Shep

Border Collie

Just one drawing today… Yesterday coming home from a walk with Bear I heard a song on Mohammed’s Radio that I first heard the day I accepted the offer on my California house and KNEW I was leaving. I’d seen Monte Vista by then, and knew I was moving here, but I didn’t know where. The song struck me as prescient except for some of the details. Of course I didn’t know then, 2014, what the valley to which was moving would mean to me. My river has a different name. And hearing the lyric, “I wish I was a slave to an age old trade…” I thought, “Yeah but I’m retiring.” I still thought that would be cool but what trade?

I started painting again after decades when I was still in California, probably in 2009. I was already in love with it. Painting was liberating while teaching was mostly a struggle. “Is this who I am?” I asked whatever it is we ask.

My writing life and travel taught me about painting, history, materials, motivations. This year when I decided to just go for it and to paint what would sell as well what came from the innermost part of me, I consciously joined the timeless choir of hired painters, and I love it. I am a slave to an age old trade. It’s grand.

7 thoughts on “Shep

  1. Exactamundo, mon amie. Yeah, I’m a guitar player, but if somebody asks, I answer “poet.” In my life, it’s the highest calling. Ancient trade, indeed. Well said.

      • Reminds me of a William Stafford poem:

        A Story That Could Be True

        If you were exchanged in the cradle and
        your real mother died
        without ever telling the story
        then no one knows your name,
        and somewhere in the world
        your father is lost and needs you
        but you are far away.

        He can never find
        how true you are, how ready.
        When the great wind comes
        and the robberies of the rain
        you stand on the corner shivering.
        The people who go by–
        you wonder at their calm.

        They miss the whisper that runs
        any day in your mind,
        “Who are you really, wanderer?”–
        and the answer you have to give
        no matter how dark and cold
        the world around you is:
        “Maybe I’m a king.”

  2. Love that turn of phrase – slave to an age old trade! Some people never find that special gift that becomes vocation, some never look for it. So happy for you and your discovery of that which brings you joy!!

  3. Beautiful, Martha. I’m so glad to be introduced to these artists and this song too. I love it. I’m so glad you’re a slave to an age old trade. What a grand life indeed. ❤

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