Friday, September 9, 2011

A Mary Oliver Kind of a Day...

As I move along in my studies as an art student with my concentration in painting... I have reached the place on this journey of being directed to begin thinking about and writing a proposal for what I want to focus on this semester. That gave me pause, what do I want to put my attention to...there it is, the thing which stops me, blocks me, my cement wall in the road with seemingly no way around it.

I wrote it out and handed it in. Today I reread it and thought more about my words. I said in effect that I "want to focus on the ordinary, the simple...trying to keep in mind that everything is a potential set up...learn to look beyond the whole and find the beauty in the parts. There were some words about technique and things I would like to work on such as economy of strokes and light and shadow being the thing that drives everything on the canvas.

I have started with pears, old faithful pears...beautiful shapes, subtle colors. I have scraped off my canvas twice already this week, in disgust. But I am working on it, staring at it, mumble, moan inwardly and continue see things I could change...that is the important thing. I am researching things I may want to work with and in so doing I reached for one of my books by Mary Oliver book, which I do when a little out of sorts and found a poem, Wild Geese and that led me to look at and begin to draw some wild there s a stretch. Not so much because the poem was specifically about geese but the thoughts and feelings that came about in the reading of the poem and the geese are now the connection for me...and maybe something to take me over that cement wall in the middle of my road.

I found the reading of Wild Geese by the poet herself and that was an emotional moment. The poem being read by the author brought me to tears. So I offer it to you today and hope you hear something you needed to hear today as I did.

Then I happened upon Messenger. As I said earlier, it is just that kind of day...

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Have a great day and thanks for reading.