"But there is something about Time. The sun rises and sets. The stars swing slowly across the sky and fade. Clouds fill with rain and snow, empty themselves, and fill again. The moon is born, and dies, and is reborn. Around millions of clocks swing hour hands, and minute hands, and second hands. Around goes the continual circle of the notes of the scale. Around goes the circle of night and day, the circle of weeks forever revolving, and of months, and of years."
The Small Rain by Madeleine L'Engle
I've always been aware of the cycles that run as constants through our lives, giving us continuity, a certain comforting predicatability, but this quote somehow grounds me as one soul in a continuing ever-growing circle of time. Even though things move in cycles, I'm somehow used to thinking of time as linear and that I form a link in a chain whose beginning and ending I cannot begin to see. And yet, life is circular, not at all linear and in the studio, as these things percolate, I begin to draw simple forms which make me think of tree rings....circles of time...or ripples on the water...more gentle circles flowing out, sometimes imperceptibly, toward infiinity.
The other day I was in our little stacked-wide-and-high studio storage area...there to fetch another handful of the yummy Johntimothy hand-made paper and I saw peeking out from under the stack an old unfinished drawing. This was a ghastly thing, from a brief moment in time when I thought I should be working bigger, and so I got it into my head to stitch four sheets of this 11x15" handmade paper together. Just dumb....I knew then that my work was about intimacy, but you know those moments of making something you feel should be made rather than the thing that needs to be made. Of course the piece was ungainly and I'd folded it up and stuffed it into this bin. When I pulled it out, I immediately saw the circles everywhere, the gingko leaves (even then symbols of time and memory for me) and knew that I was looking at the start of maybe a dozen small drawings. I immediately commenced to cut the thing up and have begun a new series of work.
Not surprising, it's meditative and intuitive as I make marks and draw, thinking through my hands. I'm trying to have three of these little 5x5" pieces ready in a couple days to photograph, so I can send them to the show in New Hampshire. There will be a larger series of them and I'm not sure what it will be called, but I will know when the name announces itself. It's best for me not to try to think of what it is to be called, as naming is a thing that should come from the work itself. I know the name will quietly knock on my door to announce itself when the time is right.
Meanwhile, the afternoon was spent (FINALLY) taking down the Christmas tree and putting everything away. Everything is circular....didn't we just go through this activity of quietly wrapping each ornament in tissue paper that is now quite falling apart (yes, just about a year ago) and wasn't I looking out a window at the deep snow, light fading on cottonwood trees, the frozen mist floating over the river...it's just like last year and the year before.
I'm reminded now of my blogging friends, some of whom have recently lost loved ones, other of whom have watched natural disaster threaten their homes. These are the cycles of nature at work and we must recognize them for what they are....part of the endless circles forever revolving. At once a comfort and a terror...nothing is permanent...everything evolving. See you tomorrow...