Sunday, April 17, 2011

Water Runs Down

We dreamed of songbirds and apple trees in bloom and awakened 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 decks of tattered playing cards.  There was even snow for a few minutes last evening, and water went dancing down the lane with mad abandon, a thousand little waterfalls carrying leaves and tiny icicles.

The various cameras were charged up and readied for pottering in the woods, but this has not turned out to be a good weekend for rambling. For a brief time, there was water in the garage, and the Passat resided in a shallow pond until the accumulation made its way through the thawed and frantically working drains. When the waters receded, I scooped a a noble proportion of rust from an old spade into a mason jar to be used later in arty undertakings - the natural iron oxide pigments produce lovely ochres, siennas and umbers, and they're great fun to work with.

As I was laying claim to my rusty bounty, 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.  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 clearing up in our reclaimed garage, baking and drinking tea (possibly chrysenthemum), looking out and marveling at the patterning of raindrops on the glass panes, the painterly way that the trees, serendipitous tributaries 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 within looking up at the old hen bent over them in wonder.


Cindy said...

I can picture an old hen looking upon something with wonder.....but you are a Wild Mother.....not an old hen. But I do love the imagery, both the hen and you gazing upon the ordinary, with a gleam in your eyes

Diane Walker said...

Love this image! And totally get that water in the garage can derail plans for a while!

I just finished Michael's new book on Contemplative Photography. Did you attend any of his workshops? I did one, I think 2 years ago; very refreshing...