With a new day comes a new heat. Today they (I will leave them unnamed) work on the septic tank. Seems a flaw in design or installation has caused an unneccessary burden on the system. The country life brings different issues and sometimes more complex issues because of the lack of resources.
I ran this morning on the treadmill. I haven't been on it for a while. It was nice to revisit that space. It was like an old friend. In all honesty, I haven't run much at all since the Bolder Boulder. I broke training in a big way, I suppose. But working on the steps has helped me keep a certain level of fitness, a form of strength training, if you will.
It's supposed to be hot all week. The day is starting that way. That's what drove me inside to run. There is that summer haze in the air. Familiar and yet, what causes a haze in the desert? Perhaps it is what's left over from the winds of the past few days. Fortunately, the heat has started later this year. I am trying to be more accepting overall, so I will try to be more accepting of the heat. Open yourself to see what it has to offer. If nothing else, perhaps a deeper appreciation of the cool.
I wanted to paint poetry. Seemed like a noble enough ambition. The problem was I didn't know where to begin. I had often heard paintings referred to as visual poetry. I just wasn't convinced I had really ever seen such. Oh, there were glimpses, I suppose, but mostly in work that did not claim to be anything more than it was. Maybe that was part of the answer on how to proceed.
The cicada drone on this morning. It's getting hot early...
I completed the first of the actual steps yesterday. My work has improved a bit from my initial efforts. This step drains well, unlike the "too level" landing. I may have to do something about that, but other than laying a new layer over the existing layer, I'm not sure what I can do.
This is the close of Father's Day. A quiet day all-in-all, but at one point something miraculous happened. I'm not sure I want to talk about it just yet. Suffice it to say, it was an intimate experience that only I witnessed, as far as I know, and as yet, I am still not sure how to interpret. I journaled about it. And possibly over the coming days I will come to grips with the experience. I will probably try to rationalize it and that may be the worse thing I could do. More to come on this, I am sure
I am in Denver. I'm back here to follow up on dental issues (a crown) and various other things that still tie us to this area. I am struck this trip with the contrast between this place and the desert. Here is such a gentler way of living. The weather is more moderate. There is grass. There are sidewalks. Floors that are forgiving to the bones. There are so many less insects. (Definitely, there are no biting flies.) Why go to the desert? Why did Jesus and other mystics seek it out? Do we need the harshness to understand our true nature? Is it to learn to appreciate what we had? These questions haunt me this trip.
I sit in the studio reading poetry. After several days of intense physical labor, my body is tired, but my mind seems overly active. So I give it something to concentrate on that is more like a vacation. I give it W.S. Merwin's poetry. Specifically, his new book, The Moon Before Morning, which arrived just this morning. As I read through it, I know he is writing about Hawai'i and that, plus his words, make me feel extremely...good. It is the sort of good that comes at the end of a particularly successful day. Today feels that way.
Sitting in the studio, I realize I have missed painting. I need something new to work on. That also makes me feel good.
This is an update on the progress of the studio steps project. Yesterday I got into the placing of stones on the "landing" step. The day before I had dry fit everything. Cutting, or I should say, breaking the flagstones was an exercise in trust. The gentleman who sold me the flagstone said if one hammers a line with increasing intensity, the stone will break along that line. For the most part, that is true.
Mortaring the stones was fairly easy, but the pace was intense at times. Overall, my first time at laying flagstones was pretty successful. There are some things I would do differently next time, but I am pretty pleased with the outcome so far. A lot more work to go to finish this project, but I think it will be ok.
What an all-consuming task it has become, though. I believe that has more to do with my character than the project itself. That is the way I tend to approach things.
One other thing I should note. Perhaps it is the roughness of my work or just the nature of stone, but I couldn't help but think this project already looks ancient. It is blending in with the desert, as though it knows something I do not.
A thin, constant light,
(a sun push)
wakes my empty eyes
This week starts the hot season. It is the time of no rain. Oddly, the morning starts with some clouds. Is this a tease? Is this a break from the norm? Is this an attempt at hope?
I suddenly have this desire, this urge, to 'right' everything in my life. I wish to repair all the broken things, to scrape the peeling paint and start anew. I want a sense of harmony. For one to find harmony in the midst of chaos may just be heaven.
I just made my morning venture to the studio. It's how I start my day. I go there to see what has transpired while I slept and to see if the previous day's efforts still hold up to a new day's scrutiny. Today, I was greeted with something unexpected. On the doormat was something biological. My best guess is it was the entrails of a rabbit. Just the entrails. No fur, no bones, no blood, just entrails, so pristine and unmarred, they could have been surgically removed. Was it a gift? Was it a warning? Who uses my porch and doorstep when I sleep? It was probably a coyote or an owl, perhaps, or maybe some other creature that prefers the dark to the light.
When we are young, we live for the night. As we grow old, we live for the morning.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for a couple of years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...