Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Morning - A Hat Full of Rain

One dreams of songbirds and apple trees in bloom, and she awakens to gray skies, the sound of rain on the roof beating a staccato time that eschews meter and metronome, a puckish wind capering in the eaves and ruffling last autumn's leaves like a deck of tattered playing cards.

The various cameras were charged up yesterday and made ready for pottering, but it appears that this is not a day for rambling. Then there is the matter of the hot water tank which ruptured yesterday and turned the bottom storey of the little blue house into a swimming pool, or perhaps a pond.

True to form, I scooped a a noble proportion of the tank's rust into a mason jar to be used later in arty undertakings - the natural iron oxide pigments produce lovely ochres, siennas and umbers, and they are great fun to work with.

As I was laying claim to my rusty bounty yesterday, I found myself thinking about the fact that we humans have been using such oxides in our artistic endeavors as far back as the magnificent prehistorical caves of Lascaux. I would be a happy camper if I could ever produce something a fraction as gorgeous as the Chinese horse, but that is unlikely to happen and just wishful thinking on my part.

I thought about the fact that a heady brew of rust (iron oxides), carbon dioxide and water is where all sentient life begins. I remembered too that the Japanese word for rust is sabi (錆), as in wabi sabi (侘寂) - that comprehensive Asian world view or aesthetic centered on notions of transience, simplicity and naturalness or imperfection.

We will spend today attending to the acquisition and installation of a new hot water tank, on heating water for tea and washing up as required, on looking out through the window and marveling at the patterning of raindrops on the old glass panes, the painterly way that the trees and old wooden fences beyond are beaded with glistening moisture.

Each and every raindrop is an atomy, a minute world teeming with vibrant life, whole universes therein looking up and smiling at this ungainly creature bent over them in wonder.


Anonymous said...

What wonderful connections: water, tea, paint, rust, atomy.

Tell me, what do you mix the rust with to make the paint? I'm curious.

kerrdelune said...

Lilian, for water colors, a prepared gum solution is used along with a small amount of honey (8 - 10%) and the oxide pigments themselves. A bit of glycerin added to the mixture will prevent cracking and hardening.

Anonymous said...

Now that's making lemonade out of the lemons were given! I could imagine myself standing in a rusty flood and just crying. What a metaphor for me to contmplate today....thank you.

Wild Roaming One (WRO) said...

Ah Cate, it's good to reconnect with you and your poetic prose! I've been abscent alot lately...but I am doing well and renewing with Mother Earth. Thx for stopping by...

WRO xo

the wild magnolia said...

"...the ungainly creature...", I loved that.

One can learn lots just by stopping in for a visit.