Peace

The beautiful winds. They picked me up out of sleep, made my first coffee then tucked me in for the morning write in front of the eastern window.

A quick scan of the news has filled me with wonder – we all are navigating this new call for quarantine, for self-care, in isolation. Museums close, the stock market takes a dive and stays there even after Mister Trump tweets a correction. Sophie, wife of Justin has tested positive and so our Prime Minister will self-isolate for two weeks. Schools are now closed for three weeks. The band shows up because music always happens, and plays to ten, instead of 100.

Canada has counted 150 cases so far and one of these is in Hamilton, though of course there will be more. The Ontario doctor who specializes in infectious diseases says that he was scared by Sars, but is not by Covid-19. What scares him is our fear and panic.

Humans are marvelously inventive beings. We can of course devise sensible, meaningful ways to connect, amidst the quarantine and isolation.

Mia the cat stays at the window, mesmerized by the spring birds who flit past. The purple and gold clouds scudd overhead as though the speed of the morning is pushed forward in time-lapse. The winter-bare tree tops dance and sway, while the wind whistles in through my open western window.

The world is a beautiful place. While the wind swirls, while the trees dance and the sunlight flashes through traveling clouds I find myself smiling. Peace.

I appreciate the feel of foamy soap on my hands, enjoy the gurgle of water down the drain. I’m writing letters and will send them by snail mail. I’m reading books, drawing and visiting friends I’ve not seen for decades – we can wash our hands together; there will be laughter. I’m taking my amazing young nephew out for breakfast too. We’ll make a game out of not touching our hands to our faces.

Happily my portrait work and research continue without impediment. There are some for whom this is not so, and my heart goes out to you. I hope you can find some simple joys to ease the worry.

We’ll sort this out, folks. Sensibly and with love. In the meantime, let’s find ways to actively love one another.

Morning

Today the breeze is playful and cool, pushes me out of bed, teases me out of my sluggishness – it was a long night of paying attention to good friendship, while L was in surgery. My liver was talking all night long.

It went well, Kate writes, he is resting now.

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I’m in first coffee ritual here beside the east window where the sunlight floods in. It’s top floor street side, wide open so city is fully present – rubber rubber on asphalt, engine effort along Gage Ave, the dinging train as it squeals through back yards, the hydro guys and their heavy equipment project, replacing wooden poles with cement ones all down the street.

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These sounds rise and fall with the morning rush. Now a fluting robin (not alarmed, for once), starling and house sparrow chatter, a squirrel’s repeated scolding.

In a while I will close it all out and bring my focus in to cello practice, which is like making love with my soul. The day forward is always richer for it.

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Second coffee will be at my studio, where I’ll continue work on this

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and this…

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photoshop composite mockup. The actual will be much more interesting…

At least one of these will be finished by the weekend, and I hope hanging on a wall outside my studio, so I can move on to the next one, and the next.

It’s the first time in my life that I’ve had both time and resources to devote to just this, long enough to seek and discover deeper layers in my work. A gift out of this past winter spring, especially the travel in Europe has been a curiosity about new places my work might go. New levels of fearlessness. If Klee can, if Braque can, well then, so can I.

I’m solving stalled pieces, will work my way into #Portraits.

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#Portraits, which propelled me to Hamilton and the Cotton Factory, which continues to intrigue. It is a continuation of, maybe a deepening of #Selfie, into ‘Other-than Self’. Or maybe ‘Self, In Other’. All of that, and more.

I’m fascinated to see where this will go now. The first summer sittings are booked, and I will soon have November dates in Hamilton and Owen Sound to announce for the shows.

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Of course, a collaborative book about process and research, as I did with #Selfie. Also music that we make together. That means you have a part to play, too, O esteemed ones.

Stay tuned.

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