Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cats who supervise

Here you see my studio mascot intently watching one of my students at work.
When students arrive, she greets them all and then
supervises their creations.
Her usual mode is to sit ON top of their notebooks which lay open on my desk.
Occasionally she will jump up on one of their stools in front of their
drawing or painting.
I just know she's going to return in another life and be some hot shot artist
and only I will be the wiser!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A friend has gone

In the lovely wooded yard behind my friend's home there is a stand of bamboo, just like this one.
As I looked through my photographs to find one that would be just right
for this moment, I found this one.....
An empty bench in front of beautiful bamboo.
And so my friend Doug has left us.
He lived a very good and long life, carrying it on all the way to 92.
His marriage of 68 years was a very good one
and I am happy to know that his dear wife is doing well, though as she told me,
there is a hole in her heart.
I have know this remarkable family for many many years. There are lots of them! In Doug's generation, there were 6 siblings. I have been close friends with 4 of them and their special grace and humor has been a constant gift in my life.
No one I know in my life knows them except my son, and he was too young to really have the relationship I have had.
So I am finding it somewhat lonely not to have anyone with which to share this loss.
Of course there are the others in Doug's family,
but that is not the same as having friends that have a real idea, a deep understanding of what this means in terms of the loss that it is to me.
There are some people that have made life so precious, so celebrated, so funny, so full of care and attention,
that their departure leaves a hole of magnitude....
and an empty bench.
Today I sit on a bench like this and know that anyone who may read this will understand, especially Doug.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Abundance of pleasure

This seems the perfect illustration of what this blog is about and why I am writing it.
Life has much in it that is not so beautiful and is hard to admire.
Perhaps if we didn't resist those things we don't consider beautiful they would change for us.
After all, it is we who determine beauty and ugliness.
Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1741, wrote:
"Beauty, like supreme dominion
Is but supported by opinion."
With this cherry blossom loveliness, I daresay the opinion of loveliness is

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Springtime in Washington D.C.

It has been many years since I saw the quintessential cherry blossoms
in the heart of Washington D.C.
This year I had the great good fortune to be invited along with friends of mine and WOW
What a Day!
It was, as you see, all blue skies and blossoms at their peak.
Even if all the things one can say have been said about this experience,
it is still so absolutely marvelous and enchanting.
I loved seeing the people taking in the loveliness of the day and its visual treasures.
Thank you once again to Japan for this tremendous gift.