Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gratitude for a Life

My dear Pasha flew away from here on a cold Monday morning, January 20.

People often call their cats their babies, it never felt right to me. My life was 
enormously enriched in relationship to another being, the wise and profoundly 
present, Pasha. The many months of coming to terms with this coming transition, 
the bone-deep grieving in anticipation, has lessened the pain, but the loss is enormous.
I have had the week to cleanse and clear and sink into the reality of living without 
him here with me. I have had a lot of support. 

I feel deeply grateful for having been chosen by this wild spirit as his human. 
Maybe someday I will tell that story - of how we came together - but not now. This 
loss on top of the loss of my mother last year - well, I am fragile - doing OK, but 

Misha Pasha Willow Bear

I am deeply grateful for the wild and free life you shared with me, 
I feel your spirit flying free. 
Blessed blessed be. 

P.S. It was an intense few weeks... thanks for your comments on the last post, 
I didn't get to replying. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Light

"January Ice", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff, 2012
I've been gone from here... gone down into my roots and out into the wintry forest
where the creaking and cracking breaks the quiet and the snow squeaks underfoot 
from the frigid air. There is deep stillness in the forest, and no turning away from 
the fragility of life. Blood on the snow and late night yips of coyotes tell tales  
of winter survival. 

"Late Winter Forest", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff, 2012
I haven't been in the studio, either, taking time away for my father's Christmas 
visit and supporting Pasha through another emergency vet visit to get things 
moving along his internal pipeline. After his second visit to the ER, I really thought 
he wasn't going to make it. But the holistic vet sent a new bunch of Chinese herbs, 
and put him on a pill that he said works wonders for elder kitties, and miraculously,
my father and I watched Pasha grow stronger day by day. Outside we trudged for 
several daily walks, to the studio and back, even in the biting cold. Two weeks 
since his last crisis, he seems more stable than in a long while. I am his alchemist, 
adding powdered herbs and homeopathic remedies to his food and drizzling cod 
liver oil over the top which he now won't eat without. 

I record the frozen winter light with my camera and wonder how these images 
might influence the winter paintings to come.  

In late December the forest was full of bobcats, 

and ferns peaking out from the snow,  

and weedstalks still feeding the birds until the deeper snows bury them. 

We sit on the stoop, Pasha and I, and take in the late afternoon quiet, 
and I am grateful for his company.