At the edge of the cornfield that I pass every day
a long line of sunflowers has been growing all season.
Now they are dried and dark,
their heavy heads bending over.
The stark shapes catch my eye
and I feel that drawing tug for the first time in months.
But I wait. It's cold and windy.
Sitting out in a big field by a noisy road is not that appealing.
Then the weather warms a little and I nudge myself to venture forth -
to face the sunflowers - and the page.
I park the car on the side of the road, sit inside, and draw the whole line first.
Cars whoosh by, rocking me each time with their force.
I get out of the car, cross the road and walk down the line studying the shapes.
The farmer who lives nearby shows up, wondering what I'm doing out there.
We chat about the sunflowers and the weather and he reminds me that hunting season
starts in two days. Probably best not to be sitting out in a field at that point . . .
He leaves and I sit down next to the bending stalks.
I come back the next day for one more visit before the hunters show up.
The wind has died down, the rustling is almost imperceptible now.
The sunflowers are like sentinels with life rushing by unaware.
The leaves tremble slightly, the stalks shift back and forth.
It's lonely - just me and the stark sunflower world.
Back in the studio I paint in the dark tones of stalks and leaves loosely.
My loneliness softens.
Then I begin to trace the sunflower face I had carried back from the field.
Now I am the rushing world, moving too fast to see a sunflower.
I pause, start again. It's impossible to track the intersecting spirals . . .