March Equinox 2019

August 1, 2020

Photo by Chris F on Pexels.com

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.

Frederick Miller spring Eden Prairie, MN photo by Michele Montserrat

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.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN photo by Michele Montserrat

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.

Asphodel Meadow by Michele Montserrat

Spring Rain

Right before the rain, the cat came, slinky soft,

curving around the corner of the house, arching a greeting to my ankles.

The clouds waltzed and tangoed across the horizon to the arms of the sun –

they danced and this is how it started.

 

The maples decided to give it a whirl,

little by little the lilacs and currents joined, ducking and bending each branch and leaf.

Winging away were a robin, a sparrow,

a goose or two, and a cardinal.

 

Rich! what-cheer, cheer, cheer! purty-purty-purty-purty

After the rain – plum blossom – sweet and heavy on the breeze

and I could swear I heard the earthworms, glistening through the grass roots.

Lilac gratitude goes to Simon from the Lawless Poetry group on Facebook.

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Art Journal April 6

A mixed media piece – magazine image, tissue overlay, permanent ink. An image of ancient trees on the savannah, foreground and frame the setting sun.

The photo does not do this piece justice, I feel. I’m really pleased with how the inking of the darker parts turned out, and used pointillist technique for the shading which is quite striking.

I’m trying to get away from overworking my paintings – noticed many other pieces I admire are quite simple, and so I’m going to leave this the way it is and call it finished.

 

trees
Trees – Mixed Media by Michele Montserrat

Featured image photo I took of a mosaic in the rear of a restaurant in South Minneapolis.

 

Hidden Falls

I think I need to stop by Hidden Falls today, to visit the cathedral poplars and their murmuring by the river. June mornings, where you listen to sprinkling music of poplar leaves and become young again, shoulders loosening on each breath of the moist loamy sand-filled sun air. Armskin smelling like summers spent dirt-streaked and skinned kneed. Let’s forget that step toward the grey, for a moment, and conjure birdsong moving over skin. Down the sand let’s walk to the clearing by the river, when all the body was legs and belly and breath, warm and humming with the light of a June summer morning.

lupines