Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 7 -- I repeat myself in my gratefulness

I am just southeast of East Haddam, due north of Old Lyme, I would guess a mere hop skip and a jump from New London, where my mother grew up and met my father, a young Coast Guard cadet. Her father, Jerry Barton Hoag, a nuclear physicist in the thirties, forties and fifties, out (or ousted out) of the University of Chicago, refused (or so the family legends go) to help develop the bomb as part of the Manhattan project and thus ended up as a physics professor and head of the science department at the Coast Guard Academy. And whom because of his peaceful nature, his lovely daughter met my father, i eventually came into existence. This place I've never visited before, here so near the place of my heritage, is where I am. Currently i am sitting in the shade on ~450 acres of farmland that has gone back to natural habitat. The owner decided it was too beautiful to just keep it for himself alone, so he has opened it up to share with six invited artists of image, object, word or sound each month who come to work and be revived and inspired in this environment. Early each morning I hike down to a beautiful pond, sitting at the end of an artist made pier, I listen as the bullfrogs begin to sing as the sun first warms. I watch the pollen drift slowly across the still black silent surface. I hear the gentle breeze pass high over head as it dances and rustles through the tree tops. There are so many fresh smells new with each passing day as the differing flower strains come into bloom according to their own time. I sit here in stillness and quietness for a couple of hours and listen, hear, smell, gaze, think, write, and meditate. If I sink too deeply into my grief, God uses all these physical things to pull me back into my body, back into this present moment to show me again all the gifts She has given me.

It is exactly what I needed to refresh my soul and allow grief to finish its deep work in me as I am moved towards the threshold of something new, something different. I could never even begin to express my deep gratitude for the gift of this place and this time. It heals me again and again each morning. God has repeatedly these past two years shown His unfailing love to me in ways i can understand. He heals me with all these gifts.

Day 7 -- she begins to ascend into the trees canopies

Day 7 -- pollen cloaks and clings thickly across the lake's placid black surface under the morning sun

Where is it that I dwell? The gift of this place and time overwhelms my physical senses--the drifting scent of the forest floor, the songs of the bullfrogs, crickets, and birds, the colors and textures of the forest, glens, running and still waters, the heat of the sun's touch on the nap of my neck, the moist touch in the shadows of the trees, and the chill of the moon's long goodnight along my spine. The physicality of this place brings me back into my body, back into this now moment. And now is the only home I am called to dwell in. There is no health in dwelling in the past for it is not a home. There is no health in dwelling in the future because no one lives there. The only home to dwell in is the presence of now. All other dwellings are a type of unliving. Where will I dwell today? I want to dwell in this place of now. Today it is my home. Now is a gift I must be present here to receive...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 6 -- flowing

To about twelve feet. Will need help to hoist it higher into the tree.
This is not it's home, just work space in the shade. It us headed for
a forest glade.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 5 -- same sweet spot for sunset as sunrise

my spot.

Though they have a chef who prepares our dinner, tonight is self serve. So I sautéed up some fresh veggies with fresh garlic. Now that is art.

Day 5 -- midday

this will grow...

into something like these except...

they'll be about twenty feet in height minus the green frames and in their place fresh sticks held together by wooden dowels and wood glue (hope it holds)!

Day 5 -- Saturday morning as i drift back to my spot on the lake

Back to my spot on the lake which this morning is blanketed in a velvet coat of pollen. It's almost eight and the sun's sting of heat on my neck is late and the bullfrogs don't yet sing. There is a thin smear of clouds across the sky as the sun tries to burn her way through for those who wait and would sing. As I sit here, they begin. Their voices ripple across the water's placid surface while the gentle breeze passes high in the tree tops. Even the leaves rustle with voice of morning. There is no gray to this day except that which lies within. Yet this will pass. It is why I was given this gift of place and time. It is the place for my grief to pass through--finish its work. I need for it to pass through.

Day 5 -- Saturday mourning

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 3

Not sure what they are, but I look forward to the bloom.
Ummm. Don't know if sticks will hold the weight of the tubes. Perhaps I should hide some rebar in there. I did bring my rebar bender.

Day 3 -- Day 7 since left Houston; 3rd full day in residence

Am going to recalibrate my numbers; today is Day 3.
And again my day begins with solitude out on the lake in the nest. I
did not make this nest; it was left as a gift by another artist.
And since my time on the lake this morning, I have been affixing more
branches to the beginning of my piece with glue and dowels. Today I
will begin sewing tubes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 6 -- at its end, I caught her

Day 6 - morning walk, scouting for materials and site

I wandered of the main trail and stumbled upon...

this piece is about 15'+ tall with a similar diameter. it feels much larger in person.

the caged element is probably 5 to 6' tall.

this bowl though reminiscent of Oppenheimer's arte povera life size version, is about 8' in diameter and made not from fur but pine needles.

this piece is 15 to 20' tall. it has an opening on one side and can be entered to view the sky.

it is difficult to not be overly influenced by these wonderful pieces; but they too are under the influence--the influence of nature.

this is what i know so far about what i want...sticks as a kind of exoskeleton to create suspended flowing elements sewn from, you guessed it, tire tubes. i did bring a truckload of various sizes...i've begun to test an exoskeleton using sticks. i assemble them using dowels and wood glue as my joint system. glue is drying. i don't know if i'll need to reinforce joints yet or if dowels and glue will be enough...oh yes, and i plan to write until i filled two books--not all for blog consumption. hmmm. these language issues concern me; it happened with the spoken word at dinner as well--this loss of and misuse of words and sentence structure...

i believe the work will be about grief released...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Still day 5

She winds out into the lake so still with the sound splashing round. And at her end, not a cage, but a cocoon, a nest, a safe place, a magnificent space

A place to write, to be, to absorb, to take risks in my words, my thoughts, my emotions--to allow grief to be what it is and allow it to wane in it's passing. Grief will come to it's fullness in emptiness and pass. Here is the space for the passing. I will allow it to pass.

I think I have found my place for stillness for the month.