One Crossing

   now the grief is sharp
   my mother, oh, my mother
   come back, please, come back

 
   let me hear your voice
   let me touch your hand
   let me kiss your cheek

 
   you are dear to me, so dear
   my heart breaks that you have gone
   between one breath and the next you were gone

 
   oh, Mother, my mother
   return to me
   I want you back

 
   the pain is sharp
   but no one returns from that last departure
   I know it even as I beg for your return

 
   between one breath and the next, you slipped from the flesh
   freed spirit sitting easily, smiling
   you stood without thought, happy, and walked onward

 
   there is no crossing the same river twice
   I struggle with that truth
   longing for you

 
   longing
 

In memory of my mother:
Bereaved
Mourning
Grief
Lament
Missing Her
Upwelling
Beauty in the Close
Grievous Loss

 

Share

Lament

   a fire burnt in my being
 
          in the depths
          in the darkness
          at the heart

 
   fire to create
   fire to love
   fire to be

 
          but grief has translated me through time and space
          away from myself

 
   o, bring me the burning coal
   heart, where is thy passion?
   fire, where is thy flame?

 
   even the ashes are absent

 

In memory of my mother:
Bereaved
Mourning
Grief
Missing Her
One Crossing
Grievous Loss

 

Share

Grief

    I have gone long past autumn
    The brilliance is fled
    Soft somberness cloaks me
         as I mourn

 

    The winter has not come yet
         to close down this inbetween interval

 

    I tread the shredded leaves underfoot
    Damp from yesterday’s rain, they do not rustle
    There should be weeping
         as I mourn

 

    But the season’s death is soft, weary;
         it drags and muffles, does not cut

 

    I stand beneath dark outstretched boughs
    Remembering another tree, flanked by two like it
    My heart weeps, but my eyes merely ache
         as I mourn

 

    The clarity of the distant sky has vanished,
         coming close to mingle with the soft air, removing hope

 

    Lost between my loss and an unknown future,
    I am alone and forsaken,
    Too weary to find my way
         as I mourn

 

In memory of my mother:
Bereaved
Mourning
Lament
Missing Her
One Crossing
Grievous Loss

 

Share

The Artist in the Arena

I love Lindsey Stirling’s “The Arena.”

It’s so beautiful, so powerful. And, because I’m an artist myself, its message expresses something deep within my own heart.

Every artist who shares her work with others must brave the indifference or contempt of her audience. Every artist who creates must confront her own implacable inner judge.
 


 

“It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…”

– Theodore Roosevelt,
“Citizenship in a Republic”

 

Share

Sunlight Through Leaves

sunny-tree-300-pxWhenever I see sunlight shining through tree leaves or blades of grass, it seems magical: Nature’s stained glass windows.

As the year winds into autumn, I’ve been getting my morning sunlight on my front porch. The back deck, on the west side of my home, is perfect for the warm weather of summer. It’s shady and catches the least hint of breeze. In cool weather, that hint of breeze turns into gusts of wind, and the shadows chill. Thus my change of venue. 😀

The front yard is sheltered and sunny. On mild days – like today – the pocket of warmth means I can doff my hat and gloves! (I’ve been wearing a fingerless glove on my right hand, so that I can write in my journal while I’m outside.)

sunny-tree-2-300-pxThe trees across the street have been particularly beautiful, with the rising sun shining through them.

 

Share

A Beautiful Morning

So many of the early mornings this summer were beautiful. That of September 5th charmed me so utterly that I wrote about it in my journal. Since I am head down in the exciting final scenes of my current novel – and prefer not to take sufficient time away from it to write a blog post – I’m going to share that morning with you. 😀

September 5, 2016

Clear sky this morning, deep blue to the south, paler hue overhead, shading down to a soft warm white above the mountains to the west.

Crickets sing in the grass, their droning music punctuated by small tuneful chirps, crows in the distance, melodic twitters from songbirds nearer by. Sun brightens the trees of the slope across the way. Magical.

Sunlit weedsThe back yard is still in shadow, muted greens; golden light hits the upper branches of the holly, so tall it rises above the ridge.

The inner reaches of the maples are quite lovely, a mosaic of shadowed leaves and sunlit ones with pieces of sky showing through.

. . . “the same summer will never be coming twice.” Never quite the same.

quote from
Anne of Ingleside,
L.M. Montgomery

 

Share

Drawing for Fun and Relaxation

When my kids were little, I introduced them first to fingerpainting and then to watercolors. The fingerpainting stage was messy. I would cover their toddler table with a large plastic leaf bag and robe them in smocks and stand vigilant to steady the water bowl they used to rinse their hands when they wanted to switch colors.

Watercolor by J.M. Ney-Grimm

But when they were old enough for watercolors, the level of supervision could be considerably less. So I joined them in the fun. I’d cover the entire dining room table with leaf bags, set out three sets of paints and three cups of water for rinsing brushes, and sit down with them. We had some lovely times painting together. And I found that I enjoyed the painting almost as much as I enjoyed the time with my children.

I remembered that I’d loved drawing since I was a kid myself, and wondered if it might be good to reactivate this interest. I read a few chapters of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, but it seemed overly ambitious for me at that moment. So I poked around online and stumbled upon the Zentangle® website.

I loved what I saw there, but the starter kit was $50, a little steep for something I just wanted to experiment with. So I bookmarked it for later and went on with my life, breaking out the watercolors every now and then, even after my kids were no longer interested.

To be honest, I forgot all about Zentangles until this June, when I decided I needed a quiet activity for the evenings that didn’t involve a computer screen or a TV screen. I tried an adult coloring book, but that didn’t quite work for me. And then I remembered…something.

“Wasn’t there some kind of pen-and-ink drawing?” I said to myself. “It looked really cool. I remember I wanted to try it, but it was awfully expensive. What was the name of it?”

As you can see, my memory was very sketchy. All I had was the picture in my mind of that cool black-and-white drawing.

Luckily, I had bookmarked the site with the info. Even more luckily, I found the bookmark when I went scrolling through the hundreds of bookmarks that I’ve created. (I bookmark a lot of pages when I’m researching for my novels.)

I clicked the bookmark, it directed me to the correct site, and I said, “Oh, yeah! That’s it!” when I saw it. But I still couldn’t go for the $50 price tag.

One Zentangle a Day“I wonder if there’s a book about this on Amazon?”

You can guess the answer. There was. It was reasonably priced. And it looked like it would have just the how-to information I wanted. I purchased One Zentangle a Day and leaped on it when it arrived.

The book is not perfect. The author includes a fair bit of verbiage on shading and use of color which is not a part of the Zentangle method, although it can be used with Zentangle-inspired art. Unfortunately, this extraneous material is not particularly well explained. However, I didn’t get the book for instruction in shading or using color.

Zentangling is essentially an exploration of pattern and how different patterns can be fitted together. It’s a new name for a very old pastime.

The book presents three new patterns at a time, showing how to draw each one step by step. With each set of patterns is an example of a drawing that features them (usually mixed with a few more). You, the reader, are instructed to practice the patterns first and then to draw your own Zentangle using the new patterns, together with a few of the other patterns you’ve already learned.

So I’ve been doing just that, and it’s been a lot of fun. It has proven an excellent evening activity when I’m not in the mood to read or when I’m too tired to do anything else.

Here are some of my practice squares of patterns I learned during the first 4 days I used the book.

Zentangle patterns, day 4, 600 px

The first couple of weeks, when I drew my own Zentangle, I always used the new patterns plus a few of the older ones when the design seemed to call for them. Lately, my designs seem to demand that I use only two of the new patterns instead of all three. Since I’m doing this for fun, I go with my inspiration. It means that I’m getting “behind,” in that I’m collecting patterns I have yet to use, but who cares! I’m not in any hurry to reach the end of the book.

Here’s the Zentangle I drew using the patterns shown above.

Zentangle, day 4, 600 px

What do you think? Does it look like fun to you? What do you do when you need something quiet, but engrossing?

 

Share