August 1, 2020
Adapted from some writing I did on March 20, 2019…
It’s the spring equinox where I live in the northern hemisphere of the planet. We hear small birds chipping in the shrubs, as usual. And the cardinals have announced their borders, just outside the windows of my studio at home.
This spring day opens with a bullet-grey sky and it feels like a refuge, feels like a comfort. The losses seem only an opportunity for turning life over to a place more deliberate, more desired, more conforming to what’s lovely in the mind. The sparrows and cardinals carry on, their calls unheeding human plan or posture. Their hunger and their home seeking drive them, and they seem to call you to look out here at your other face, reflected back to you through the smell of an ice-water stream rushing over rocks, finding the downhill Way.
The trilling cardinal breaks through the rumble-hush of cars moving through melting snow, moving past my street. I hear more birdsong, to cure the hollow, and the mist of regret lifts, no longer tendrilled. These songs bounce lightly around the crown of my heart, and a palace of delight opens there.
Up and down and down again into the earth, the place where these leylines of bird, branch and grass begin. I will end here too, someday, when the body agrees to join with the entropy that is a fact of life, denied until the appointed time, spontaneous and unstoppable, winding life stream of love and catastrophe come to rest at last.
The rumble-hush of a passing car; the birds are silent now outside my walls. Their territory proclaimed, cardinal and sparrow have likely moved to forage. Still, the piping of an unknown one in the canopy. And then the silence is cut through and scalded open by the screaming of a bluejay.
Suddenly – no sound. And now – chipping sparrows mob the cedar again, a burst of some hunger or intrusion pulling their chorus along. Crunching tires on an icy street, and the metallic needle-shot sound of breaks applied, as my neighbor moves her car out of our street, heading west into her day.
I have been pulling this life together for four years now. These choices give great blessings of time to write, to create art, to dream, and to know better than ever what is really in my heart. To follow the thread of creativity and give it form in color and rhythm, or to line up words that evoke the internal landscape to visible appearance. The paintings are my healing face reflected, and the words show the way to become more alive, focused, and free.