I’ve always thought of myself as a Clydesdale artist–the kind that applies sheer will and fortitude to obstacles. It must be my pioneer heritage (a epigenomic proclivity?) that programs me to just keep walking no matter what. I have ancestors who did that as they made their way across the North American plains in the mid-19th century.

For the first time in my life that hefty, heads down approach isn’t working. It’s only been a month since my mother passed away, but I’m still not ready to return to the studio. I’m trying to be gentle with this state of mind, but it is peculiar territory for me. It has its own lessons to offer, but what those are is not yet clear.

A dear friend, Kathryn Kimball, knew exactly what poem to send to me from her safe haven stone cottage in the Lake District. The simple physicality of the image has given me a source of light in these ongoing hours without power.

Not Writing

A wasp rises to its papery
nest under the eaves
where it daubs

at the gray shape,
but seems unable
to enter its own house.

Jane Kenyon

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