Keirartworks's Blog

hmmm. hmmm? Observations, actions and connection points through art.

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List of five

A rainy 5:20 am in the darkening northern hemisphere.  It is November 1.


I was lucky enough to be on the road every weekend last month, to and from Kingston, Toronto, Peterborough.  I drove through ridings filled with campaign signage, fields of shorn crops, hills of red and yellow trees, towns surrounded by housing developments and the occasional marsh, feeling grateful and tiny.  Skies full of bruised purple clouds shedding rain even as the slanted sun blazed through to set hill and valley aflame.  All night on super highways through a 386 kilometre downpour, I wondered at my strange need to always be not the fastest, but the first, even on slippery roads.

The beautiful front porch of the Peterborough house I stayed in

The beautiful front porch of the Peterborough house I stayed in

For the first hour, driving is thinking.  In the second hour mental chatter dissolves into a song of the land and the way through it.  By the third there is no-mind, by the fourth, lightness of being.  I hadn’t realized how small my world had become, before October’s road trips.  Thanksgiving, indeed.

coach house garden in old Kingston

coach house garden in old Kingston

Home on November 1 is a tunnel into winter.  I assess, I simplify, I clean up the past seven months and carefully file valuable things – deck chairs and tables, garden plants, kayak, things found on hikes, shared laughter, simple grief, great joy, humbling rage that left me stronger when it had passed.  It’s the inner garden we prepare to tend now, during and enduring the frozen months.  Experience is compost.

Rue flourished this summer. Beautiful plant right out of folktale

Rue flourished this summer. Beautiful plant right out of folktale

I draw and paint bells for a show in early December.  I dig through art history to find work that explores line, light and colour for a drawing course I’ll launch this fall and winter. I write and teach music in my studio, and plan for an open house in five weeks, while Canada reclaims her soul after a dark decade.  Me too.


Friday morning list

There’s been a great deal of transformation these past few weeks.  An abundance of growth, movement, engagement, close attention and focus.  Blooms- from simple to exotic, comfortingly predictable to astonishing – and only some of these on plants.

We have a front door that works, after five years of living with the illusion of one, which was taped shut.

Big gothic cedar door with CNC'd door frame being installed. One inch too tall to fit under the beam...


It’s as though all the thoughts that have been lost in the eddy of that corner are now released..

this time it fits


… and now we sit on our front stoop (imagining the stoop), out of the rain, out of the sun, enjoying the rightness of things…

Can you see the virtual stoop?


Somehow, in a way that’s larger than what we see, the installation of this door has great significance.  Is it because we can now allow things to enter that were previously blocked?  Quite possibly so.  The process of building this house has always resonated with our own internal growth and direction, and as we near this first real stage of completion, even more so.

My writing companion


Friday morning, then.  There is slate to lay, garden to attend to, laundry, phonecalls – the perpetual list.  Underneath all there’s another, for me:

1. make a gift for someone, from scratch.

2. imagine a truly great thing that I can do – in 2 years, in 5 years, in 10.

3. Write down said thing s.

4. reclaim one thing or place that’s been lost

5. think of ten very diverse friends, and find one word that represents my thought-gift to them

6. ride my bike

7. read something surprising, & share it

8. Play.

9. do the silliest thing I can think of, with no one watching

10. Send thoughts of love and gratitude to all 60 litres of water in my body.*


*  – Even if it’s fiction (whatever you choose to believe), this man’s research represents a truly lovely thought, and is worth reading.  I bought the latest in a series this past Tuesday.