Seeking a Little Refuge

Yesterday the sweltering heat took a short break, the wind began to blow, I looked at my big white dog and said, “What do you think, Bear?” It was a silly question because I KNEW what she thought, but it’s good to be polite. I didn’t think we’d have a very large window of opportunity, and I didn’t know about the deer flies (they might be gone!), but I have been really tired of the combination of heat, the sore shoulder, the smoke in the skies keeping us homebound for the most part. I carped the diem and we headed to the Refuge.

We found ourselves embraced by the late summer, golden blooming wetlands that can be so pretty to look at and occasionally pleasant to be in. Bear was happy. I was happy. The Refuge even seemed happy, and, for the first time in more than a week the mountains to the west were visible.

There are, for now, fewer birds, but that will change soon. Often by now the Sandhill Cranes have begun to return on their way to Bosque Apache in New Mexico, and, naturally, I hoped they were back, but I neither saw nor heard any sign of them. That doesn’t mean they’re not around. It just means they were not there right then. But, if I were them, I’d be in no hurry to fly through all the smoke that has been lingering in the air points north of here.

As for the deer flies? Well, I think the wind blew one straight at my forehead where it may have exploded, but that could have been the seed of a plant. I heard one mosquito, so it’s possible that the bug days of summer are coming to a halt. The wind blew from the north which was, to me, a harbinger of good things to come — including the cranes.

I’m also beginning to come out of the cave into which I crawled after my return from The Big City. I had a funny text exchange with the kid’s mom I’ll share for laughs. The first time they came to my house, they wanted to see my room because they’re kids and their rooms are everything to them, and because they seem to see me as a kind of kid. “Can we see your room?”

I said to the kid’s mom, “How do you feel about naked people?” She looked at me in bewilderment and concern. “I have a painting of a nude in there.”

“Oh,” she said. “Probably not. I don’t think we’re ready for that talk.”

I have a painting of a naked lady over my bed. I did the painting. it is a naked lady but it also isn’t. It’s Danae and the inspiration for it was the first night I spent in Munich on my way to Verona where I spent a month learning Italian, going to operas, studying frescoes on church walls and a lot of other stuff. That night I was so exhausted that I fell asleep while I was taking off my socks. I woke up in the night to the bright saffron light of an Indian restaurant shining through the open window of my room. I stayed awake long enough to finish actually going to bed. It wasn’t such a big deal except it was the beginning of a wonderful adventure. There’s another naked lady in my bathroom. I remembered Danae and stashed her under my bed, but I forgot the one in my bathroom.

ANY-hoo, the kids’ (kids up the alley) mom texted me that they had a present for me. Yesterday she wrote:


There’s nothing prurient about either painting, but you don’t want to force a mom into answering questions about naked people if she doesn’t want to. πŸ™‚

19 thoughts on “Seeking a Little Refuge

  1. We have a few deer flies in the woods. Nasty little buggers!

    Amazing how awkward a perfectly artistic nude can make a situation isn’t it. Oh well, perhaps its a modicum of jealousy because you’re strong enough to enjoy such a painting and they’re not! As for the kids, they’ll learn one day!

    • People are raised differently. I live in a very conservative small town. I don’t expect people to have anything other than the standard prejudice against nudity. It’s OK. It reminds me how lucky I have been in my life to have had the opportunities I’ve had. ❀

  2. Kids are funny. I remember being at a museum where there were sculptures of nudes. Kids looked at each other, then told their mom/teacher “That lady has no clothes.” Mom/teacher smiled and nodded and they all moved on. I guess some people foist their own thoughts onto their kids.

    • If I had kids, I wouldn’t care if they looked at art work of naked people. In my mind it is distinct from sex most of the time and maybe always for the uninitiated. Obviously for those kids it’s OK that I have naked people pictures in my house. πŸ˜€

  3. This post made my day! I’d love to be a neighbor to you all. You and your nekked lady paintings…I get it! And the kids crack me up! It reminds me of an episode of Little House when Mrs. Oleson was teaching (she didn’t think Laura was doing a good job). In an effort to teach the farm kids “culture” she taught French and art history. Oh boy did a farmer come unglued that she was showing nekked ladies to his son! πŸ€πŸ€—πŸ˜

  4. Hahah…too funny! Ophelia always looks at me with annoyance when I tell her I have to get my skins on before we can walk. She thinks it takes up too much precious time! She’d be much happier of we all went in our original skins!

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