January 7, 2017. My 2017 has begun with a flourish of intriguing dreams, stirring me to create a collage of dreamscapes that have made repeat appearances in recent years – trails, steps, bridges, houses, fences, water, mountains. I’ve yet to figure out how to take a photo while in a dream … so these actual photos stand in as symbols for the illusive dreamscapes.
(Perhaps another night, another collage of dream animals – cat, duck, and a new one this week: horse.)
May 15, 2016. This poem began in late February – the trees have since leafed out, blocking any view of rooftop referenced. Today is muggy, cloudy. I find myself wishing for the crisp clarity of the February morning. So I dug out the poem and let it brighten my day. The image blends the one visible roofer and one of my djembe drums into a collage of wishful thinking. Enjoy. Tap your pencil, snap your fingers, join in the rhythm.
January 20, 2016. Aging presents itself whether courted or not, a presence to be accepted. Each year it seems doctors take a greater pinch out of the budget and out of my patience. I understand I have a choice in my response, but sometimes I slip into anger at a bill for a test I never wanted to need and never dreamed would cost that much! The morning after anger, I reconnect to my models of serenity on the brink – stragglers on the oak at Gary’s rental property in New Braunfels (his parents’ home before they quit hanging on). Today I choose to flutter in peace with what is, thus with what no longer is.
September 30, 2015. I’m always startled by questions such as “What do you mean by mindful poetry?” and “How do you start a poem?” Perhaps this poem can serve as answer. This one wrote itself while I was reading snippets from Joseph Campbell and Clarissa Pinkola Estes included in an essay on mythology, art, and poetry by Richard Rohr. My pencil just took off! There’s no defining what triggers the poetic response, but I offer this description of the “practice” that follows.
This mockingbird seems to be doing his own reflecting. I followed the sound of his voice while on the campus of St. Edwards University, here in Austin, in October 2014. When I found him, he abruptly stopped singing and seemed to pose for quite a while. Posing was my perception at the time. It’s just as possible he was reflecting on the large intrusion into his time and space that my camera and I represented. Did he savor the interruption? After, did he sing little camera-click songs? I wonder …
July 26, 2015. I pay attention when the same message arrives from multiple angles boom – boom – boom. My third encounter within a week encouraging macro photography sent me prowling through my photo archives. I love peering at tiny things through my camera lens, so those archives are loaded. One particular set of images grabbed hold. As I let mind and heart return to the scene, a poem bubbled up (as they often do, unsolicited). None of the individual images were quite right for the poem, so voila – collage.
Whether through camera lens or simply kneeling to peer, I pass along the encouragement to look closely at the mundane and tiny. Beauty lurks in surprising places!
May 28, 2015. It’s been a year, and the now-empty onion baskets still seem full to me. They were the solution to the challenge of storing an abundant onion harvest. They were an expression of creativity. Then, full of onions. Now, full of promise — ready and waiting for next harvest.
This year’s harvest will be more moderate. Hey, we really had too many last year! This year the baskets will not be overflowing, will not make quite the visual impact. But they will serve us well. And I offer last year’s image and poem in honor of abundance and creativity — in onions and all matters.