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Monday, November 7, 2011

After the Quiet

This afternoon I took myself, Sancho, Pierré the Canon and a two percent Latté into the forest.  Winter made a great show of arriving and we sloshed through deep mud and wadded in ferns rib-high.  I've had a quiet week, the kind where so much time was spent digesting the beautiful aftermath of the yoga weekend, that I had little to say externally.
I found something so glorious within that I could not be bothered with banal duties.  I sang aloud and let the laundry sit.
I fell down the well.  Sancho, beautiful beautiful soul came and laid his jowlies on my knees and gave me everything in his soulful eyes.  Thai velcroed himself to my lap and purred with all his might.  These canine hearts, these feline souls are some of my dearest confidants and best friends.
I gained courage in a painting I'd set off in a corner of the studio, one that I've not been ready to face until now.  I started it several months back with a ghost of imagery playing in my head; when I began to paint in earnest, I found the meaning, what I would need to confront within in order to paint in utter honesty.  And I was not ready.  Not until this week.
I found a window flung wide open, after months and months of feeling my way in the dark, looking for any small fissue to gain a way forward but finding only solid rock.
I started three new paintings (PINK! Oh my god, it's so pink, an internal cavern of anatomy, deep and pulsing.  But somehow, so exactly right).
I've listened to so much wordless music.
I feel like last week was one of those existential birthings, one that I've been carrying for a long long time.  It was perfect, it was rocky.  Thank god I have a good man and some sturdy running shoes.  And that I know the secret to a great 6-layer bean dip (it's Fayeh yogurt in place of sour cream.  Come on.  So delish) and this salad, because it was all I could carve time to eat.
But tonight, before I take on my womanly duties (there are approximately one hundred and twenty pounds of beast waiting to be fed - daylight savings is throwing them off and the bitch session is incredible), I want to share this with you.

"Everything is gestation and then birthing.  To let each impression and each embryo of feeling come to completion entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born; this alone is what it means to live as an artist.
In this, there is no measuring with time, a year doesn't matter, and ten years are nothing.  Being an artist means not numbering and counting but ripening like a tree which doesn't force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward, summer may not come.
It does come."
- Rainer Maria Rilke
If a heart falls in the forest, does it mean it's made of lichen?
Peace be with you tonight.
~ Umber ~


Melissa said...

I adore that first photo. I just want to reach out and touch it!

cbumpmax said...

Such soothing words. Thank you for helping me quiet the grumblings tonight.

UmberDove said...

M - You would love these forests. They are a veritable feast of moss and fern.

C - Thank you, thank you for your last words here. They truly were so good to hear.

Lorena sometimes ... said...

heavenly Earth.
exquisite YOU!

life giving, breath taking, spirit cleansing, it is.
it is.
it all is ONE.

and i, i believe it too . . . ALL of it

Joyful said...

Luv your ruminations. I also lurve that top photo. So beautiful.

Desiree Fawn said...

Lovely <3

Melissa said...

I need a forest home and a desert home. Six months spent in each. I've got the desert house... now just to convince John that we need another home.

kerin rose said...

I think I carried Rainer around under my arm when I was a young 'un until the pages fell apart....hoping, with all my might, that somehow the wisdom might weave itself into my soul and understandings of the world by osmosis.......

so happy for you that you have climbed over around and thru whatever it was that was in your way are flowing again.....

Cat said...

There is something in the air, an opening into the soul is reaching forward. Your words grab at that feeling, and it is brilliant.

Kathleen said...

such pretty photographs. just feeling your feelings is something to treasure.

i cannot wait to see the paintings you have brewing.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

I adore you. You ARE goodness, of this I am sure and you show it over and over again.

Love from The Big Island,

MrsLittleJeans said...

Good to see you Mlle Dove. The first photo reminded me of some place spooky, the second reminded me of how I like to view trees, I am fascinated by trees bottom up. The last quote, though written for artists apparently, I find to be most useful for everyone as a way of life, accepting, waiting patiently, letting gestate, .... I am so happy that your brushes are inspired again.xx

Trista Anodei said...

My cats are still on daylight savings time, too. They are not happy that I don't seem to be feeding them on time this week. (It certainly doesn't help that winter has arrived in the east bay, too, making down blankets necessary, taking me that much longer to extract myself in the morning.)

Those Rilke words? Thank you... so much. I've spent too much time away from him and had forgotten what a kindred spirit he is, and how wise. (You too, of course.)

mme. bookling said...

I love seeing that quote appear here. Hope the handwritten one I left you is still somewhere in your studio. Little pieces of me, folded into the genius of others' words...since I can't be there for these big revelations. I am so curious what broke free...and fully expect to see it written in a letter soon.


Rubee said...

Thanks...I needed that.

UmberDove said...

I know, Rilke... those words are (and have been) taped up (gridded washi tape if you must know) in my studio. I know them by heart. Somedays I recite them as I draw, searching for lines, feeling out shapes.


Cat said...


love and light