Sunday, October 14, 2007


Traveling and two great INK meetings (one open one at Starbucks and one just for us) have filled me with all kinds of ideas. I don't know where to start.

In the garden for as long as I can, I guess, since the opportunity to garden will certainly go away. It'll never be like the Buchart Gardens around here, but I can live with country splendor. In the meantime, though, this time of year our wildflowers look intensely shabby. Everything is browning and going to seed. That's what it's supposed to do, but ... And I look at it and it feels like if I just took a pressure hose to it, the brown would come off and my shining, beautiful garden would be revealed from under the muck. But that's just an illusion. There is no muck. There is only this, the natural course of annuals and herbaceous perennials. Underneath the six foot tall mass of withering plant matter there is an evergreen and some deciduous shrubs. They're babies now, but as the years grow them up for us, they'll fill that large bed and I won't put in the wildflowers anymore, at least not there. The idea that I took from the Buchart Gardens was to keep at those weeds. Yes, they're constant and yes, it's a losing battle (I loved the little sign they had for sale that said The Weeds are Winning and the picture of a dandylion going to see on it) but if I never give up, never surrender then eventually the garden will settle in to a point where there will be shade. And where there is shade, there is victory. I already have a few areas where the plant mass over the ground is heavy enough that weeds have no chance to develop underneath. Must keep going ... The other idea I got from the gardens is the concept of patience. Seeing so many mature shrubs and trees there reminded me that I have many, many of those same specimens, but they're only 4 feet high at most. It takes surprisingly little time before they mature, especially when you're busy--

Writing. My second set of ideas came from chit chatting for hours with my writing pals and my beloved, handsome husband. Now I'm all conflicted, of course. I'd been all decided to blue screen Mayhem, my very first novel ever, for my Nano project, but then along came the idea of writing a novel about writing a novel. I realize this is not a novel (heh) idea, but there's something compelling about the subject and I can't seem to let go of it. I don't know.

And then there's the painting. I've been painting steadily, but also I've been better about letting projects rest for long enough so that they can develop better both in my head and on the page. While we were in Victoria one of the more compelling things I got to stare at was a collection of First People's ritual masks. It's unfortunate that you can't take pictures of them, but they're burned into my memory. Normally one viewing isn't enough (and now, thanks to S&C I have a gorgeous sketch book/journal that is just the right size for taking into places like royal museums so in the future I don't have to rely on memory) and this is no different, but this happens to be the second trip to the museum within two years, and so I have a better shot at actually realizing in paint what I experienced. In the end, though, I'm not attempting to accurately portray the masks. What I'm aiming at is what they inspired me to imagine, and conveying how they made me feel. They're mysterious, intriguing, frightening, humerous, beautiful, wild and graceful and primitive all at once. Gotta paint that. I just gotta.

So I'm full of ideas. Now I just have to make them flesh.

Piece of cake.

1 comment:

The Moody Minstrel said...

Welcome back!

Now to put a whole tripful of ideas into substance, right? Hopefully quickly before it all trickles into the depths of long-lost memoryland.

Word verification:

Got back from the Great White North, then?
Get it all down with brush or with pen!
While the memory's fresh
Haul it out; give it flesh!
X-rated or PG, be driven!