"Gnarled Oak", 4x4" scratchbord panel
A gnarled, old oak dreamed itself into being
yesterday. With life at home so busy, its been
weeks since images floating around in my imagination
have come out on paper. In a quiet moment as my
afternoon class worked, I found a piece of
scratchbord panel and eagerly communed with
the visual stories brewing inside me.
For many years I lived on land that had once been
a gathering place for Native Americans. It was said that
a great oak near our house was a meeting tree for
the local Eastern Woodland tribes. I spent many a day
wandering in the forest there, and sitting under the huge,
old oaks with their branches touching the Earth.
I saw my first coyotes while sitting under
one such oak, at the time that they were just beginning to
re-inhabit the area. No one believed me, saying that what I saw
was just dogs, until finally one day, others began to see coyotes
also, and hear them singing in the night.
I loved going to the Trailside Museum to see the Great Horned Owl
who lived there and the little model of the Native village
with its tiny dwellings and humans going about their daily lives,
frozen in a story-tale of old.
Yesterday, when this oak became my drawing,
I remembered the amazingly huge oaks that I grew up
with on that land of my youth.
"Moon and Tree", 4x4" scratchboard panel
I love this bare-branch time.... a time of dark
and ancestors, and the raw, undressed beauty of the land.
A few years ago, while meditating in a small, stone cave in
a town not far from here, an image of "Reindeer Grandmother"
came to me. I was meditating on my ancestors, especially
the branch from the Celtic lands, when a beautiful
image of an ancient, wise and protective spirit came to me.
I'm a tad protective of this image, its powerful for me,
even with its awkward proportion (that arm!) and strange
space. It came out quickly once I came home from my
journey, and feels truly like a spirit watching over me.
As the fall finds itself leaning towards winter,
things are changing in my life. My parents have now
packed the last of the house and moved to Florida!
Its amazing to me, that they are soooo far away. I used
to be able to drive to see them in a couple of hours,
now, its a plane ride. Oh my..... change...
Speaking of change, my house has changed, too.
A new window went in, and a few pieces of furniture
that didn't go to Florida came to me. Below is
my living room before the window, sofa and chest.
Strange that my barometer for feeling more adult was the
transition from a futon in the living room to a sofa!
The sofa is a hit with Pasha cat, or rather, the blanket
on the sofa. On cool and damp days, I am a
cat door opener. Pasha stands at the door, staring
at the knob. If I don't see him there, he whacks
the heck out of the wind chimes on the knob
so I get the message loud and clear!
A few moment later he's back looking through the
French doors with a desperate look, remembering the
warmth of the wood stove and the cozy new blanket
that has just come to live here.
Its his favorite new bed, the "car blanket" that also didn't
go to Florida. It was my grandfather's, and I think it
was from a time when cars were open air. Yes, its
really THAT old!
Today I hung a bird feeder from an old post outside the
window, chancing a visit from the big, old bear. It was
such a joy to sit in my living room, looking out the new
window, watching the birds flitting about from
hemlock to feeder. I'll wait to hang my new best
hand-me-down feeder until I'm more sure that old
bear has gone into dreaming.