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Follow the loose rein

I stood grinning on a hill in the spring wind without the protection of my long winter coat and smelled the turning of the planet towards the sun.

Geese-are-back

This Titanic winter season has run amok of the inevitable.  As did the Titans when banished to the underworld and the unsinkable ship when torn by an iceberg, even the strongest behemoth must surrender, eventually, to change.  I can feel the chill through my window, yes.  But it can no longer reach my bones, which glow golden.

Everything is white again.
One of the blizzards from 2013-14.  I lost count.

In requiem to the five white months that are now passing I need to acknowledge my grief too, because I will miss it. This winter has tumbled and shaped me like a river-rock, exposed me like a quartz that had been encased in calloused grey stone – in the safe invisible of frozen white.  It was as though all internal weather was played outside these windows – serenity, calm, beauty so sharp it hurt, but also rage, fury, sorrow, wilfulness.  I’m different.  A lot different.

falls2_October2013

I’ve just agreed to make twenty pieces of art, write, record and rehearse twenty minutes of music and  – what the hell – twenty+ pages of a hand-made, limited edition book that will explore the idea of exposure and vulnerability, or “The Public Intimate”.  It’s a true child of the winter that’s passing, this show.  I’ve become deeply intrigued by what we do as humans and artists when we look at ourselves and make portraits, then publish them.  Selfies – Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Munsch, Cohen, Joni, Camus, Anne Michaels…  If all art is in some way autobiographical, then in fact, making and publishing ‘selfies’ are the job of artists.  We hear a song, read a book, see a great self-portrait, and we are moved to tears.  They are soul food.  But self-publishing is also the work of every human, right?  Even the duck-faced self-portraits published on facebook that are so vulnerable, awkward and exposed are expression of our human need …  to be visible?  Still working this out, as you can see.

My answers, for whatever they’re worth, will be published in a gallery in 13 weeks.  You can bet you’ll be hearing more about it.

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Name the moment

Not sure I can do it justice tonight.  There’s a cool change I’m trying to put my finger on….

Vichert's Mackie, Katie's recommended Tascam, the shrouded MK4.  windhorse prayerflags for mom....
Vichert’s Mackie, Katie’s recommended Tascam, the shrouded MK4. windhorse prayerflags for mom….

and a river rock I got in Manhattan in 2009….

back of my cello case...
back of my cello case…

I’m not really verbal.  What’s rich for me resides in the resonance and richness of what is visual and tactile and aural – so these blogs (and any writing task) are a challenge – to bring what is into what can be broadcast to more than what I see & get.  But every so often something happens – an internal agreement to stretch the moment I’m in,  when I think I should try to, I don’t know – share?

I’ve been working on some art pieces about what we now call ‘selfies’.  Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing, all this time?  trying to articulate something I … know about what I am?

beside and behind me, to my right. Like a speaking horn
beside and behind me, to my right. Like a speaking horn

I don’t seek them, but I see them – the selfies on the internet are vulnerable, mostly.  Open to … something.

What is that?  Do we all crave this, but only some (increasingly more) publish it?

And even after all this I’ve not come close to describing for you the real moment I’m in.  Perhaps this is my vulnerability, and this post is a selfie.  Open, and honest and incomplete and full of imperfections.  Begging for criticism… or acceptance.

hand with fish
hand with fish

I know people who cannot talk from who they are.  People who are so divided and hurt that nothing comes out straight, and mostly what comes out is painful, distorted and destructive.  I’ve been in that place too – or my own version.

From this simple but rich rich place I am in, I send you my best, imperfect love.  All of it.  Always.

I think about you all the time.
I think about you all the time.

We turn into Spring together.

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Release

Every once in a while I see a bald eagle in the sky,  like poetry so beautiful and alive I stop breathing.

snow2

We have entered the long cold of January.  Winter came early this year – two months ago –  to invite us deep inside where we can tend to the root of things, tune our eyes to the subtle colours of the great Hush.  This is permission to follow – slowly, slowly – a whispering line of thought down the long path, to pause at each wonder that emerges, then continue …

To walk on frozen water.

whouff.  I think that's the word.

An invitation to meet one’s Self, again and again in the cold and the warmth, in conversation, in music, in colour and in silence.  To introspect.

Positive and negative space; high contrast in the stark white days where eagles fly, fishing, the long nights where bears sleep under resplendent starlight.  This is when stories are found and told.  When songs are made and learned, paintings begun and finished.  When courage burns warm like a hearth-fire.

snow3

The warm bustle of work begins soon.  Right now I find myself steeped and floating in gratitude.