Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I did the dragon's will until you came
Because I had fancied love a casual
Improvisation, or a settled game
That followed if I let the kerchief fall:
Those deeds were best that gave the minute wings
And heavenly music if they gave it wit;
And then you stood among the dragon-rings.
I mocked, being crazy, but you mastered it
And broke the chain and set my ankles free,
Saint George or else a pagan Perseus;
And now we stare astonished at the sea,
And a miraculous strange bird shrieks at us.

-Her Triumph W.B. Yeats

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chesnut-sided warbler

The Knot

I've tried to seal it in,
that cross-grained knot
on the opposite wall,
scored in the lintel of my door,
but it keeps bleeding through
into the world we share.
Mornings when I wake,
curled in my web,
I hear it come
with a rush of resin
out of the trauma
of its lopping-off.
Obstinate bud,
sticky with life,
mad of the rain again,
it racks itself with shoots
that crackle overhead,
dividing as they grow.
Let be! Let be!
I shake my wings
and fly into its boughs.

-Stanley Kunitz

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pitfalls of convention

Anais on March 2, 1932
The woman will sit eternally in the tall black armchair. I will be the one woman you will never have ... excessive living weighs down the imagination: we will not live, we will only write and talk to swell the sails.

-Anais Nin in a letter to Henry Miller

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I played kickball today with my nieces and nephews. I cannot tell you the last time I have gotten outside and played a game. It was great fun, although I was not the fastest runner (they are small and much more agile). I did score some runs and had some good kicks. We laughed, cheered, and got in trouble for making too much noise. I wonder why I do not play more often. We grow up and tend to forget to wonder at the small things. I am a bit tired tonight from all of the running. (ok grown-ups unless you are a jogger when was the last time you ran through a grassy field, or for that matter ran at all?) It is a delicious kind of tired. One that comes after a day spent outdoors.

I also took my nephew out to see some birds and it was a good day for that. He is pure luck and he delighted in it every time I remarked on how lucky he was. We saw hundreds of warblers, a "fall-out" where they stop on migration and literally fill the woods. They were like feathered jewels in the trees. He is normally a sad little guy, but today the world put on a show for him. I hope he carries that joy with him for a while. I know I will.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Today I wore this new outfit and I really felt good about it. My point is say something people. Don't let a moment like that go by. I try not to be so concerned with my looks but I am getting older and it is something on my mind. So all that work fell on empty eyes. Yes this is a feeling sorry for my miserable self post. Anyway, some advice tell them they fill your eyes up with beauty.

Friday, May 25, 2007

IF you were coming in the fall,
I ’d brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.
If I could see you in a year, 5
I ’d wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.
If only centuries delayed,
I ’d count them on my hand, 10
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen’s land.
If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I ’d toss it yonder like a rind, 15
And taste eternity.
But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time’s uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting. 20

-Emily Dickinson

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I love the world just as it is.
And I won't lose my faith in it.
But there are days I think of you
Saying, 'hey, that's beautiful,
Yeah, I see it too.'
It all goes by so fast, like waving hands
You want to capture things,
find someone who understands,

And I'll miss you

-Dar Williams

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Chicken Hawk

Why am I such a complete ninny?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

star flower

The greatest lesson I ever learned was the cheerful destruction of a false start. Don't be afraid of your eraser: use it all the time & keep it always handy, & don't ever go ahead on a picture till the drawing of it satisfies you fully. If necessary, carry it farther then you need for an outline merely, -suggest shading enough to show if it is going to "solidify" right, & then erase the shading before painting. But a thing falsely drawn will never prove up, & you'll waste a heap of time, trying to convince yourself you're righting a wrong. Better by far to build well, as you go along, and remove every fault as it comes. That is progress, and the results will show immediately.

-Louis Agassiz Fuertes in a letter to George Miksch Sutton from To a Young Bird Artist

Monday, May 21, 2007

Peregrine fall


I look
but cannot find
and am pulled
by an invisible tether
Titian red,
you are tall walking
force forward
bent on rusty nail
singing your exit
like a hush I wait
for the painter to reappear
this leaving is long...


Sunday, May 20, 2007


What can you say to the dying? I always wonder what is left of our lives when we leave them. We all stand around him, mute and unconvinced that his body is failing. His wife of 60 years has decided that she will follow him. The world is full of sorrow she claims and she wants to be done. No more life, no more tears, no more and she pushes her hands out in a gesture of defiance. They have both lived so long. Are we the secret? The generations that follow them, who can remember a gesture? Will I have to be a memory keeper? Perhaps there is nothing to say to the dying, but to listen and hear a life. To know the passions, hopes, and dreams that will never be again represented by such a being. I just could not say goodbye. I could only look into his darkening eyes and try to remember him.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


White Lady Slipper Orchid

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though its breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
Thats the time you must keep on trying
Smile, whats the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Thats the time you must keep on trying
Smile, whats the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

"Smile" -Words by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Open up.
Let me wander in.
Your heart is not
such a tender thing.
Brand new world.
I contend,
only love
will stop the withering.

-From Brand New World by Michael Timmins -Cowboy Junkies

Bad bird shot #5

why they are called yellow-rumped warblers

Bad bird shot #4

This female oriole was in a great spot and distracted but unwilling to turn her head.

Bad bird shot #3

This yellow warbler decided to fly off as I was getting a picture.

Bad bird shot #2

This is a lovely shot of an Eastern Bluejay's backside, a little too close.

bad bird shot series

I have taken so many bad bird photos, I thought I would have a round of the photos that "got away".

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

some really mindless fun,

hang with a caveman

It's a groove thing

What to do with our fading star?
Leaving us to wander freely,
trying to find out where we are.
And I can't bear to see him go.
There is just too much left on the table.
There has been too much left alone.

-Cowboy Junkies written by Michael Timmins
(From the new album at the end of paths taken, a little over produced I think as I like my junkies more raw. Still it is good. I have fond memories of a front seat at my most recent Junkies concert and Margo winking at me during one of the songs.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I was walking along, minding my business
When out of an orange-colored sky
Flash! Bam! Alakazam!
Wonderful you came by

-Orange Colored Sky Nat King Cole

Monday, May 14, 2007

I kind of like these guys despite their bad reputation.
They always said that you knew best but
This little bird's fallen out of that nest now
I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed so
I've just got to put these wings to test

-Annie Lennox This Little Bird

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother Pelican


I have been tortured by a painting all day. I try to leave it and it's errors bewitch me into one more hour. Can I correct it and get it right? Shouldn't this happen or this? The sun meanwhile, continues on its steady trek across the sky and I have not noticed the day passing. Finally I will leave it, for now. I am still not satisfied with the face, and of course I want nothing more then it to be the best. For some not so obvious reasons I do not dare disclose here. Maybe when I come back to it I will be able to give the face the life it needs.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nashville Warbler

I painted all day and then took a walk in the evening. It was a rather simple day.
yellow-rumped warbler
nashville warbler
chesnut sided warbler
blackpoll warbler
carolina wren
american robin
great crested flycatcher
eastern blue jay
yellow warbler
black-throated blue warbler
cape may warbler
blackburnian warbler
magnolia warbler
black and white warbler
palm warbler
bay breasted warbler
baltimore oriole
red-winged blackbird

Friday, May 11, 2007

I did not go to work today. I painted all day. I heard the melodic songs of two male orioles battling to claim ownership of my yard, with the occasional scolding buzz they make. I heard the house wren flying around to check out every nest box in anticipation of the return of his much quieter mate. The blue jay family is back, a pair with last year's offspring. The youngster will help his parents with this year's little ones. The male was tenderly feeding his female. The male grosbeak was, as usual, making a pig of himself on the sunflower seeds. Yesterday the catbird returned and is doing some rather poor bird impressions in the bushes. The chipping sparrows are feeding and fighting, there seems to be many of them this year. The tree swallows returned this morning to scope out the nest boxes, along with a blue bird. The swallows are excellent bug control. The wood thrush sang in the morning, along with a blue-winged warbler. The two crows are busy feeding young and stealing the suets from the cages. The young must have already hatched, because for a while the male was coming on his own. There are so many more, mourning doves, goldfinches, song sparrows, grackles, e. starlings, brown creepers, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, red-bellied wdpckers, all visiting and grabbing a snack.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

the eyes starve and the touch
of love is gone.
"and radiant dreams are passing in the night,
the memories throb with sorrow, joy with pain...
it is pain to dream and see desires
slip through the arms
a vision lost forever
wringing down the moving drifts of sleep."

-Aeschylus from the play Agamemnon

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I will walk in the garden
And feel religion within
I will learn how to run with the big boys
I will learn how to sink and to swim
And there's talk in the houses
And people dancing in rings
Ah, when you close my eyes, babe?
I can see most everything

-Sinead O'Connor Just Like U Said it Would B

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The subterfuges of language, the artifices of style, brilliant turns of the phrase that sometimes please me as an artist are not suited to my barbaric heart, which is so hard, so loving. One understands them and tries one's hand at them; it is a luxury which harmonizes with civilization and which for its beauties I do not disdain.
Let us learn to employ it and rejoice in it boldly, the sweet music which at times I love to hear-til the movement when my heart asks for silence again.
There are savages who clothe themselves now and then.

-Paul Gauguin

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tree Swallow

So I sat in chocolate at work during lunch. It was rather unexpected, of course does one ever expect to sit in chocolate?-wait strike that-perhaps, I can think of some fun expected reasons to sit in chocolate, anyway... So I leave the break room and unaware continue on my day with a huge chocolate smear on my rear end, lovely. So I go and try to amend the disaster by using some soap and a paper towel in the bathroom in order to rub off the offending stain. No such luck, now I am wet and smeared, more loveliness. If only I had worn black pants today. I guess I will never be one of those incredibly put together women, the ones that glide into a room and are just perfection. The hair in place, make-up perfect, clothing tailored correctly to flatter, and no big chocolate stain on their ass. Oh, well at least I could laugh it off with some grace. It was rather funny after my initial shock.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

broken wall


I have spent the day painting after a brief walk in the morning. I am completely wired but worn out at the same time. Painting can be like that for me sometimes. I am frustrated at the end of the day that the day is indeed ending. Somehow time gets lost and I am stuck wondering what to do with myself. So here I am, blogging into the emptiness that has unexpectedly managed to grasp at me. I wonder why that is? I am satisfied with the work and have made some successful leaps. Still it is a strange heartbreak that overcomes me. Is it the realization that the alchemy of painting is not creating any magic? That my dull static life will remain so tired and conventional? Ah well, I should not be so negative. Maybe I will crawl into a book of poetry and dream. Or because I am so, I will get all my things ready for work tomorrow and wash my brushes. I want more from my work and what that is exactly remains elusive.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Friday, May 04, 2007

my first word, there appeared to me in a vision.
It seized and held me so that I forgot
to offer her my thanks and my confession.
As in clear glass when it polished bright,
or in a still and limpid pool whose waters
are not so deep that the bottom is lost from sight,
a footnote of our lineaments will show,
so pallid that our pupils could as soon
make out a pearl upon a milk white brow--
so I saw many faces eager to speak,
and fell to the error opposite the one
that kindled love for a pool in the smitten Greek.
And thinking the pale traces I saw there
was reflected images, I turned around
to face the source-but my eyes met empty air.
I turned around like one beguiled,
and took my line of sight from my sweet guide
whose sacred eyes grew radiant and as she smiled.
"Are you surprised that I smile at this childish act of reasoning?" she said,
"since even now you dare not trust your sense of the true fact,
but turn, as usual, back to vacancy?"

-Dante Alighieri Paradiso

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A happy ugh if that is possible, I am all twisted into knots. I wish I was paddling upstream in such good company.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Paul Gauguin Self Portrait with Bernard (Les Miserables 1888)
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
But I do not store these things up. The road grows rougher and rougher; one grows old. The memory of evil vanishes in smoke. The velvet over one's consciousness hides the thorns and softens their sting.

-Paul Gauguin