Moving Ahead

RIVER, watercolor on paper, 10×14

I have entered a suspended state. After many years, I am ready to move.

I am between worlds, of my own volition.

For now, my loyalty is not to a place, but to the planet. 

I am a temporary nomad, no longer resident but a citizen of the world.

*          *          *

I acknowledge the luxury of my plight. I do not have to flee in the night, and I expect to end up in a better place.

Whatever I feel now is the result of my desire. I am lured by the sweet nectar of possibility, the imperative of change. 

To get from here to there, eventually I must lift both feet. Free floating for a second, a week, a month, or more. There’s no other way.

At times it feels is as if I have already left — but not like vacation: the scenery stays the same, and I have chores.

*          *          *

COLT’S FOOT, watercolor on paper, 10×14

Bananas on cereal: the morning kibble. More than ever, I crave my routines.

A male rabbit holes up in a moss-covered shed by the old cement loading dock draped with vines. He is in exile, perhaps; stupid or weak. 

He risks a perilous, paved path just to get a little grass. Maybe he just likes being alive, accepts that he could be gone quick as a kitchen-counter ant.

He knows nothing else, and had no choice, like the fawn who, gathering its first breath, perceives a leaf blower’s distant wail or unmuffled motorcycle’s beastly roar as predators. Naïve as a child born to autocrats and info wars.

Every March a bright patch of dandelion-yellow colt’s foot, even before bloodroot.

*          *          *

I landed here: 

Mostly in fields: Brookfield, Plainfield, Hatfield.

With heat and electricity, naturally; 
hot water and flush toilets.

Electric can openers and color TV; 
Fizzies and NuGrape.

Assassins, Cold War, and polluted streams; 
iodine and ether.

Bedrock belief in democracy’s strength to bear the terrible weight of its aspirations.

*          *          *

The dike along the river bends through vast acres that will soon be green with corn, potato, and tobacco; spinach, carrot, and soybean; tomato and kale. Tractors stir the cake-like soil.

I have never felt closer to this land as I prepare to leave it.

Yet already there is earth-shaking going on around here.

Rearranging or removing what I cannot toss away.

Painters and carpenters bang and hammer. 

Preparing for a place I do not know.

There’s life in old things. Some memories charm. Others shatter.

*          *          *

Foraging for fiddleheads.

It is time to let go, to pass along this magnificent home. 

Wild asparagus, perhaps for the last time.

Always leave a place better than you found it. 

White violets on a hillside.

My copious gardens may not be maintained. So be it. Each to his own.

*          *          *

The steady metronome of oars on needle-like sculls thread the river.

Seven floating mallards, listless but alert, reflect the morning sun, riding the current, sliding sideways, trusting the day.

FOREST, watercolor on paper, 12×9

8 Replies to “Moving Ahead”

  1. Your journey has been starting for years and you have walked, painted and gardened your way to the next step.I know it will be filled with love.

    1. Thank you for the kind and supportive words. It has certainly been an interesting journey so far, and promises to continue that way! Happy painting.

  2. This art is different! It’s so loose and beautifully composed. Maybe it reflects underlying responses that you write about -an openness to change.

    1. Thank you, Christine. I suspect you are right, and the fluidity of watercolors add to the effect.

  3. I can feel you and see you in your words and your art. It is as if this time you are one and the same.
    And I know peacefully that good things are out there for you.

  4. Thank you! I so appreciate this. As you well know, I have been working on ways to combine text with images, and I think this is the best example yet. Now the challenge is to see if I can do it again, and on a regular basis. The encouragement helps.

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