from her book about the simpe memories that came and went and what a gift the ordianry days are.
The ordinary days and our families and love and values will always go with us.
"Silence is exhilarating at first - as noise is - but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep" - Edward Hoagland
A very talented and inspiring friend, Kim Allsopp, has been passionately creating beautiful work in a local ceramic studio. These enchanting animals perched atop grassy bases are some of her more recent pieces. My winged dog, that Kim made for me, sits on my desk, and reminds me of our beloved dog George, who was taken from us far too prematurely in his life.
We met at Castle Hill on Tuesday, May 8th, which also happened to be National Coconut Cream Pie Day! I was hoping to discover that it was National Tulip day because we specifically went there to paint tulips. The round rose garden was filled with every color imaginable. Huge thanks to Camilla and Nonie for encouraging us to gather up our journals and paints and head over to the castle Hill gardens.
Below is a sample of the variety of TUESDAYS creative work. My new hibiscus plants will travel with me when we move. Robin Sears paints beautiful flowers and gardens, and sweet animals that are detailed with layers of paints to create the realistic textures. Elizabeth West comments on her ocean painting as being a work in progress, but the colors of the water, with the clouds overhead, the softness of the dunes, and the shadows cast by the white umbrellas has a simplicity and calmness as is. Katrina Hart repurposes old items into jewelry. Below is a necklace she made using old credit cards. Susie Wilson paints on the go, sharing recent creations from Charleston. Sharing builds and maintains connections. Those will go with us.
Danny Gregory's Sketchbook Skool blog has good information. The most recent post, titled "You Are Not Alone" wonders whether solitude is really the key to creativity.
Check out the website for www.Susanahhowland.com. She is an artist and friend of Nonie’s, and her work is beautiful. When discussing learning about perspective in drawing, Susanah suggested the online learning forum called Skill Share.