Wednesday, August 29, 2012

At Odds

It may seem at odds but I find I need to surround myself with beating hearts, reaching souls and buzzing minds. Mourning for those who have left, I want to welcome those who have arrived. Breathe in deeply! The dark woods are a beacon and beckon to me—explore, discover, become!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lessons from an old cat

We should not fool ourselves;
Death desires only life and this powerful planet continues on despite us.

The old cat dies; the Springers charge down the path giddy with freedom.
And from the forest trees the birds sing in a new day.

Each death forms a blanket cradling life to come; 
The nurse pine falls as her saplings take root to rise into the sky she has opened.

Two toads part open the walk;
revealing the bolete and chantrelle that take residence for a single day.

A parent dies and is mourned as the grandchild first sees light;
And before her first breath, those same genes determine her demise.

What I see is nothing new but ever so;
The rapture of one small planet in a universe of unknowns.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Return from and to Sabbatical

Julie and Sarah at work in the EMC "inner sanctum".
Projects and gratitude at the EMC.
In nine weeks a lifetime has passed by. I've returned from my sabbatical to a vibrant, productive EMC. A place full of so much creative power that it is invigorating just to walk through the door. The place hums with all the brain power contained within. And keeping up with it all, I feel as if I have jumped into cold North Atlantic waters with only my nostrils above the salty blue. It is cold but it energizing!

The EMC student programming master minds.
It feels much as if I've begun a new job. Students have graduated and there has been a whole new crew for me to learn about and learn from. Likewise some of my key "life support" people have departed on new journeys of their own. But then again new, incredible people have become part of the energy force. 

MFA student Cora Lozinski knocking it out of the ball park for her final presentation in EMM590.
Constant change. It's a very good thing that I've always loved the Heraclitus quote "Nothing endures but change." Yet still I find I need to find the air above the waters. There is the need for a breathe. A time for me to create, to think, to plan away from the fields of others' demands.

So this week I returned to my studio in Rochester, NY. This time my work within was different. There was grading to complete, correspondences to reply to, phone meetings to attend, fires to put out & some to start, decisions to be made, and even new projects to start, a paper to be drafted. Yet I had a schedule of my own to control and time to decide what to focus on when.

And when a day's work was accomplished I could paint my soul. And so I did. And in doing so I recharged a part of me that had been neglected for these nine weeks. And now once again back in Vermont, I find I have creative energy and an organized mind to bring back and add into the vibrant "home" of the EMC.

Elms and Olive Trees in progress at my Rochester studio.

Life and Death: the Elm Ghost