Archive for March, 2013

IN BLOOM

March 29, 2013

Azalea and Wisteria in ConcertI am here to affirm

my world in bloom.

The obvious blooms declare the spring,

perfuming the air

attracting the senses.

They romance the eye

and the camera clicks.

Later we open a window and realize

what we have seen.

I am here to open windows

on a blooming world.

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Yet blooming can be as subtle as a dream,

as tender and mysterious

as a sigh,

or a tear that no one notices.

It can be a profound response

to changes that no one can see.

Blooming can be a secret thing

disguised as a flower.

Essence of Azalea

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Paper Doll Dancer

March 24, 2013

Paper Doll DancerThis dancer existed before she existed, from a time when I was doing paper cutouts for my Christmas tree. A plain white  sillouette, she livened my tree along with others in various poses. Lights gave them their glow… and even the illusion of movement.

She has been revived for an exhibit of paper dolls, planned by my friend, Diane Stevenson, to open at the Mary C. Okeefe Center on April 12, 2013. Many artists will participate.

This was a project that I had procrastinated about for some time. I don’t have much confidence as a painter, and I could barely imagine making costumes that would fit. It was something new, and I was much occupied with other things.

Paper Doll Dancer with My Hand 031 (768x1024) (2)When I finally faced the fact that it was now or never.  I took out the sillouette “en arabesque” (she was slightly bent out of shape from being sandwiched with the others between the covers of an old drawing paper pad). I straightened her carefully (She was definitely the one.), and traced her onto a sheet of very good watercolor paper. Then I went and had lunch.

The next day I pushed all my nervous doubts aside, filled a bowl with water, and opened my box of Prang paints. Once settled on my old “kneeling seat”…brush in hand, a strange calm came over me: a sense of belonging right where I was. My heart gave a sigh. I had been here before: Hadn’t I illustrated my “Blue Chair” book a few years back with considerable ease and pleasure. Yes… It had been a while. But the sweet familiarity of wetting the brush and mixing the paints brought me back…gave me courage for the task. Applying the brush to the contours of the young dancer, bringing some color into her pallor, seemed to liven her whole demeanor and – by so doing – enlivened mine. We were both revived by this process. We were one.

Paper Doll Dancer (Blue-green Dancing Dress) (799x1024) (2)For the first costume I kept it simple. A pretty little dancing dress, a small wisp of color and freedom that just might appeal to a young girl for whom dancing freely is the best sort of release.  As for me, I was feeling my way…still not quite secure enough to be more inventive. By the following day, my balletic past had asked to be honored. More detail would be required. By then I was up to the challenge. A tutu!

Paper Doll Tutu 040 (768x1024) (2)Alright…yes, I could draw and paint a tutu, could make it fit the slender torso of my dancer, find a way to make it less confining, less expecting of exactness. Oh! Brilliant idea! I would use the colors of the chakras to soften the rigid shape, add a playful note to a less than playful moment in my memory.  A flower for her hair brings to mind the Don Quixote pas de deux. But no fan, please…

After this I moved on to my liberation, when – thanks to Isadora Duncan, and the birth of my daughter – I left ballet behind me, and eventually discovered Airth: my dance of balance….my long time devotion to oneness with nature through uniting breath and movement.

Paper Doll Dancer, Airth Costume (768x1024) (2)Ahhh…comfort. Ahhh…ease of movement. Ahhh…freedom reflected by the flow of thin muslin…freedom based upon a strong sure torso practiced in the undulation at the core of all natural movement. I am nature, I am human nature. I am convinced that I am free to be me…and teach others the same. I perform and teach in equal measure, and they overlap. Airth was a long run…probably still running, though the outward expression has changed. Has evolved?

It is time to move on. The older woman, with a new kind of freedom in mind, flew to Paris. Her heart woke up in the city of lights; every step seemed a dance. She fell in love…with Paris, returning again and again. The older woman remembered the dream of her younger self, and wrote a novel in which Lily/Leif got to dance at the Paris Opera. L’Opera! I give you the last costume..now. Voila! La Danseuse en Paris.

Paper Doll Paris Outfit 037 (768x1024) (2)

ZOOMING IN

March 20, 2013

Dear Little Tern 006 (1024x766) (2)Each time I walk onto the beach and see

the enormous expanse of familiar beauty,

I take out my camera, hoping each time

it will bring me closer…

to union with what I see.

Yet within the small window,

the beauty seems smaller;

even more out of reach

is the object I seek.

A dear little Tern…so loved by my eye,

recedes; her sweet edges blur.

I pull on the lever to bring her closer,

and the small tern…seeming to sense my need,

comes out of the water and onto the sand.

 She is charming; she charms,

yet distraction saves me:

Seagulls are squawking,

and a heron appears.

East Beach Birds 027 (1024x768) (2)East Beach Birds 034 (1024x956) (2)My love is divided.

I have been here before…

as the heron walks

right out of the frame.

And where are my dogs?

It is time to pursue,

to capture and coax them

into the car.

Feeling free for the moment,

I walk down the road,

I am more than ready

for a different view.

Dance of The Green Briar 040 (1024x742) (2)And here I am, suddenly…

raptly aware

of a green briar vine dancing.

All strain drops away.

No need to zoom;

I lean into the dance…

Dance of The Green Briar 041 (1024x735) (2)breathe into the dance…

I am one with the dance I see.

Dance of The Green Briar 037 (1024x716) (2)

Thoughts on The Edge

March 16, 2013

Old Music Dog - Walking The EdgeI am thinking of

endings and beginnings,

of old dogs walking the delicate path

between here and nowhere:

thinking of loss

of living with loss

and the loss to come…

the sorrow and joy of it all.

Dewberry Flowers 032 (1024x768) (2)I am thinking of

dewberry flowers in virginal white

smiling radiantly up

at the giant bending over them:

thinking of life

so briefly bestowed,

of fragile beauty relinquished

that lush sweet berries

may form, ripen, and be eaten by

whoever may come.

Dewberry Flower (black and white) 010 (1024x768) (3)

I am thinking of

life and death and

the tremulous place between:

of the beauty, the pleasure,

the sorrow of knowing that

all this will end,

or seem to end.

Dead Heron on East Beach 079 (1024x768) (2)I am thinking of

walking down toward the water’s edge

on the beach I visit each day,

of watching the dogs move ahead of me

toward the shore:

thinking of

coming across the remains of beauty,

air, earth, and sky embodied…

now come to this.

I am thinking of

walking around the dead bird,

taking in the somber reality of

death and the inevitability of change:

thinking of

old dogs so close to the edge…

still dancing.

A Windy Afternoon at East Beach (Oh Joy!) (1024x765) (3)

Reflection

March 3, 2013

Reflected Trees at Sunset (1024x754) (2)Stillness and movement…

Light yielding to shadow…

Black tree limbs are etched on a pastel sky

imprinted on water

re-arranged by the wind.