““Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Precious Clutter

There is a color you can never take away from me
It made a hole in my eyes when I was young
and now my eyes gather round its memory,
like deer around a pool,
lapping at the beauty of this rich magenta
a red that persists like the beat of my heart

Yesterday we took an unexpected trip to the city.  We had a meeting to attend, regarding a bit of a stressful situation.  Well, this, too, is the stuff of life.  After our appointment we wandered into a used bookstore, the marvelous kind with overcrowded racks and shelves and books stacked on the floor;  the rarely dusted, cleaned or organized kind, the kind owned by a person and not an organization, the dimly lit kind.  I wandered through the aisles, stepping over books, trying to read titles with my 'in need of a new presciption" eyes.  After a few minutes, I realized I hadn't thought about our worries even once since I walked through the door, only of poetry and how many of these little jewels I could take back home to live with me.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lace, Bonnets, Lavender and Inspiration

Written during a waning moon in the sign of Aquarius, on a day ruled by Mars.

"And never let them tell you
that silence, isn't beautiful.
For silence is what happens
when words fall asleep
and you must carry the belief
that one day they will
wake up inside of you.”
― Christopher Poindexter

Last night we watched a movie about Charles Dickens.  Everytime I watch a period movie of this type, I marvel at life in that time, roles of women and the importance that art held in society.

While I would not enjoy being a woman of that time, I would love to be a part of the creative hum of a world where art not only mattered but was necessary and valued.  Watching these highly romanticized period films makes one long for what appears to be a simpler time.  But I am a realist as well as a dreamer and I know these were very troubled time for those who did not have means as society then was set apart by rigid class systems.  But surely there were also moments of beauty, music in the air, and beautifully crafted words that smelled of lavender and longing.

The other day, my husband and I, both born in the late 50's, remembered that while growing up, it was very common for a home to have a piano in it, as children then often took lessons, most having some form of creative training aside from their regular schooling.  Soon after that, I was reading a book called "Girls Like Us" which is the story of the lives of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell, and in one of the first chapters, the author also wrote that almost every home during the time that these girls were growing up had a piano in the living room.  One of my early childhood friends played piano, studied ballet and tap dancing, and performed gymnastics before the age of ten.  Much later on in life, I would run into her mother, and when I asked about my friend, she told me she was an artist, living in Paris.  (I was working in the typing pool at an insurance company at the time.)

The music stars of our time no longer have to be able to read or write music, play an instrument or even sing.  Auto tuning has taken the art out of music and the modern mainstream  music industry has worked along with so many other money making organizations to make everyone sound (look, become) identical.  Marketing first. Art/talent, no longer necessary.

I thought it important that my own children had some extra curricular activity, whether it be sports, horseback riding, ballet or band. ( This was likely inspired by my childhood friend's mother and the resulting dream life of my best friend. ) At that time, most children "took lessons" or played sports, as it was encouraged by the school and "all the other kids did it."  Sadly, they didn't fall in love with any of these pursuits, but I believe the experience/exposure was still valuable.

Although lately I am trying not to think negative thoughts about the world, (and I  usually fail miserably), I can't help but see the lack of artistic, creative prompting by parents and teachers to be another way our society is diminishing.  But more importantly, many of our children are not even being exposed to art.  I have memories of long afternoons listening to early rock and roll recordings with my brother, my mother's Tchaikovsky as well as her Simon and Garfunkel music filling the house,  my father's Big Bands and his love of photography, not to mention that I grew up in the Wonder Years of of peace love and music.  While I may not have been overly encouraged to seek out my own artistic outlet,  I was exposed to a lot of inspiration. Sometimes, this is all that creative people have access too, and luckily, it is often enough.  It makes me sad to think that the only music many children hear today is associated with a video game.

Oh, well.  See what a night filled with lace and bonnets, love and longing and fields full of flowers has left me?   But it has also inspired me.  I suspect I have been away from my art for too long. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Every Moment

Written during a waning moon in the sign of Capricorn on a day ruled by the Moon.

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fretful when the sky was full of wonder
and tearful at the falling of a star
-Joni Mitchell

The eggshell sky is painted Easter blue and there's barely any wind at all.  Yesterday while I was cleaning out the garden, the tiniest bird sang the biggest song, the one he likes to sing from his perch at the top of a bush when I am in the garden uncovering such delicious worms.   And so, it is finally Spring. 

While in the garden, removing the remains of the Winter, including the leaves of the Autumn, my mind was on what needed to be done before next winter, thinking about woodsheds and storing away tarps.  At some point I realized that I had left the glorious sunny day and was slipping back into Winter.  Maybe it is part of my genetic memory that causes me to take advantage of the easier times to plan ahead and ready myself for the harder ones.  Living in the moment is a popular dream, but I doubt that it would be looked upon as wise or even sane back when we lived closer to the land, and life was more focused on survival.    Still, it did seem a waste of even a few minutes on a beautiful afternoon.  So I stopped what I was doing and sat in a chair under a tree.  Perhaps it is important only to  leave time for everything - honoring the past by telling the old stories, dreaming and planning for the future, and sitting in the middle of a day with the sun on your face, serenaded by the tiniest bird.