I have been busy these days, busy beyond my comfort zone doing things for the house and others when I am yearning to create. I have been stealing few hours here and there to escape. One of those time when I was successful I was at a lecture introducing "When Women Were Birds". Terry Tempest Williams finally in the flesh, reading her words in person. Her beauty, her presence radiated in this Seattle Library. I was at ease, absorbing her words, transported in a deep part of myself that resonated with truth and essence. When the time came for me to speak to her, the words didn't come, as predicted my fear silenced me, I can be frozen by emotion and this was one moment that I missed my chance to express in words what I was feeling. She was very kind to me and said the right things, did the right things and hugged me, such a comforting gesture, she had understood my needs and struggle.
I have just finished reading her book. I am digesting slowly but fully what was experienced during that time. It has taken me two weeks to finish this small book. Small but so powerful to me. How can I explain the impact and the symbolics, the strange cross events that have transpired from this experience.For example, just last night, I was browsing "Pilgrimage" the book of Annie Leibovitz and gazing at the spiral image that she took of Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty. Done in 1970 on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, not to be seen for 30 years has recently resurfaced due to receding water level. This morning taking an hour to finish TTW's book I was astonished to find out that she is talking about going to see this specific earthwork. Coincidence? of course but why doesn't it feel like one?
TTW also refers to an artist that she stumble upon who depicted a spiral tower of flying birds. Mostly sparrows and swallows. Julia Barello's sculpture. I too have been drawn to those species and have had dreams of birds flying in spirals. Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis has been on my mind. They have been circling my psyche since 2004 when I saw so many spiraling above the roof tops in Cannes. The sculptures of Grainger McKoy came to mind also. Seen them in Atlanta in December and was mesmerized by the columns of birds in flight.
The allusion of the Crow eating the young bird was an event witnessed by my friends and I over an after lunch. First we were noticing the very active couple of swallows around a single crow in flight. Then all was calm when a sound of a young baby bird carried across the water in a crow's beak broke the peace and stabbed us. The baby's parents trying frantically to attack the Crow. Then we all were stunned into silence and reverence for this event. One crow probably feeding it's own family. Nature is cruel and we are part of the cruelty. In order to survive this earth has to take and give. And so we move on and give thanks and compassion.
My other escapes deal with painting. My fabrics are calling me though but I need longer time period to devote to them that I don't have right now. I can't even know why I don't have it anymore, but it is just impossible to achieve.
So on with the brushes and pens and the beautiful paints and inks flowing on the paper few minutes at a time. All the outside world Washes away and in those moments I am present.