Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Work In Progress: The Winter Road

I have been reading books about Georgia O'Keeffe lately. I had a fascination with her work and life way back when I was getting my undergraduate degree in fine arts, and lately, for some reason, I have returned to her story. Nearly forty years have passed since I last thought seriously about her work, and I find that there is a richness there that--though I loved her work even then--I didn't see before. The books I've been reading--a wonderful, comprehensive, and scholarly biography by Roxana Robinson, and books on O'Keeffe's houses and clothing--have given me much to think about. I'm still processing it, and don't know where it is leading, so there is no point in talking about it just yet. But I have also been using this time to work on a painting of Hesperaloe parviflora (Red Yucca) in which I pay homage to one of her later paintings, "The Winter Road." Accordingly, that is what I have named this painting.





I think a pilgrimage to Abique is in order.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Radio silence

Well, it has been a sad week, hasn't it? My heart is breaking for the families of the victims of the Parkland shooting.

And yet.

And yet I took my class to the City of Lubbock Cemetery today. The weather was warm and breezy, with clear skies. I sent them off in small groups to find birds, and they did--including a small flock of Red Crossbills! Then I read them a passage from Leopold's A Sand County Almanac that my friend Jill sent me earlier in the day. Jill and I used to bird in that very same cemetery back when she still lived here, and the Leopold passage she sent was about a small patch of prairie left in a cemetery. So in many ways, a beautiful synchronicity occurred.

The students listened closely to the reading at the end of class, some of them with their heads bowed so they could better concentrate. Then I asked them what they wanted to do for the weekly prompt, and one of them suggested that they write a reflection about what Leopold had said about the loss of that little patch of prairie.

My students are the moons that shine over me. I would die for them. Let us hope it never comes to that.

I have given up Facebook. Deleted my Twitter account (not that I ever used it). I crave silence right now. I crave a respite from the social media cacophony that makes me angry and sad all the time, the digital strife that amplifies the heartache in the world, but changes nothing. So this is it: this blog and Instagram. Plus, in a blast from a slower past, I am writing letters again. You know, with papers and stamps and leaky fountain pens and everything. My heart already feels more quiet since turning my back on it all.