I sat down over the weekend and got some painting done. Yay! I had started this portrait of my mother in black and white and messed with it.
I had the paint really heavy on her face at one point so I pressed a paper towel over it. It came out like a weird ghost.
That reminded me how much fun it really is to paint. I’ve got something else started which I hope to finish today. Here’s a sketch done on the first page of a new watercolor block which happens to be black.
And the same image filled in with some color.
All in all a pretty productive weekend. And still no sign of sun in Northern NJ.
The day is grey
along the way
I don’t know why
but somehow I
just feel like crying
The day is leaving
and it’s deceiving me
No one is near
to stop the fear
within me growing
That moments past
are all my last
without me knowing
The day’s been taken
and it’s forsaking me.
I wrote that song as a teenager caught in the aloneness and isolation of my adolescent angst. Self-indulgent? Yes. But that grey world was often very real to me. It seems strange that a young life so full of possibility would get caught in such a spiraling web of hopelessness.
Of course I’ve never stopped having my moments of self-doubt and gloom. I spent much of 2017 in an intense and draining state of anger at the world, for instance. But over the years I’ve learned to keep moving, always looking for an opening that leads out of that self-perpetuating labyrinth, one that can pull me into a place where I can reconnect with the world. Eventually, my vision clears; the color returns.
At the end of this
circular tunnel, a door–
the light welcomes me.
Sue Vincent’s photo prompt this week, above, reminded me immediately of that song I wrote at 16 or 17 (amazing that I still know all the words, right?).
And that I may have actually learned a thing or two between then and now.
Thank you Jaywalks for nominating us. Here are my answers to your questions:
Which one word describes your blog? Artistic
Is there a post you’re particularly proud of? I love bridges. I liked my drawings of the Williamsburg Bridge and others.
Any grand goals for the blog? I’d be happy if I could post more. I used to draw at work but can’t really do that at my new (corporate) job.
Thanks to Jaywalks for nominating us. Kerfe is the pulse of this blog and our driving force so I must thank her also.
Have a great weekend!
I Ask the Hoopoe Three Questions
In my dreams I am always traveling: as Joni says, “looking for something, what can it be?” My home is the stairway down to the subway, up to the train platform, watching the landscape moving beside the bus.
Here I am again, on the road…in the median I see the bird—huge, red crested, black and white striped wings. I step off the highway into the lush green.
Hoopoe is both real and mythical. It is associated with death, war, and disease, but also with purity, virtue and leadership. Sometimes it is a messenger between heaven and earth.
I like best the hoopoe in the Sufi story-poem, “The Conference of the Birds”.
What did you
find at the end of
Dark and light
intermingling inside your
eye? Do you know Crow?
I really did have this dream, and spent a few days online looking for the bird. I knew the hoopoe from the Sufi story, but I don’t think I knew what it really looked like. It’s a beauty! dVerse also had a prompt earlier in the week about hometowns, which was the starting point for my haibun .
And any excuse for some Joni Mitchell (I was at this concert).
Happy Draw-a Bird Day!
–A. A. Milne
The past holds the door with the moon on my wings
between now and before with the moon on my wings.
I look to the tree with the moon on my wings
for the power of three with the moon on my wings.
The threshold unfolding with the moon on my wings,
releasing and holding with the moon on my wings.
I look to the earth with the moon on my wings
for death and rebirth with the moon on my wings.
What will be has an end with the moon on my wings
that will fade and begin with the moon on my wings.
I look to the stones with the moon on my wings
to honor the bones with the moon on my wings.
Water that flows with the moon on my wings,
stillness that grows with the moon on my wings.
I look to the air with the moon on my wings
for what is not there with the moon on my wings.
On the spiral is spun with the moon on my wings
what belongs to no one with the moon on my wings.
I create and I heal with the moon on my wings,
I hide and reveal with the moon on my wings.
Do you know me by name with the moon on my wings?
I begin and remain with the moon on my wings.
My response to Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above. I used the ghazal form, which was a dVerse prompt last week. I had many false starts, which is why I missed the cut off to post it there. I just couldn’t find a rhythm.
The poem I ended up with sounded eerily familiar to me–like I had done something similar before. And I had–one of Jane Dougherty’s poetry prompts, for a ghazal, resulted in almost exactly the same format, and was also based in myth. “Mother of Winds”–you can see it here.
Another self portrait: from a photo of me at around age five (?). I had cut a chunk out of my bangs. I still chop off my hair sometimes when it gets too long and then have to get an emergency appointment with a professional.
I added a few things in the background that were iconic to me. The zither had sheets of music that you put under the strings and plucked the corresponding strings. The little jukebox (all busted up now) played a song when you put a penny in. The white horse was a piece I got at some junk shop; I remember my mother being amused that I spent my babysitting money on a little object like that. I had a happy childhood.
Here’s the zither and the little jukebox. The white horse is lost to history.
At the beginning of January, Jacob at Jaywalks nominated us for a Unique Blogger Award. I told him we would get to his questions eventually…
Which one word do you think best describes your blog? Eclectic
Is there a post you’re particularly proud of and would like to reshare?
I picked this one, “Dreaming is Free” because I love the painting that inspired it and it’s one of my favorite postcard fiction collages.
Have you any grand goals for your blog/practice this year?
This is a really apt question for me. I would like to learn to manage my time better, and find a balance between doing the blog and getting work done—not just my art, but all that I want and need to do in my life.
Thanks Jacob! You can enjoy his bursts of creativity here: https://onwardigo.wordpress.com/
Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge #15, “Freedom”, was posted way back in September. I liked the painting by Ilya Repin (below) so much that I did it twice. Above is the first response.
In the middle of the ocean
time fades into mystery
a journey illuminated
by movement translated into form.
What lies beneath this dream?