Thursday, November 29, 2012

I awakened this morning to pouring rain. When I looked out upon the lake, it looked like a small child was standing on a nearby dock. I got my binoculars to see if my eyes were fooling me. Indeed they were, as I gazed upon a large blue heron, standing stately and patiently looking out upon the lake, unbothered by the driving rain. His stillness was statuesque and meditative. I thought of the line we danced the prior week about the impatience of stone. How the heron stood seemly purposeful and purposeless simultaneously, but who am I to judge. I guess I watched with a sense of envy.  It also reminded me of the Mary Oliver poem I read yesterday from her new book A Thousand Mornings.

"This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself."

~ Mary Oliver

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


It has been over a month since I have felt moved to write. As I sit looking out the window, the water a still sheet of ice, reflecting its world, and the tree, framed by the picture window, a world unto itself, reveals a tree experiencing the changes of autumn. I too, find myself, once again, in my own personal autumn. The tree is almost barren, short of a few red leaves that remain, the color of the hummingbird food that stays untouched, yet hangs as it lies in wait. As the birds playfully and territorially tussle at my suet feeder, fueling up for their journey into winter, they shake the tree, almost imperceptibly, yet their movement sets one of the last leaves free to waft to the ground. It makes me feel sad as I watch this lone leaf make it's final, slow, graceful journey of the season, it's work done. There is no reason to hold on any longer. It no longer has a purpose and so it lets go. I hear the voice of my yoga teacher resonate in my head, "to have but not to hold". Once again, I am faced with the lesson that constantly visits me, how does one let go? How do you hold fast to the memories, the good times, let the sadness and the difficult times go, knowing that they have all served their purpose. Autumn is inevitable. My old friend/acupuncturist/massage therapist once told me that when you struggle in life, look to nature and the seasons for the answers. The tree outside my window now has one less leaf on it. It has a few more left to let go of. It can't be any other way.
These past weeks have felt like a huge wave I have named "aftermourning". It has felt almost more powerful than the original mourning process that I busied myself through when my mom died a year ago. I entered into the energy of Thanksgiving with a mixed array of emotions, and I now sit in solitude and solace that I feel grateful to be able to create for myself. Though I am not sure how to do it. I know that the aftermourning will always be with me, although it will morph and present itself in ever changing incarnations. I have felt so creatively stymied this past year. I reflect on it and see that I created only one sculpture that stands in my studio, unfired, unfinished with a crack at the umbilical cord. I have no need to fix it, it stands as it needs to. I did two large scale drawings and have not felt compelled to do an others just yet. I just finished another glass mosaic salvaged window. Aptly putting broken pieces of glass onto an old window to create something changed, new. I will polish it today and ready it for hanging on my porch. It will also help serve as a reminder that things break, things change, things can never be the same yet they can be put together in a new way, to create something with it's own beauty. You can see it and see through it, and it lets the sun illuminate it, even in the mostly dark days of winter. 
Memory... it is quite elusive, at times so close to your face that you cannot even focus on it, and at times memory is in a place, not necessarily of comfort, but in a place that we can settle in with it, and see it the way it presents itself, with a glimpse of clarity, at that moment, and that moment only. We can't even grasp it, as it is as fleeting as the birds who have knocked the spent leaf off the tree, to have but not to hold.