I took this photo in the late afternoon. I wanted to capture the mostly glass objects in the kitchen window from the outside. It was kind of a joke. We were kidding around about how valuable they were, which they are not. And we were saying that we should have a photo for insurance purposes, and in case the Met wanted to buy the collection. So I took a photo, several actually. This one really struck me because of the reflection in the glass of the sky and the trees behind where I was standing. That was not what I was seeing at all. I just focused on the objects, and look what else I else got.
It reminded me how much we all mirror each other whether we know it or not. We know each other by knowing ourselves, and vice versa. “Just like me” as my friend Anita Bondi is so fond of saying. When I took the photo, I only saw what was inside the kitchen window. The mirror reflection showed how much more there was to see. Just like life. Just like me.
In January, I came up with the idea of doing a new mandala for each season of the year. I finished the one for Winter on the day before the Spring Equinox. This one is ready well in advance of summer. Good for me!
The sub-theme for Spring is Tolerance. And here is why. Do all the flowers get stressed when they start coming up at the same time in Spring? Do they fight with each other for space, or crowd each other out, or deny each other light and water? No, they somehow make it work. And even when the weeds start to take over, they all still tolerate each other. They all know what to do. My personal lesson in all this is to be more tolerant of those who don’t act with kindness, or who don’t care about the good of the planet, or don’t have a particularly humanitarian philosophy. I recognize that we are still all connected whether I want to admit it or not.
But perhaps my greatest challenge in the Tolerance department is for those nearest and dearest to me. It is so easy to get annoyed or to need and demand perfection from them. I want to feel like the two ribbons of blue in the mandala, entwined yet flowing in different ways and in a different rhythm. I want to be working toward the sun and putting more and more consciousness into the tangle of green. Coming through in the orange and pink flowers. It’s all growing in its own way and in its own time. And oh my, I want to be more tolerant of myself as well. That dark spot almost in the center of the mandala. The remnant of darkness from the Winter months. The remainder of mistrust and doubt in my soul.
I had a great holiday weekend! I didn’t go anywhere at all. Friends came over on Monday, so I cleaned a little and cooked a little and we all had fun. Just stayed home and wandered from the garden to my studio to my computer to the kitchen. Despite the lack of activity in my life, the feeling that it was a holiday was somehow still in the air, and I gave myself a vacation from stress, from haste, and from the need to cross things off my constantly growing list of things to do.
On Sunday, it was especially beautiful out, and I found myself picking up my camera and just walking around the house, down to the studio and back, and all around the house, down to the meadow, and back around again. I took a lot of pictures on that sunny day. For some reason, I wanted to fix that moment in time . It felt important to document the house where I live and the flowers that I nurture.
It was part of my holiday, like going away to an exotic place, and taking a million pictures to capture all those memories and visual treasures. But I didn’t even have to get in my car to have the holiday experience. I just stayed home and started looking at things with a fresh eye. Discovering the brilliance of the azaleas as if I had never seen them before. Watching the bees swarm around the chive blossoms, I felt like I was on a wildlife expedition.
It was too much fun! I picked out a few of my favorites to put here. Normally, I play around with photos trying to make them better, adjusting the light and the color to get what I want (or think I want). But this time, I just left them the way they were. No cropping or changing them in any way. Snapshots. Postcards. From my holiday at home.
I think that I’ll come back to this place again.
This is the third Spring that we have lived in this house, the third Spring that I have seen the clematis in bloom, and the third Spring that I am getting to watch it engulf more and more of the house. There is something so spectacular about this expanse of pink spreading out over the porch on the main floor and spreading up to the small deck that is off our second floor bedroom. It almost takes my breath away. And each year I eagerly wait for it because for me, it signifies the true beginning of the abundance of green and color that is yet to come. I means that it’s time to wake up!
As time goes by, I am getting more and more in rhythm with this property that we are renting. I know what to expect now that the daffodils and tulips are gone. The lilacs are already in bloom. The heather kept blooming throughout the winter. Soon there will be irises, another happy moment. It is the rhythm of Spring and the awakening of my body and my brain. I await the lilies and the peonies and the hollyhocks as the prospect of summer entices me on these lovely sunny days.
I create in the early evening while it is still light out, and my back tells me that I’ve done enough gardening for the day. Then I can be in my studio and allow the experiences of the day to inform what I paint or what I weave or what I draw or what I read. All one.
Still a bit cool, especially at night. I move in that rhythm as well. The cool evenings invite soup or stews or casseroles, and some red wine. I allow myself to rest and am delighted that I can sleep with a down comforter on these cool nights.
The mornings are for greeting the day and the clematis!!
I love all the color in this photo. Especially all the red. The brand new ipad with its special red cover was waiting for me when I got back from PA this time. The vibrant red tulips and daffodils picked from our garden. The ipad happened to get set down next to the flowers and it really hit my eye. The promise of Spring and the challenge of learning about something new. When I took the photo, I didn’t expect that the red-patterned cover on the bench in the background would show so much.
Why do I love red so much in the world, but not so much to wear and rarely to paint with?