#3 winter solstice 2016

| No Comments
I wanted to draw into residue iron marks on sheets of cotton and I wished I could call up my Dad. I envisioned using crayons on the fabric and I imagined that he would have some interesting suggestion of material or approaches. Crayons were one of his special materials. Instead I had to invent my own roads. I could work from the well worn memory of corduroy and the Crayola crayons of my childhood and cross new edges into my own adult solutions.

03 winter2016.jpg"I kept inventing new roads

between the wales of corduroy

or were they rows of fields I traveled?--

All the distances to get away from--

it was then as now--

mere edges to cross."

--Diane Glancy, from "It Was Then," DIAGRAM (no. 9.5

#2 winter solstice 2016

| No Comments
When I have been out walking the dog in the dark and I come home hungry with no idea of what to make for dinner I start by slicing an onion and sautéing some garlic and then the rest of the dinner comes together. This series of images starts with some cotton fabric that had the residue of iron slip on wet clay from making nothingness plates for Omen-Azen in New York. These marks were the beginning of the story.

02 winter2016.jpgYou may do this, I tell you, it is permitted.
Begin again the story of your life.
--Jane Hirshfield, from De Capo, in The Lives of the Heart

#1 winter solstice 2016

| No Comments
Here is the first image in my solstice project. The usual sequence is 21 images with thoughts leading towards December 21, the shortest day of the year.

_WAF5514.jpgSpring passes and one remembers one's innocence.

Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.

Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.

Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.

-Yoko Ono

equinox 2016

| No Comments
This morning I was looking for balance, thinking about what we have achieved this season rather than the to do lists that loom. I walked this evening noticing leaves on the grass, seed heads in the field, and the bark of the sycamore. I worked in the studio on pots, gathering my accidents and claiming them as purposeful. I picked a moon-flower for the table and some basil for dinner. I watched the sunset, recognizing the poise in the September light.

equinox 2016.jpg
"Sycamore" by Wendell Berry
In the place that is my own place, whose earth
I am shaped in and must bear, there is an old tree growing,
a great sycamore that is a wondrous healer of itself.
Fences have been tied to it, nails driven into it,
hacks and whittles cut in it, the lightning has burned it.
There is no year it has flourished in
that has not harmed it. There is a hollow in it
that is its death, though its living brims whitely
at the lip of the darkness and flows outward.
Over all its scars has come the seamless white
of the bark. It bears the gnarls of its history
healed over. It has risen to a strange perfection
in the warp and bending of its long growth.
It has gathered all accidents into its purpose.
It has become the intention and radiance of its dark fate.
It is a fact, sublime, mystical and unassailable.
In all the country there is no other like it.
I recognize in it a principle, an indwelling
the same as itself, and greater, that I would be ruled by.
I see that it stands in its place, and feeds upon it,
and is fed upon, and is native, and maker.

something extra

| No Comments
Here are a few of the extra images from my summer solstice series 2016. A month later the pea blossoms seem like ancient history my day lilies are over and I have pulled out the last of the broccoli. Even so I still love to linger in the twilight with the fireflies and feel as if there is so much left of summer to discover.

The French called this time of day 'l'heure bleue.' To the English it was 'the gloaming.' The very word 'gloaming' reverberates, echoes--the gloaming, the glimmer, the glitter, the glisten, the glamour--carrying in its consonants the images of houses shuttering, gardens darkening, grass-lined rivers slipping through the shadows. During the blue nights you think the end of day will never come. As the blue nights draw to a close (and they will, and they do) you experience an actual chill, at the moment you first notice: the blue light is going, the days are already shortening, the summer is gone.
Joan Didion, from Blue Nights (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
The last few mornings I have found racoon footprints in our dog's outdoor water bowl and my amaryllis dumped out of its pot. It is as if they were playing some version of rock-paper-scissors and the winner gets to spread my potting soil with glee. I am glad the racoon does not have more night time hours to wreck havoc on the porch or in our shed, although, I am sad that we have now reached that moment on the calendar when the days begin shortening.

21 summer 2016.jpgBy the pond at night
three raccoons play
paper, scissors, rock.
They do have the hands
to do it. When they get bored
they turn around the clocks
while you lie sleeping.

By Lorna Crozier,
from "Notes for a Small Pocket," in The Wrong Cat.

#20 summer solstice 2016

| No Comments
This evening was officially the summer solstice marking the longest period of daylight for the year. It is also the full moon. The native Americans called this the strawberry moon. Here in Virginia the local strawberries are done. In Europe it is known as the honey moon. I think I'd call it the firefly moon. We lingered on the porch after dinner watching fireflies until the moon peeked above the tree tops.

20 summer 2016.jpgIf you catch a firefly
            and keep it in a jar
You may find that
            you have lost
A tiny star.

If you let it go then,
            back into the night,
You may see it
            once again
Star bright.

-- Lilian Moore

#19 summer solstice 2016

| No Comments
It's been a great weekend full of new and old friends. The trees stood by as silent witnesses to our comings and goings.

19 summer 2016.jpgI'm thinking about people and trees and how I wish I could be silent more, be more tree than anything else, less clumsy and loud, less crow, more cool white pine, and how it's hard not to always want something else, not just to let the savage grass grow.

--  Ada Limón, from "Mowing" in Bright Dead Things (via pigmentin

#18 summer solstice 2016

| No Comments
The deer have only eaten some of the daylilies.

18 summer 2016.jpg
"It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings."

--  Wendell Berry, from "Poetry and Marriage: The Use of Old Forms," Standing by Words (Counterpoint, 1983)

#17 summer solstice 2016

| No Comments
This morning's grey horizon gave way to brilliant cool breezes. We have garlic scapes in vases, pots which hold memories, tables that serve as horizons, and what ever we have forgotten will go unnoticed.

17 summer 2016.jpgEverything behind us

Is before us
Stretched out: an endless

Grey horizon.

What we don't remember

Lives in us, forever.
Cynthia Cruz, closing lines to "Guidebooks for the Dead (II)," Field (no. 93, Fall 2015)

Recent Assets

  • 03 winter2016.jpg
  • 02 winter2016.jpg
  • _WAF5514.jpg
  • equinox 2016.jpg
  • _WAF4879.jpg
  • _WAF5039.jpg
  • _WAF4900.jpg
  • _WAF4877.jpg
  • 21 summer 2016.jpg
  • 20 summer 2016.jpg

Recent Comments

  • Linda Starr: this vignette is particularly appealing to me especially the scissors, read more
  • Catherine White: Sorry; comments not working. read more
  • Catherine White: Sorry, but we haven't been able to get the Captcha-authorization read more
  • Emily Hancock: Exceptional. Moving. Beautiful. read more
  • Ken Davis: Hi Catherine, In 1985 I wrote a poem in memory read more
  • Emily Hancock: Wonderful. read more
  • Teresa: Catherine, your post was so lovely and moving. I cried read more
  • Emily Hancock: I love your posts and pics and quotes. Thank you read more
  • Jessie Duff-McLaurin: Could you include me in your solstice entries? Thanks so read more
  • Lucy Fagella: oh those images in the sketchbooks... it's always such a read more


Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.