The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper – 1974
So the shortest day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen,
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us — listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight
This shortest day
As promise wakens in the sleeping land.
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends, and hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year, and every year.
We are all travelers.
We see what is true and we push past what we know to be false.
The question is: Where do we go?
What place is true and good and real?
Where is the place that will speak to us in a voice that is familiar and kind?
Where is true found… and false forgotten?
(an advertisement for New Mexico… Adventure that feeds the soul begins here. NewMexico.org)
Sometimes a page has no unified concept. Here I’ve got New Hampshire’s COVID-19 numbers for early November and my thoughts about Tropical Storm Eta, all atop an ink and wash painting of my sweet cat, Nutmeg.
Yup, it’s just a mash-up of disparate concepts.
… Sorta’ like my life.
live with intention.
work to the edge.
play with abandon.
choose with no regret.
continue to learn.
appreciate your friends.
do what you love.
live as if this is all there is.
– M. Radmacher
These eyes are from the final image… notice the more rounded iris on the left… still a bit cross-eyed… but nowhere near as bad as in my first draft.
Over the summer I painted this fella from a photo in the Sktchy app on my phone. First I drew in a rough sketch in pencil and then painted a light base layer.
I’m using an Arteza Watercolor Journal – 9 in. X 12 in. This paper sucks up paint and I knew I needed layers to get the desired contrast and vibrancy.
Better. I even thought I was done. But no. I’m sure you can see it too… there’s something wrong with the eye on the left. His eyes aren’t tracking correctly… he’s cross-eyed in my journal but not in his photo. (I’m sorry I can’t show you the photo but he owns the copyright and I don’t have permission to post it. You can see it linked to my work in Sktchy.)
Anyway… it sat on my desk for months before I attempted the fix. It’s subtle, but I rounded the iris on the left hoping to separate the two irises and correct his focus. It seems to have helped… sort of… not entirely, but it’s time to move on, turn the page and select another victim.
I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our time wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.
– Anne Lamott
Auuuugh!!! It broke! If I tried gluing back together it would only break again because the clip would put too much torque on the cap.
But look… there’s a hex nut holding the clip and top together. If I can remove the clip I can screw the top together and glue it back onto the cap.
Since it’s one of my older pens AND I have one of the newer versions already inked I wasn’t afraid to mess around.
Superglue to the rescue!
Not bad. I’ll be able to cap the pen and at keep it for home use.
Too bad that the clip keeps it from rolling off the table… I guess I’ll have to MacGyver something for that.
One for the road and one for home. Win – Win.
Where the spirit leads, the feet will follow…
down distant paths for unmapped miles.
Heads forget but hearts remember.
The art of living knows no bounds.
(from an advertisement for Prana)
Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
making the complicated simple,
– Charles Mingus