...and awfully glad to see my husband and pup again. We celebrated with a walk on the north coast of Cornwall, just over the county line from Devon. (We're on a peninsula here, so we've got coastline both north and south, with the wilds of Dartmoor roughly inbetween them.)
My drawing above is one of the prizes in the Online Raffle to raise money for the Fantastic Fiction Reading Series at the KGB Bar in New York. (You'll find it listed under artwork.) Other prizes include Neil Gaiman's keyboard, three unpublished stories by Michael Swanwick, story critiques by Shawna McCarthy and Mary Robinette Kowal, plus lots of signed ARCs and books and other cool stuff.
"Bird Child" is an original, signed pencil drawing on plain white drawing paper, lighter and less grey than this photograph makes it look. It's 10 inches high by 7 inches wide.
My friend Rick Berry (who is one of the people who first taught me how to paint with oils) has a new series of painting inspired by a stage production of Cabaret -- which can currently be viewed at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH; and also on Rick's website. All of his art is gorgeous, but I've always liked this kind of monochromatic "oil paint sketch" the very best.
"These are not renderings," he says, "but impressions of dancers from the KitKat Klub, the setting for a production of at the Oberon Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As I watched rehearsals, the movement coach, Steven Mitchell Wright, had the performers go through Butoh training. I'd heard of Butoh, seen stills from various dances, but never experienced it in action. Crushing really. So instead of doing some sort of rogues' gallery pastiche (as had earlier been imagined being hung in the venue) I did these. I wanted something like images of ghosts projected on smoke and ash. Just at the moment you think you've resolved them, they shimmer and erode before your eyes. Color paintings of a world that's lost all sense of it."
"I love revisions....We can't go back and revise our lives, but being allowed to go back and revise what we have written comes closest." -- Katherine Ann Paterson (from an address to the Royal Society of Literature, published in A Sense of Wonder)
I'm in Colorado now, high up in the Rockies. Yesterday I didn't want to leave New York, but now that I'm here, it fees awfully good to see that big blue Western sky again. Leaning out my hotel window early this morning, I spotted what I'm sure was a golden eagle circling the mountain peaks above -- which reminded me of this poem by the Navajo writer Joy Harjo:
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear
Can't know except in moments
Steadly growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done