Saturday, April 16, 2011

Co-Creation with the Landbase Requires Deep Attention

Here's a great post by artist Sally J. Smith that shows what it's like to pay deep attention to your landbase. In a recent interview, Smith described how her art reached a turning point when she realized that she wanted to be out in nature, co-creating art with it, rather than inside a studio, making pictures of it. You can see in her post how this requires her to enter into relationship with her landbase, rather than simply live on it.
I don't know what it has been like where you live, but here it seemed winter would last forever. It was just last week that I was bundled up and huddled along the ice-bound shores of the lake waiting for the sun to rise. I still had the chance to make ice sculptures it was so cold here. The snow was deep in the woods, but it was crystallized and granular. The delicate flakes long gone, but now a coarse sugary texture. Difficult to make sculptures with as it does not stick together well. So this time of year is tricky in terms of making sculptures. But the sun is so strong now that the snows do melt, even if the temperatures can only rise to the low 40s which was all that could be managed last week. But the emerald green mosses are emerging and letting me know that soon, very soon it will be time to play with this exquisite green once more.

The combination of melting snow and icy nights makes for some fascinating sculptures to be found however! One day, while walking in a nearby field, I found these delicate polka dot creations creating an exquisite lace effect at the edge of the snow. The day was grey and the wind was cold, but the day before had been sunny. Just warm enough to create the droplets on the underside of the paper thin ice... which re-froze in the chill and still night air.

You should read the whole post for great discussions of her close connection to some local birds and the control that nature exercises over her work.

How deep is your attention to your landbase? How deep is your landbase's attention to you? Who's leading the dance?

Picture found here.

V Early Morning Saturday Poetry Blogging

I lived in the first century of world wars.
Most mornings I would be more or less insane,
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
The news would pour out of various devices
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.
I would call my friends on other devices;
They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to pen and paper,
Make my poems for others unseen and unborn.
In the day I would be reminded of those men and women,
Brave, setting up signals across vast distances,
Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.

I lived in the first century of these wars.

Friday Night Poetry Blogging


The moon has your face tonight,
hiding behind black-violet veils
of clouds, coy, intimating nothing.

Like an orange outside the grasp
of a starving child, you stab my heart.
All longing is the same.

No natural light penetrates
this street; the lampposts rule.
The high-rises have mothered

them from their concrete wombs,
bidding us rejoice in coldness,
disdaining the celestial tease.

The moon has phases. Though I pray
not, you might be one. The clouds
pull tight, tight around your mouth.
~ Miles David Moore

Picture (from a different part of DC) found here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, when in fact we live steeped in its burning layers.

~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Picture found here.

Violet and Jack

It's been a cold, wet Spring so far, here in the mercurial MidAtlantic. That weather pattern has its own gifts, but does make sunshine extra special. Which made today really wonderful: sunny, warm, cloudless. I had to take a break from my work and sit out in the woodland garden. It's amazing how fast things change from one day to the next, this time of year. Yesterday, the jack-in-the-pulpits were all still curled up like an odd oragami experiment.

This afternoon, many of them are open in all their secretive, spiral, cobra-headed glory. Landscape Guy and I put these in several years ago and it's wonderful to see them thriving and spreading on their shady, little hill.

And, just as suddenly, the violets are in bloom. When I was growing up, we had a truly huge, decades-old mass of them in our yard and I loved to pick great big violet nosegays. The thing about violets is, they're going to grow where they're going to grow (the ones here seem to especially love mulched spots, oh well) and you're not going to stop them. So you might as well say, "Look! Aren't my violets doing well?" and enjoy.

Is there a bit of Earth that's special to you, a space with which you cultivate a regular relationship? What's happening in it just now? What are you doing there just now?

Photos by the author. If you copy, please link back.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Republicans Are Liars

Kali fuck, would it have killed Kyl to say, "Sorry; I made a mistake"?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011