Saturday, March 23, 2019

Speaking Tree - Joy Harjo

Speaking Tree

 Joy Harjo, 1951 

I had a beautiful dream I was dancing with a tree. 
                                               —Sandra Cisneros 

Some things on this earth are unspeakable: 
Genealogy of the broken— 
A shy wind threading leaves after a massacre, 
Or the smell of coffee and no one there—  

Some humans say trees are not sentient beings, But they do not understand poetry— 

Nor can they hear the singing of trees when they are fed by 
Wind, or water music— 
Or hear their cries of anguish when they are broken and bereft— 

Now I am a woman longing to be a tree, planted in a moist, dark earth 
Between sunrise and sunset— 
I cannot walk through all realms— I carry a yearning I cannot bear alone in the dark— 

What shall I do with all this heartache? 

The deepest-rooted dream of a tree is to walk 
Even just a little ways, from the place next to the doorway— 
To the edge of the river of life, and drink— 

I have heard trees talking, long after the sun has gone down: 

Imagine what would it be like to dance close together 
In this land of water and knowledge. . . 

To drink deep what is undrinkable. 


From Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 2015 by Joy Harjo.

Monday, March 4, 2019

It's Like Camus Said...


I started feeling it over the weekend, which is usually hermit time.  It was just a small itch, a nudge deep down in my brain.  I tried to brush it off, maybe it will go away, I thought. It had been a while since I had felt this.  I knew the feeling only vaguely, from years ago. I still couldn't identify it exactly, I couldn't put a name to it. What was this that I was feeling?  

I thought to myself, yeah, well, when you were younger, you were far more...gregarious. Wait, what?  No, not me...

Yep, you used to like being in a crowd.  Think back twenty-five years ago, or so, when you lived in Milwaukee.  Remember how much time you spent at Fuel Cafe?  Hours on end.


Then it hit me.  Not only was I talking to myself, I was getting stir-crazy!  Spring Fever! Shouty crackers!  I needed to get out of the apartment.

I needed a break in the day in and day out routing of waking up, going to work, coming home, going to bed...ad nauseum.

So all day today, I planned it out.  I had already packed my sketch bag with sketchbook, pens, watercolor and my Kindle.  I will get off work, go home, change into jeans, grab a bite, and then head to a cafe.  I could spend a couple hours there and still get home before Valerie was finished with teaching.  It would be great.

Except, well, it didn't happen.  It's too cold to go walking around State Street, so I thought, Barrique's on the West Side.  I got back into the van and headed out, the excitement, the "I am finally doing this" feeling made the hairs on the back on my neck stand up.  I was finally going to go out and get some sketching done.

Except...

They were absolutely packed.  No seats. None.  My shoulders sagged as I walked back out and back to the van.  I thought, well, I guess I will try the Barrique's in Middleton.  I drove by and saw that it wasn't worth getting out of the van.

So, I came back home.  I made myself  a double cappuccino and decided instead to get some writing in.

Maybe I will try again tomorrow, in another area of Madison.  There are coffee places everywhere...



Sunday, March 3, 2019

Dick Cavett Interviews Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey ranks high on my list of favorite artists.  I've been a fan ever since I watched PBS Mystery! on a regular basis.  When I started watching it Vincent Price was the host!  Many fans of Mystery! are familiar with the introduction, the Victorian style animation.

To my delight there is a documentary about Gorey on the horizon, "The Last Days of Edward Gorey."
It is currently in post-production and due for release in September of 2019.  I don't need to tell you I can hardly wait!

While searching for other videos about Edward Gorey, I found this one on YouTube (where else?) and thought I would share.  It is apparently the first time Gorey was ever on television.



In case you didn't know, a biography of Gorey was recently released titled Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey, by Mark Dery. I won't give you my opinion of the book because I just started reading it. But I will let you know!


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Jazz in the Morning and the Promise of Spring

It's another winter day and I am waking up to this awesome playlist. 



I have spent the last few weeks in a creative slump that just the thought of Spring has snapped me out of.  I am working my way toward spending less time holed up in the apartment.  Yes, I'm cutting back on my hermit time, which will make the hermit time I take more appreciated.  With all the warm cafes there are around the Madison area there are plenty of places to go and sketch and/or read.  I have been slacking in both of those areas.

Take heart, Spring really is on it's way.  I will tolerate the change to Daylight Savings only because that means Winter is finally over. I will be posting more about my excursions out, with the accompanying sketches and pics.  Creativity needs outside stimulation.  There is a time to engage and a time to withdraw.  I am overdrawn and it's time to get some fresh air and to get the creativity flowing again.