Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Long Strange Journeys

ISN'T it amazing that no matter how old you get you can still feel the thrill of spring and new growth? You can sense it all around - in determined flocks of birds rising into the sky with new energy and resolve; in thrusting green shoots from the soil, seeking to rise from the seeds left amid last year's dead stalks.
This is not the time of year when it pays to go against the flow. However, going against the flow - breaking all the "rules" - might be an option if you would really like to get somewhere in your personal growth. Things to ponder.
Today, at lunchtime, I drove to an artist's studio to photograph some of her work for an upcoming show at Valley Art.
Barbara Hertel lives in a tiny town (one large church beneath towering fir trees and a teensy store) surrounded by open fields for actual farming. Her studio is a wonderful place, filled with finished artwork and works in process.
Case in point, this vessel that will become wonderfully meaningful with its saying painted in Hebrew. I will have to ask Barbara again what it means. Something like "we are the clay, you are the potter, we are the work of your hand," but not quite like that. I wish my memory was better!!
I can't wait to see this when it's finished!
She was working on more, but let me show you some of her finished work. I think you will like that too.
She cooks her raku in back of her studio and fires the most wonderful glazes on to get iridescence and "crackling" galore. Barbara fires up the wonderful "Guardian Spirits" that you can see on her website, and she has other figures she is now doing. I can imagine my own sweet faces in the empty spaces on these figures, can't you?
Barbara and I were talking about our mothers today, in passing, and this year - at her suggestion - I have decided to have a celebration of remembrance in June for my mother. It is time. We think of her and still mourn her loss, but it the right time now to celebrate all the good she did and her spirit and zest for life. Why these two figures here might be mother and child.
So I also got some sad news today. News that sent me reeling back in time to remember a long ago part of my life. Reminded me of how far I've come and the strange journeys since - hence the posting title. Long journeys, changing companions, forgotten promises, remaining distant heartaches and a series of "what if's."
If I had it all to do again. If I knew then what I know now. What if my friends knew the mistakes I made? What if they knew what I was really like? Have I been forgiven? Have I forgiven myself? Lots of questions in life and there's no knowing the real answers for long ago questions, because we aren't that person any more.
So let's throw them all in a bucket and let them soak for a while. Here's one last picture; one of the disintegration project and then I must go off and get myself some sleep - femminismo


urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Heres to casting away the questions and the what ifs. Life is far to shop (but a hell of a lot of fun) to worry about the old you or me.
There is only now. I avoid the past like a plague.

Steve said...

I think if we all knew the mistakes we all have made we'd all be a lot kinder to each other...

grrl + dog said...

We all have long strange journeys

I think.

Your bucket looks like a god place to stop by though.

Seth said...

This post definitely makes me think about the past, the present, and the future. How perfect that you ended with a shot of your new disintegration project, all about change and turning the old into something new!