Friday, January 10, 2020

Cardinal on a Snowy Branch

Cardinal on Snowy Branch / Oil on black canvas, unframed, $68


Sometimes, I miss the winter days, the way the sharp cold light drains the color from the sky - or adds it, either way, shifting it, reminding me of growing up, winters in Connecticut, the sky so close, a part of the day in ways it wouldn't be again for years, until I started painting. Until I started looking.

The cardinals are as jewel-like in Virginia's gray mornings, though there is something to be said for the way they strut their color in a New England winter morning, and shake the new snow from a thin branch, announcing their flashy beauty.

For Today

Wild Geese
Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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