Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Looking Out on First Snow

Feeling the pulling in of winter - 
of the light - of my heart . . .

Saturday, November 7, 2009

End of the Season

Most of the leaves have fallen down - 
or been pushed off as one scientist put it recently,
by the chemical coursing through the branches.

Fallen down feels gentler.

I pause -
step away from my windy life,
unplug the phone,
to paint these dying leaves. . .

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Still Standing

A single line of corn 
stands in the middle of the field along the highway.
I pull my car over and walk past the cut stalks. 
It's a sunny October morning - 
a brisk wind blowing . . . 

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Last Stroke

At the Authentic Leadership conference in Halifax this past June
I was asked to do a final brushstroke for the closing ceremony.
Here is the inner and outer story . . .

I stand on the huge sheet of paper, my heart pounding.
In the big room it is silent, all two hundred pairs of eyes watching.
I feel a stroke emerging inside me. It is just a blurred image,
but it draws me forward. I bow to the space, the fullness
of the moment, and walk over to the big horsehair brush
soaking in the bucket of ink, take hold of the bamboo handle,
pressing the hairs down into the ink, lift up, look back at the whiteness,
my legs planted wide, knees bent. I press the brush down again
into the shimmering blackness, lift the dripping hairs,
down again, up, then I can't hold back anymore . . .

The brush comes up and over and lands on the page,
like a hawk, talons extended, landing on prey, wings pulled back,
then lifting up to fly away, but the intention and the weight is too strong,
can't pull away from the page now, connected by a powerful gravity.

The brush moves up to the right, drops down to the left,
pushes through, curves around. This is all heaven,
descending from above, arriving - the first mark.

The brush pauses. Now there is a turning towards earth,
the natural counterbalancing energy of ground.
Mysteriously, at this moment of stillness and transition,
the brush releases ink onto the paper (and the floor) in a fan of splatters.
No time to wonder why . . .

Now the earth voice is moving, speaking, slowing, steadying,
drawing the brush down and side to side,
until it arrives at the bottom right corner of the big page.
This is the destination, a simple stop,
a quiet ending - humble earth.

I place the brush back in the bucket and pick up the red paint
and smaller brush. The pigment is thick like blood, like plasma.
The smaller brush is thick too, and moist, and heavy.

Scanning the big glistening stroke now -
where is the spot for the human mark?
Where is this human energy needed that will join and complete the act?
I squint my eyes, narrowing the visuals so I can feel my body pull me -
right into the center of the stroke -
the space between heaven and earth.
I step back onto the page and gently, directly, strike the heart mark -
wet and juicy at the core. It is another sudden landing, but this time
the bird lifts off, leaving its brilliant color behind.

I place the red brush and bucket on the side,
stand at the bottom of the sheet, cool floor under my feet.
I bow to the stroke, turn and walk away.
For a moment I am caught off balance, stepping awkwardly.
As the gong strikes three times my steadiness returns
and the sound dissolves , slowly, in the big space.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This Moist Night

I come downstairs 
to turn off the lights
and discover a gray tree frog
attached to the outside of the glass
halfway up the door !

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Deep Summer

Returning home after a month
of engaged conversations. 
Trying to find my way back to the studio
and the solo voice. 
Drawn to the beauty of the tight and closed in -
and then the beauty of opening . . . 

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June on Nantucket

Opening up the family cottage, 
surrounded by memories of my parents. 

In the midst of all the tasks 
I make it to the sketchbook 
only for moments. 

Back home in the rush of my life, 
I slow down - 
painting these pages.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Garden Networks

Back from the Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA)
conference in Victoria, B.C.
Spent time there with Tom Hurley and Keith Webb
thinking about patterns - in organizations - and nature. 

Now getting grounded back home, 
I wander into the garden, 
looking for patterns . . . 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Disappearing Words

I recently heard that the Oxford Junior Dictionary 
has removed a number of words from its new edition, 
replacing them with words they feel our technology-driven children 
need more - like database, chatroom, analogue, broadband, bullet point, etc. 

Here is a sampling of what has been left behind. 
I write them out to hold them near, alive and singing, 
resonant names of our natural world . . .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This spring morning . . .

before entering
the rush of the day, 
I draw what is opening
around me . . .

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kimonos in Ohio

Finding beauty in surprising places.