Archive for January, 2014

THE DYING LIGHT

January 27, 2014

Sculpted by The Dying Light...Tree Flight 006 (1024x743) (2)

I had turned away

from the sun-kissed water

of late afternoon

to follow familiar walkways

back to my car.

I had no expectation

of sculpted light…

of tree in flight…

of tree-bird-light-flight.

I had forgotten

the power of the dying light.

As I near the end of the day that is my life on this earth, it is tempting to forget that this is the time when the light intensifies…offering magical moments to those who will see and believe. When I am open, I know that the things I see and record by drawing, sculpting, painting, or taking photographs are showing me who I am. The simple occupations of life are also capable of this. Since a few days after my surgery I’ve been going to rehab three afternoons a week. When it began I felt much diminished by my helpless right arm. Except for excruciating pain, it seemed to have died on me. It took surrendering to a sensitive and talented therapist to open my mind to the potentiality of healing. David has coached me through three months of hard work and tears, small victories and triumphant smiles. He has been patient, demanding, and encouraging. On Wednesday, he was back after an absence of two weeks, and I rejoiced to show him my progress…lifting both arms above my head like a proud child…taking in his unreserved pleasure and accepting his challenge of new exercises and heavier weights.

I think now of how different these exercises are from the nature-influenced exercises I practiced and taught for so many years.  Airth worked with gravity, yielding heavily that I might rise in an effortless way. Everything flowed. Yet, at rehab, I stand straight as a soldier, gather strength and push my way upward through the resistance in my shoulder and bicep. It is hard work and it hurts. These sessions remind me more of my early years in Ballet: The straight body with its unnatural turn out of the hip from which the leg must lift high and be held aloft.  That, too, was grueling hard work and pain was an essential part of each day. Then, too, the moments of brief triumph brought forth a child-proud smile in response to my teacher’s affirmation. I felt the years collapse as I left my session/class and began the drive home. I was still the young dancer smiling at small victories.

So what does this have to do with the magical hour before the end of day? Well, perhaps the whole day is contained and released in the hour before night falls; the whole life is contained and released in the latter years of our lives. If we will, we have access to every experience, idea  and emotion we have ever known.

Heron Haven 008 (721x1024) (2)

Going home

I took the less traveled route

and beheld

in an inner harbor inlet

a concentration of herons.

On this day of frigid winds

and low temperatures

the birds had found shelter.

I had found confirmation:

for the many were one

as the sun subsided.

Receiving the Last Light 019 (1024x759) (2)

Camera in hand

I prayed with the herons…

one with the dying light.

Heron Haiku 063 (1024x767) (3)

I was ready to accept the approach of night.

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SHEARWATER ROAD

January 20, 2014

Shearwater Road (My Shadowland) 015 (768x1024) (2)

For all of my days

I have traversed this road.

The way leads in and the way leads out.

In the beginning

my child feet sprinted the road,

toughened by daily races with cousins:

up road or down.

In those days broken oyster shell glittered:

rain or shine.

These days crushed limestone

makes for an awkward passage.

At one end of the road

is the beach and the Mississippi Sound.

At the other end

is the pottery workshop with its windows.

Shearwater Workshop (Clay-spatter on Window) 012 (1024x713) (2)

As a younger woman

 I danced beyond

the simple destinations of my childhood.

As an older woman

I have returned.

ICY MORNING

January 12, 2014

Inner Harbor Transformed 046 (1024x768) (2)

Last week’s visit from the ice queen

hovers like a dream.

Here on the Mississippi Gulf,

we rarely get such drops in temperature.

(Today the early chill is softened by a generous sun.)

So to be greeted in the morning two days running

by the frigid beauty of her majesty’s passing

is like a miracle

that later one may doubt.

Pier Posts on An Icy Morning 024 (1024x768) (2)

Even photographs –

evidential as they are

of my brave venture with my camera

and my frozen fingers –

are dream-like in the after-viewing.

It has taken several days for me to truly see

the images as my reflected feelings;

to bring them forward and to claim them

as my personal response to ice,

to sun and shadow on ice,

and to exquisite cold.

Ice with Tree Shadow 022 (1024x768) (2)

Numb as they were,

my fingers must have been

completely sensitive to what I felt.

Extremes are evident:

the urge to fully engage,

the urge to flee from the intensity…

seek comfort in the heated confines

of a human dwelling.

I chose to stay and shiver

in the fleeting ecstasy of my belonging.

Icy Reflection 053 (758x1024) (2)

To gaze in awkward amazement

into winter’s challenging eye

until she let me go.

Ice Magic 030 (1024x767) (2)Branch Held by Ice 025 (1024x741) (2)I saw her magical design

within her abstract patterns.

I saw and felt the power

of her grip,

admiring broken shards

that still held fast.

I knew the beauty

of her harsh effect

upon the natural world.

Huddled Against The Cold 056 (1024x767) (3)

I wondered further into Inner Harbor,

to find a flock of pelicans in huddled stillness…

below the bridge.

By then I could not feel my hands,

yet when they chose to fly

from my encroachment,

I swung my body,

raised my camera,

caught their ascent above the ice.

Workshop windows, Clouds, and Ice on Inner Harbor 064 (1024x906)

LAMENT OF AN OLD TIRE

January 4, 2014

A Dreary morning 026 (1024x768) (2)

On a gray and dreary morning

I encountered an old tire.

It seemed organic,

settled as it was among the grasses.

It might have grown roots…

so implanted it was…

so encrusted with lichen and barnacles…

dead to its old life

yet still somehow alive.

I was drawn to the old tire as to my old self…

moved by whatever history

might have brought her to this moment.

A Dreary morning...Getting Interesting 027 (1024x758) (2)

She appeared to waken slightly

in response to my interest.

Her heavy and sorrowful beauty

appeared to echo my own.

What I perceived in her

made age and emptiness almost acceptable.

A Dreary morning...More Interesting 028 (1024x736) (1024x736) (2)

“Yes, I am old,

but emptiness can be an illusion…

an unfair assumption of the truth.

You need to get closer now…

to enter the realm you fear.

Your anguish at being used up

may lead you to untapped realities.”

Untapped  realities…

What does this mean?

She seems to invite me

to go all the way to the core of misery

and express it fully.

Funny how I expected the tire

to lament a barren existence,

not to suggest that fertility lurks

in complete acceptance of oneself

at any given moment.

I look again…

zoom in on possibility…

imagine worlds beyond imagining…

perceive a world within a world.

I am…

A Dreary morning...Going Inside 028 (1024x736) (2)