"Root Woman", mixed media
Outside, occasional snowflakes glide to
the earth, as a small crescent moon waxes with
the new year. Inside, I sit by the fire, appreciative
of the trees who gave their lives so that I may be warm.
Deeper inside, I sink to my roots, slowing to the speed
of tree and stone, listening to stories of
the winter forest.
I had other plans this week - plans to make art,
to winterize the studio, to finally complete the
last few tasks on my list. But a borrowed heater was
too small, a fuse blew because I plugged in two heaters,
and the mis-marked fuse panel gave me the gift of
time to reflect on what was really
necessary right now...
I have a gift of slowing, a few more weeks until
classes begin. I need to dream. I am dreaming.
Not sleep-dreaming.... I am soul dreaming.
And it is absolutely a necessary ingredient in
my creative life. I am filling up with visual
stories, listening, finding deep presence in
a moment. I remember myself. I feel
the slowed heartbeats of the bears
in their dens, beating close to
the rhythms of the earth.
At the end of the day, I sit outside with Pasha,
who has begged for one more outing to watch
the dipping of the sun. It is cold. We watch
the sky and listen to a fox bark getting closer.
She dashes past, not expecting to see us sitting
along her usual trail.
It is good to watch and listen with Pasha. He knows how
to be slow, and watchful, and patient. We share
an intimate silence as the sky shifts
Yesterday, we cleared some trees in preparation to
build the new studio. Next winter the wood will
heat the building, keeping me warm as I
tell stories in paint and spin tales by the fire.
Shelby and Tim, friends and talented woodsmen
cleared the land and split piles and piles of wood.
They made a pile of wood from diseased beech trees
dry enough to be burned this season. I spent the morning
stacking it in my shed and feeling like a happy squirrel
with a nest full of nuts. I never quite know if I'll have
enough wood to get me through the season, so to
re-stock in January is a wonderful feeling.
Later in the day I visited a friend's hill-top farm,
and stayed out too long in the cold admiring
the trees silhouetted against a yellow-orange sky.
Later by her fire, we chatted about our days
working with trees. She had spent the day
splitting a huge, ancient maple that had come
down in an ice storm and hauling it
out of the woods.
On days of winter work and slow listening, I find
myself wondering what a different world we might
live in if everyone remembered the language of trees,
and practiced the art of soul-dreaming.