Random Update

“It’s time for us to go, but we’ll be back soon,” say the cranes.
“We’re not going anywhere,” say the mountains all around me.
“I’m only here for now,” says the pale ice along the river.
“We’re fine. This is what we were made for,” say the mule deer munching golden grass beside the tracks.
“I’m hungry, but I can hunt,” says the eagle.
“One foot in front of the other,” I think.


The conditions of a solitary bird are five:
The first, that it flies to the highest point;
the second, that it does not suffer for company,
not even of its own kind;
the third, that it aims its beak to the skies;
the fourth, that it does not have a definite color;
the fifth, that it sings very softly.-

San Juan de la Cruz, Dichos de Luz y Amor


A few months ago I bought painting panels. At the time I thought, “Oh boy, I’m going to paint BIGGER,” but in the meantime I painted a LOT bigger (twice). Yesterday I unwrapped the panels. 18 x 24. It looks like a postage stamp on my easel. I have no ideas for a painting, either. There was something transformative about painting on a surface that was, if I stood it on its corner, taller than I am. I liked painting that size VERY VERY much, but I don’t see any way to make a habit of it. And then it’s not like I sell a lot of paintings…

The festive season is upon us. My Christmas lights cross the front window. It’s been a long haul and sometimes stoicism only goes so far. Monday was a good day — a new president and a vaccine is out in the world, given to the people who need it most. According to the “plan” I should be vaccinated sometime in March.

I wonder HOW I could have known several months ago that by March I would be back out into the world, but I did know. I think about the world I will go “back” into, and it’s not that different from this world into which I’ve retreated. I realize I’m psychologically trashed. I’m hoping for a president who doesn’t need my constant (and futile) attention. I think of my friend in Italy who said he liked Trump because Trump didn’t involve the US in more wars. I didn’t respond to that, or say that the withdrawal had been happening for a while before Trump, and that Trump’s destabilizing of alliances in Europe was dangerous, too. I don’t want to argue with anyone, least of all someone I’ve known so long and whose friendship I value so much.

If I’ve learned anything through the shitshow of 2020 it’s that my opinion has no impact on anything or anyone but me. Wearing 8 inches of cotton across my face does.

I’m so tired.


20 thoughts on “Random Update

  1. Yes, psychologically trashed. Gonna take a while to recover. Funny about the panels…now you’ll be painting…”miniatures?” πŸ™‚

  2. Yes and yes again. I used to make big orbs – basketball sized. Then I ran out of room! It is fun to experiment with different sizes of art but all are special in their own way. I’m certain that in due time you will be inspired to paint something that is just right for that size canvas! As for politics, there isn’t much more to be said. Except maybe Congratulations Joe & Kamala!

  3. Ditto to your punch line. This year it has finally dawned on me that my poems do make people think, and willingly, whereas when I speak I’m just a person speaking. Humbling… And freeing.

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