Postcards from the Ledge – 18

Black Lives Matter…Period

Such a heavy time
So much grief
Layers of pain
Generations of choked out voices

In the midst of these disruptions, eruptions, protests and violent shaking off of the centuries of white suppression from the necks of those who have been born into the original sin of slavery in this country…

I have been searching my soul …
and listening.

One of the voices which is new to me came by way of an episode of On Being, conversations with Krista Tippett. She spoke with Resmaa Menakem.

 

  • Cover of  My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

    My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

    I’ve gone back several times to listen again and then again to try and understand more of his work which focuses on how trauma, particularly racism, lands in the body and how we all can be open to recognizing and listening to it as a path to move towards healing racial injustices.

    Here is a link to that episode…click here.

    Krista posts both edited and unedited versions of all her podcasts. This is one I highly recommend you listen to the unedited version. You can find it on her web site. ONBeing.org. The On Being project is a powerful resource for reflecting on the challenging work of peace in these troubled times. And there is so much work to do.

    I’ve returned to this blog space on a day when an other element of the country’s conscience has shifted. News that the Supreme Court has extended workplace protection to include members of the LGBTQ community.

    Coming directly on the heels of the most recent attempt/onslaught by the current administration to stamp out any and all rights which have been painstakingly granted to that same community …well I’m not feeling much like celebrating.

    In our lifelong personal battles as lesbians to be understood and accepted as equal humans Pat and I have always qualified our struggles with this thought…WE are fortunate (and here today we could substitute that word with “privileged”)…because we can hide our sexuality if we need to in order to be safe. People of color obviously can’t.

    With my heart broken wide open
    let me add all the soul in my voice
    to the roar for justice.
    Let the children of our grandchildren
    stand on my shoulders
    and march for equal civil human rights.
    BLACK
    LIVES
    MATTER.

    I’m feeling gutted…

    so today…

    The Gutting – 2015

    Ah there’s always a dark side.

    In The Yachtsman, you have a sunny, blue skied, fair weather kind of a day.

    Here, the clouds thicken.

    The air was heavy and it was deep into the beyond of the shoulder season,
    Out in the gun metal grey waters of the harbor,
    only the heartiest of working vessels were moored.

    The wind was kicking up,
    and we had just come from the Newes,
    with bellies full of chowder and a pint or two of October ale,
    and I thought I could hear a steady tapping…
    just there coming around the corner behind us…
    like the wooden peg of a leg,
    tap tap tapping on the weathered cobbled stone.

    I reached over, pulled up the collar of Herself’s Pea Coat ,
    and snuggled closer for the warmth,
    and we made our way down to the dockside.
    ‘Twas then I heard the screaming.
    Ghastly wales, a staccato of screeching,
    and a frenzy of feathers seemed to come at us from all directions.
    The water churned and the sky was a roiling mass of gulls.
    Through the miasma of wings I could see a figure.
    A lone fisherman was tearing out the guts of his supper.

    It seemed as if all of the island flock was massing, and thrashing,
    to win the foul spoils of his long cold day at sea.
    The gruesome sight was more than I could bear,
    and my chowder began to repeat.

    Just before I managed to steer us away,
    in the midst of the carnage and chaos,
    I caught a glimmer of light.

    Perched on top of the blood red piling,
    with a gaping maw of frothing yellow beak,
    a white throated gull threw back her head
    and just
    shudderingly
    and stunningly…
    laughed.

    The fisherman turned his head…
    And I will swear that I saw…
    a silvery, slithery, black eye patch.


Wakeful and Onward

Good morning readers,

We here in the studio are sorting and packing and tweaking and altering as we get ready to roll northward for the Granary Gallery Show Opening on Sunday.

Humble appreciations for your patience as the website is being updated, our tech guru uses the word migrated which just sounds lovely. He has been our hero this week, rock solid and unflappable, as there are always some bumps in the road to progress and he is still answering my emails, even as the early bird catches her worms. ( I’m playing with the “migration” thing there…says the bleary eyed artiste…) Blessings upon you Ross.

Another HUGE, absolutely HUGE shout out of gratitude to pals Matt and Paul for not only offering, but actually showing up within minutes of my request for help. They came toting kayaks, as I had interrupted a float on the nearby lake, and swiftly and oh so carefully loaded the paintings into the trailer for us.

That is always a tricky part of this process, as the work of an entire year gets packed in a tiny aluminum box that needs to transport them safely over land and sea for their big reveal. It was shear bliss, in the hot and humid afternoon, to have two strong young men take on the hardest bits of that job. Their kindness and grace has cemented our friendship.

I’ve been instructed to scroll throughout the website and look for problems. Talk about asking for trouble. There are some glitches which we are addressing, again about the patience, but some unexpected feelings are popping up as well.

When sorting through 18 years of paintings, you are also reviewing the last 18 years of your life. Wasn’t expecting that, so I find myself swirling in emotional detours. Mostly pleasant, often happy, but with some pop-up grieving and twinges of longing mixed in.

Among many of the “missing” links we are scrambling to fix, I found a few golden oldies that tie in with some of this year’s paintings…

Lighthouse Wake – which shows the channel between Chappy and the Lighthouse.

In this year’s painting, Anchored in Autumn, I tweaked that a bit and moved the lighthouse just a few hundred yards to the left so I could get it in the composition. On the actual panel it was inches.

Then there was the year of the birds…
And one of my personal favorites,

The Gutting –

This is a working dockside view of the Edgartown Yacht Club. The Vose Boathouse sits out of this frame but off to the right.

And this…

Onward  –

Where we are looking directly at it sitting there all happy to be in the water  on a bright sunny day.

To be completely honest, there were many paintings
upon my wild reviewing this morning
that I had totally forgotten I had ever painted.

I’m sure it’s the stresses over the last few days…
as I am equally certain it is the slippage of my aging gears.

But it is interesting to take some measure
along the journey
from there to here
of my life behind the brushes.

Stay frosty out there my friends,
our little family is all the better for you being in the world.