I had an amazing day last weekend studying colour theory with my very talented and inspirational cousin Maggie Rose.
A little Goethe as tribute :
“Colours are light’s suffering and joy. “
“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
There are beginnings and endings, and there is the space between the two. Or maybe it is a process; turning the ending into a beginning. Either way, I’m finding it a bit difficult, sitting here in this gap. I expect there is a lesson in that.
I’ve been listening to this often:
I’ve set the rain
to be cold and hard
I’ve set the sun to
be bright and sharp
To wake you up
from your hollow dream
I’ll shake your bed
with a thunder strike
from my handLet’s come all steal
we will lie and cheat
and turn around
all their limit signs
and redirect this
this great old boring road
into the depths
of a lion’s mouthJust to see
if there’s something we believe.…
If It Be Your WillIf it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will …
The photographer has taken the camera and fled to the wilderness, so you have to imagine the scene. The garden is in all its fall glory, which is to say it is a mess of almost spent plants accompanied by an understory of weeds going to seed (but oh so beautiful). I could claim a case of tendentious as a weed excuse, but truthfully past falls have been similar. A small flock of Chipping Sparrows came yesterday to glean those weed seeds. They seemed particularly fond of the crab grass. A few Goldfinches, dressed now in duller tones, kept lookout from drying spikes of wild Evening Primrose. I took their presence as a blessing on my wild gardening ways.
I read this line today:
I think I’ve managed that with our little piece of urban land. And now, each footfall will be a long good-bye. This coming summer we will be moving back to the west coast and the place that has always felt like home. We’re excited, and sad, and hopeful. We’ll walk paths long remembered but transformed in our absence. Hopefully, both old and new will be muses for my feet to love.
Contained in the lovely essay : “An Absorbing Errand: The Psychology of Mastery in Creative Work“.
The good life is lived best by those with gardens — a truth that was already a gnarled old vine in ancient Rome, but a sturdy one that still bears fruit. I don’t mean one must garden qua garden… I mean rather the moral equivalent of a garden — the virtual garden. I posit that life is better when you possess a sustaining practice that holds your desire, demands your attention, and requires effort; a plot of ground that gratifies the wish to labor and create — and, by so doing, to rule over an imagined world of your own.
As with the literal act of gardening, pursuing any practice seriously is a generative, hardy way to live in the world. You are in charge (as much as we can ever pretend to be — sometimes like a sea captain hugging the rail in a hurricane); you plan; you design; you labor; you struggle. And your reward is that in some seasons you create a gratifying bounty.
Janna Malamud Smith
Oh, I think everyone should have a REAL garden too !