Completed work, and work in progress

They say it’s a good time to plant seeds, in the dark of the moon.

My backyard tree has adorned herself with seeds, carmine red against the new green leaves. The parade of spring, when tulips and jonquils, bluebells and violets blossom in abundance, but magnolias petal the lawns now and bloodroot is done. Trees blossom with dangling catkins and maple keys, pink cherry flowers just starting now to shower their grace on the grass.

Leeks sprout in the forest, and the first morels emerge but – at least at this latitude – tomato cucumber and carrot are still soil-safe, imagining themselves into green, upward-reaching, blossoming beings.

Bees hum. What a comforting sound that is. This morning as I write the sunlight is so strong I can feel it singing too. Do bees hum the sun I wonder – feels like the same tune to me.

Both prayer plants went into a state of shock last year when I repotted them, then emerged in new colours to match their pot, much to my astonishment. The little one who used to be just green is red now too, blooming in my sunset window.

I have a potted rose in my morning window that is budding in rich warm yellow and opening in peach, then fully opening in white. I’ve never seen anything like this.

I planted an art show on this new moon. Delivered sixteen pieces to be photographed and framed and always this is a moment of intense complexity. As though the inner story of me in these past two lockdowns is now out of the cocoon and exposed to the light – the little idea that began on February 1 (Imbolc) and grew into a dance of four stories across time, place, intergenerational trauma and global change, and love. Love for beautiful things made by the hands of human beings, especially in times of darkness and extreme change.

To show my love for all to see – I feel raw and human and proud and frightened.

Will anyone get it, I wonder, as I leave the pieces behind. The richness of these stories, translated into seventeen paintings. I can only hope so, and craft these four stories like windows and doors that will invite people in – to see themselves reflected. The pieces, the project is about us – isolated, untouched and untouchable, locked down in place.

In the absence of ‘other’, I converse deeply with Self. Which chair feels better to me today – the red, or the aqua. And why? The answers I get can be astonishing if I’m paying attention; inward becomes outward.

We grow, just like the violets and the dandelions do, in whatever place we’re planted. They, in the starved, twitchgrass choked soil of lawns, we on this changing planet in our houses and apartments, our trailers and our alleyways. Wherever we are, with whatever is to hand we grow and blossom and the soil, the air and the people around us change, because of it.

It’s what we do – plant, grow, change, blossom. Challenged by and challenging restriction.

Another thing I’m planting is a quarterly newsletter – the very first issue, released at the end of this month (May 2021) will tell these stories about me and us. This is not the same as my blog. Newsletter is about shows, events, collaborations and projects that are in the works. If you’re on my mailing list you get very special treatment, advance notices, collaboration calls, previews …so please sign up here if you like the sound of that. You are warmly welcome.

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…and the first twelve:  Insta reel 2 this morning

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Keira McArthur Quarterly + Specials Newsletter

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