The Carrot Whisperer – 24 x 32
“…I believe that everyone has imagination, that no matter how mature and adult and
sophisticated a person might seem, that person is still essentially an ex-baby. And as
children, we all lived in an imaginal world…you know, when you’d be told, “Don’t cross
that wall, because there’s monsters over there,” my God, the world you would create on
the other side of the wall. And when you’d ask questions like “Why is the sky blue?”
or “Where does God live?” or all this kind of stuff…like one of the first times I was coming to
America, I said to my little niece, who was seven, I said, “What will I bring you from America?”
She said, “Uh…” and her father said, “No, ask him, or you won’t get anything.”
And Katy turned to me and said, “What’s in it?” – (laughs) – which I thought was a great
question about America.”
An excerpt from the On Being conversation between Krista Tippet and the Irish Poet John O’Donohue
Our little carrot whisperer would have asked that same question at 7.
Now she is 8 and when we see her soon
I will ask her
but mostly I like to listen.
Zoe is one of the most richly vibrant souls
it has been my pleasure to share the planet with.
Her curiosity is fueled by a Tigger-like enthusiasm.
Stealthy observation informs her empathy.
And story telling is her super power.
So, last summer,
when I asked her seven year old self
to pose with the freshly picked carrot
and she examined it for a long while
deciding it made her think of
the snowman Olaf’s nose…
Then she thought the long green
fronds looked like hair
and she curled them in an arc over her head…
and I waited
And she started a story about how that
made her feel like a queen
and she was going to take the carrot
to visit her castle…
and I waited
until the queen decided she was in a carriage
and the carrot would, therein, accompany her
and she rested it regally on her shoulder
closed her eyes
and beckoned the footman to ride on.
An artist can’t choose her Muses.
We can only sharpen our brushes everyday
in the hopes that when they are ready to appear
we can catch them on …