Sunday, February 16, 2014

Deep In Winter


Deep in winter.
I have nothing else to offer, really, 
but views of a world gone white,
and to tell you that somewhere in the depths, 
the seeds are stirring. 

I was moved by the outpouring of emails and your heartfelt words and 
remeberences at the news of Pasha's leaving. I'm still getting comments from folks 
who have just wandered by and read the news. It is lovely to feel so supported by folks I have never met, or who have never commented here, but felt they must now. I felt 
somewhat shocked out of my own grieving, when, a dear friend who has been a rock of support through my recent grievings, had the most horrible loss of all - 
the death of her son in an accident. Just as I began to feel a shifting towards a place of grounding, the shocking call came, and off to her side I flew, to be a support, 
not at all sure I could be a rock to her in the fragile state 
I felt myself in. It has been an intense, intense time. 


There has been no time - and frankly no desire - to visit my little studio. 
Truth be told, there is an inkling, but I have needed rest, and really good 
self-caring, and herbal potions and massage and deep dreaming and a book 
or two by the fire. I feel distant from my work, and yet, 
this is the work of the moment - the healing. 




After the arctic winds let up a bit, the storms have come, 
bringing layer upon layer of snow, and flocks of birds to the 
feeders, and little scurring creatures just below the surface. 







Dark and stormy days are followed by sparkling, blue-skied days, 
and late afternoons of red cardinals on green hemlock boughs 
covered in snow crystals and ice.   




Then there are the full moon nights,
 when I need to work at sleeping, 
lest the call of the wild forest prove too strong, 
and I am drawn out to the freezing, cracking wood...  
the squeak of cold snow 
beneath my feet.




"Night", watercolor, Vclaff 2008 

43 comments:

dori said...

Wonderful watercolor "Night". Darkness full of hope and new light coming.

The Dutchess said...

Your beloved Pasha will always be there ...Just a few weeks ago I lost my very courage's cat "Little Man"'..He was amazing..I feel he is still with me..in my studio..watching me work.:)

Beautiful words..beautful pictures..Thank you.

sandra hagan said...

beautiful winter sharing. i do know there are pros and cons to heavy winter, beauty to be seen at least.

Please know I thought Pasha extraordinary. ((hugs)) to you, an expression of comfort.

Sandra Dunn said...

You really look snowed-in... Wish I could give you a big hug - you have been through so much. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

goldenflower said...

Dear Valerianna who shares her life of deep silence and appreciation for all of nature... thank you for letting us in. We hold you in this lovely circle of shared appreciation, love and namaste.

stregata said...

While there is no getting 'past' the loss of Pasha - it will become a part of who you are - but the pain will grow more quiet with time.
Such a terrible loss for your friend - sending hugs for her in this difficult time.
I hope you have enough wood - this has been a crazy winter in your part of the world. Stay warm, comfort yourself and remember you are held by the hearts of many...

ELFI said...

toute cette neige! courage... le printemps arrive! bonne semaine!

Lynn said...

So sorry to hear of your friend's loss. What an intense time. With your two recent losses.

Now it almost seems like mother nature is telling you it's time to rest, restore energies, retreat under her snow-and-frost blanket and wait.

Your photos of the forest always leave me awestruck and feeling re-connected. Thank you. x.

ArtPropelled said...

Oh I feel Pasha's absence from your blog, Valerianna. No wonder you had such an outpouring of support. We had all grown to love him because you shared so much of his life, here on your blog. Each time we accompany you on forest walks and visits to your studio we will remember him with love.

Starr White said...

You are so wise to give yourself time to heal and rest, and I love your courage Valerianna. Even through the pain and the loss you have suffered this past year, you still see and are moved by the beauty that surrounds you. You're an inspiration through it all. Big warm hug to you.

Mo Crow said...

beautiful photos and painting (((V))) "a veritable winter wonderland!" as my Dad used to say...

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Dori. An old painting, thinking I might paint some night forest paintings once I get back to work.

Valerianna said...

Sorry you lost your "Little Man". I sometimes feel Pasha sitting on the rug in front of the fire...

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Sandra, I thought Pasha extraordinary as well, but, then again, we shared a profoundly deep bond. Others who knew him also thought him somewhat out of the ordinary cat realm... I will miss him when I'm out walking in the forest - his darting up and down trees was so much fun!!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Sandra - yup, pretty snowed in. More coming tomorrow they say!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, goldenflower :)

Valerianna said...

Thanks for your words, Stregata. And, I, too, hope I have enough wood, I'm getting really low!!!

Valerianna said...

Merci, Elfi!

Valerianna said...

Definitely intense, Lynn... I'm working on staying present in the moment and not get caught back into trauma. I'm dreaming of peace and calm for a while!! "Awestruck", that's quite something, glad the forest images connect you.

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Robyn. My walks have been rather lonely these days :(

Valerianna said...

Kind words, Starr. I think in the depths of grief, one's heart is cracked open and more beauty is revealed in everything. I'm not sure I'm courageous, maybe, but mostly just willing to go to the depths, that I can definitely own.

Valerianna said...

That- what your Dad said!!

Carmine said...

Greetings and warm wishes to you from Stazi Lu, Juniper and me in snowy Minnesota. The hemlocks, firs, spruces and other conifers of your forest catch and hold the snow in the most beautiful way. I hope they are cradling your spirit in their arms in your time of rest and healing.

dori said...

Dear Valerianna, an angel will hold your hand, so you will be able to encourage you to make new art-work, even with this big lossof your wonderful friend in your heart. Chagall wasn't able to paint for 10 years after his wife died. But if the angel, who sees your friend, holds your drawing hand, seeing all you love, you will able to find a form and get back to work. I think you already feel something like this, Valerianna.

Umā said...

Thank you for the glimpse of a more familiar winter than the one I am currently experiencing here in the Southwest. New England is challenging but charming in this season!

india flint said...

rest well

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I wish you peace. I see in your photos that you do not take umbrage in the natural transition of life to the light, but joy in the friendship you shared. Your friend will come back to you when you least expect.

Caterina Giglio said...

So happy to see that you have returned to posting... there are times when I think that writing and posting keep us from melting down completely... I have this feeling that Pasha is with you on your walks and turning deep inside you will feel that presence... xo

Valerianna said...

I, too, love the way the evergreens hold the snow. Thanks for the cat greetings, I'm fur and purr deprived here!!

Valerianna said...

Yes, charming... and enchanting. I'm watching yet another storm drop snow today!!

Valerianna said...

Doing my best, India, thanks.

Valerianna said...

Thanks, taking in all wishes for peace!!

Valerianna said...

Yes, Cat, my journal has been very helpful of late.

Tammie Lee said...

I am so sorry to hear of your friends sons passing. that is so very sad.
sending light and love.

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Tammie, its been quite the time...

Sue Marrazzo said...

Nice photos, Sorry for your loss, PEACE.

ramona said...

Beautiful words Dori….love.

ramona said...

Life sure has it's twists and turns….amazing that you can be there for your friend, my heart goes out to her. The loss of a child must be unbearable.

Glad you're taking such gentle care of yourself. You are such an inspiration to me :-)

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Sue...

Valerianna said...

It does, Ramona, it sure does... I can't imagine being an inspiration, today I feel like a slug!! Got up late, paid bills, made a few phone calls, ate lunch, reading a book. I look at the studio and think, maybe tomorrow. I do know that things just take the time they take. So, here I am, sitting in the mystery.

Kathleen said...

It is a hard winter. And it is hard to live with an open heart—easy in the sense that we have no other choice if we wish to give and receive love, but hard in the sense that we are so vulnerable to loss. Sometimes our loves leave us aching for their love, for the time when we received and gave love and rested in the ease and comfort of it. And we celebrate that. And then there are those times of unbearable loss, like your friend’s loss, every mother’s nightmare. And your losses this year, your beloved special friend Pasha, and last year your mother, whose soul you so bravely sang out into the universe. You are so brave. We who love and lose our loves are so very, very brave. Thank you for sharing.

Valerianna said...

Beautiful words, Kathleen. I wonder about the idea of being brave... that to live at all in this beautiful yet excrutiating world is to be brave beyond imagining... and, yes, to love deeply, that is brave, but, in another sense, I don't know how to close down my heart. Blessings to you.

Cottage Garden said...

How very sad for your friend, to lose a child must be unbearable. Such an intense time for you after Pasha, and I'm heartened that you are taking such good care of yourself; keeping warm in the Narnia land that has surrounded you with such beauty. Your studio will be there when you are ready .... x