Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Softening Snow

When the snow arrived on Thursday, it brought with it a feeling of purification 
and relief. Not much has changed since my last post with the various challenges this
moment has presented me with, but internally a deep surrender has settled in and
soothed the sharpness as the snow has softened the hills.  

The juncos have moved close to the feeders, fluffing their sweet feathers and 
darting from branch to branch and from seed to suet in a never ending dance.
I attempt again and again to interest Pasha in watching them from the big living 
room window, but he is much more of a mouse-cat than a bird-cat, thankfully!

Before the snows, Pasha and I took a walk in the cold and frozen forest.
Jude  walked alongside me that day as I noticed frozen moon-rings, 

and Sophie came to mind when I visited this favorite tree. Its wound 
reminds me of so many things, but this day it was a seed pod. 
Though I am in between studios and haven't made art in over 
a month, I'm never far from my process as long 
as I continue to look. 

Contrasts of conifer greens and browns and ice
reflecting winter sky struck me. 

This afternoon I put away the Christmas/Solstice decorations. 
I moved into it as a grounding ritual. Bitter winds howled 
outside and I paused to watch the 
magic moment of dusk. 

A white winter cloth replaces a red one on the table, 
and I celebrate the cleansing and deepening gifts 
of snow and ice. 

This moment: 


grace Forrest~Maestas said...


maybe that's what it's all about?
surrender and then finding that
there is no loss but such huge
gain of Heart to it all.

i think i am beginning to feel
close to you in wanting you IN
the new space, making it what it
wants to be.
when i saw the new date of the
new post, i thought oh EEEeee...
it's DONE. but wait, still.

i love the rings of ice. snow i
do not love, but ice i do...the
sound of it, the purity of it...
thank you for showing me that.
much love as you move through
these days

deanna7trees said...

a magnificent moon landing in those rings. everything looks so peaceful to me in the snow.

Sophie Munns said...

Hello Valerianna,
lovely to hear from you... I'm flying out the door to my little holiday in the sun...or rain.,.. and here you are in snow...lovely images and the tree is amazing. I will be back to read when next online because I hate to dash without musing on your beautiful post!
thanks for your mention too...
Warm times by that fire!

Suz said...

I have always wondered why some cats love birds and others ground things....
YOur tablecloth is wonderfully your found rings in the woods....
I too felt a calmness with the snow covering everything that was dead or dormant...washing it in white wonder

susan christensen said...

'I'm never far from my process as long
as I continue to look'. I love that, V. And the photos are so beautiful. Comfortable Pasha before his fire... warm thoughts to you, sus

Charlotte said...

It is so very beautiful.

I agree with Grace, sometimes the surrender leads one to finding new paths away towards solving our problems.

Isn't fascinating that where ever we look in nature we find the spiral, the circle, the enclosed dance that doesn't end.

Best to you and Pasha, in your snowy stillness.

Rowan said...

Beautiful photographs of the forest as always especially the moon rings in the ice. I love the ones of Paha at the end too, he looks a very contented cat:)

ArtPropelled said...

Surender .... something I'm learning to do with day after day of scorching heat. Musing .... over the beautiful frozen moon rings. Smiling ..... at the birds that come sun or snow. My birdfeeders and birdbaths are working over time too.

joanne May said...

At last you have snow and it is like a purification. I wish the white stuff would arrive here!
Always lovely to see Pasha in the woods being like my owl cat, Zigsa. Is she a bird or a mouse cat? ;-)
I like your wood burner, it is exactly like the one we have in our living room. It looks like pasha is in heaven enjoying the warmth.
Have fun in the snow while it lasts!
Jo and Zigsa.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Life seems so hectic, and the heat is suffocating over here! I do love being able to come to Ravenwood for a welcome breath of fresh, crisp air, some longed for solitude and peace, and wise words too. Ahhhhhh!

Kimberly Wachtel said...

Lovely post Valerianna. It's good to here your finding peace and grace as you ride the wave. I've been thinking about you a lot the last few days. Looks beautiful over there at Ravenwood! I like your new table arrangement with the white cloth, candles and objects. Enjoy the sun on the snow today!

Velma said...

yes, this is how it is here, a sister place to yours. hunkered down, i am learning this winter, strange as it is.

rivergardenstudio said...

Your softening of snow, the little juncos and your studio all lit up and welcoming... just lovely.

jude said...

thank you for the frozen rings and sorry you are having trouble commenting over at my place. no clue why.

nancy neva gagliano said...

lovely....the combination special of your images...softening, quieting...and reddening the cheeks.

Tammie said...

so lovely to see your world through your heart and lens. we have snow as of last night, it finally looks like winter! lovely evening to you ~

dori said...

Very, very beautiful! You live so lonely! You have a very special cat!

ramona said...

The snow in the Midwest came on Thursday as well.
A white blanket of quiet.

gz said...

We are still without snow here. It is good that jobs can be done, but I have a long journey to do in a week's time. I'm hoping that it wont be prevented by snow.

Dusk and dawn are magic times, they are Cat times.

Donna~Q~ said...

Frozen moon-rings ~ how delightful! And doesn't Pasha look oh-so comfy in front of that wood stove! The snow photos are like postcards from a winter wonderland... I'm very glad to hear you are finding some solace in it.

Penny Berens said...

Yes, do keep on looking because I always love what your eye finds.
And my woods too are full of frozen bits....snow covered now.
Oh, and we have the same fireplace as you! One thing different we have rusty pups lying in front of it not beautiful fluffy Pasha.

steven said...

it's all so beautiful!! steven

Trish said...

looks beautiful, warm and cozy indoors with you...
Much love

Mo Crow said...

it's the height of summer & everything is growing like mad here! love the quiet place you share here with the snow, the tree's wound/pod/spiral-ness, the glow of the candlelight, the warmth & comfort of your cat... you share such a peaceful & gentle world.

Angela Bell said...

A beautiful post ,the photos arw amazing and the forest looks so lovely. Pasha is a handsome cat!

Valerianna said...

grace - yes.. I think it is.. but sometimes desire is a needed human thing, too, I think! When desire gets too challenging, well then, surrender is needed.

deanna - "moon landing"- like that.

Sophie - hope your trip was great and the swimming refreshing!

Suz - I find it really funny when Pasha is out under the bird feeder staring at the ground. Birds constantly flitting in and out overhead and he is completely uninterested. He's STARING at the snow cause underneath, somewhere hidden there is the scratching sound from some rodent... precious.

Sus - Pasha is a wood stove addict.

Charlotte - those circles and spirals keep me nourished.

Rowan - Pasha is very contented, as long as he's had a long enough time outside to run...

ArtPropelled - scorching heat... yikes. I prefer the cold to that thousandfold. At least as long as I have a fire to return to! Keep cool and refreshed!

Jo - Its a GREAT wood burner, if you ask me... I paid a ton for it, but have never regretted it.

Mermaid - strap on your snow shoes and let's go for a hike!

Kim - great new blogger photo!!

Velma - yup, strange winter. Cold, COLD, now, snow this morning, now rain... BIG sea saw.

RiverGardenStudio - Thanks Roxanne... I'm ALMOST in the studio!!!!

jude - your welcome.. they spoke to me of you.

nancy - like that, reddening the cheeks.

Tammie- yay, winter at last!

dori- thanks... and I think Pasha is special, but he's my cat-love, so, hard to be objective!

ramona - at last we have some purification from snows... thinking about your Emma, I like her, she sometimes pops into my thoughts, isn't that odd?

gz- yes, dusk and dawn - cat and owl times.

Donna - Pasha cat is very cozy in front of the wood stove, he always hogs the best chair or that little rug. I put the rug there so I could have the chair sometimes. It worked!!

Penny - seems to be a popular stove, I love it. And it would be something to have rusty pups in front of it... I'd have to buy a larger rug, this ones just right the right size for fuzzy cats.

Steven- thanks!!

Trish - thanks... and cozy inspiration to you.

Mo Crow- Peaceful world outside, inside, I've been so stressed. Finding my balance again, just in time for teaching.

Angela - thanks, and I think Pasha would like to hear that!

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Mandolin said...

Beautiful set of images. Very thought provoking.

jodi said...

Oh, it looks lovely where you are, with all that snow! There is something extremely special about the middle of the woods in the snow and cold, the wind and trees creaking. And I love the photo of the pond rings.

Snail Cloth said...

This is my first visit to your blog. I met you through Joe's blog Manhandled Threads. Love seeing the snow and the woods and the fire in the fireplace. You make it look very romantic.

Have a wonderful day.

Sophie Munns said...

now you definitely have to start your concertina book so we can discuss our process...
thanks for dropping in... have a lovely weekend won't you!

acornmoon said...

Your ice image is very like your spiral paintings. I can see why it appeals so much.

Happy New Year to you!

Karen said...

Just beautiful.

the wild magnolia said...

stunning sharing of your winter woodlands and life.
beautiful kitty.

trees rings fascinate me

your altar is comforting

thank you, for sharing

helen said...

As I look at your images, and read your words, I sigh out all stress and feel the peace of the wood when it is quiet and hushed. Thank you.

Pasha is King :~)

Anonymous said...

Your photographs are gorgeous - much greener where you live. Everything here is sleeping deeply.
Happy weekend,

Valerianna said...

Mandolin - thanks and thanks for visiting.

Jodi - Winter in the forest is rather special. I love all the sounds: creaking, cracking, wind in hemlocks, crunch of snow.

Snail Cloth - Thanks for visiting. Sometimes the romance of rustic living is a lot of work!

Sophie - Once I set up my new studio - JUST finished painting it! I will look for that book and see about starting it.

acornmoon - I definitely see that, too.

Karen - thanks.

the wild magnolia - Love sharing... I find the dialog stimulating.

helen - He IS king... but today an unhappy one cause of snow and cold. And he is now demanding I stoke the fire... but he has a point, its getting COLD in here!

Zuzu - well, things are looking rather white here now. Though the forest stays its sparking green. Happy weekend back to you!

Are you curious about me? said...

I was going to stop by to say hello, how are you and your wonderful forest then as I scrolled down your post firstly the ice queen has paid you a visit... Amazing pictures, just magical.

I read about moon-rings... Please explain... They are so beautiful...I have never heard of them...

Hope that all is well with you Valerianna... ~ Julie

ruthie said...

I so love the feeling of purity & cleansing that snow brings, its so magical & uplifting. We have had hardly any here this winter. yet! Our new little pup sits for ever by the patio doors mesmerized by the birds in the garden, its so funny to see.

Raggle Taggle Gypsy Girl said...

I love all the piccies, I love the lucky you are.....

ELFI said...

un blog plein de sensibilité.. beau!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such wonderful photographs of this magical season.
Like Middle-earth.

Valerianna said...

Are You Curious - Click on Jude's name to follow a link and get more info.

ruthie - Our purifying snow is getting rained on as I write.. ugh.

Raggle Taggle Gypsy Girl - I do feel lucky living here, as surely, its my PLACE.

Elfi - merci!

Pamela - how enchanting!

Olivia said...

Its so calming to look through your photos and experience your world through your lens. I loved the picture taken from the couch in our living room facing the table we ate at with the candles all around. And pasha by the fire. Raven wood looks like a wonderful place to spend the winter.

Olivia said...

I too love the moon rings frozen in place. "Delightful" indeed.