I look at the books and journals in our home and am grateful. There is a wide selection: poetry, memoirs, novels, books discarded by libraries, books from thrift stores, books given as gifts. Poets I’ve read for decades, and new poets in journals and who post on their blogs.
Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings, by Joni Mitchell, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2019; and is a beautiful book. She wrote a forward in May 2019. And she is as grateful as ever.
Poetry called to me from the Psalms, and the hymns, from church. Then when I was young I heard Joni Mitchell, and other artists. I could write too!
Monday afternoon in March sun fills a bookcase from my father
I am interested in the creative process in general.
Many books have helped me over the years, and some examples of authors are Madeleine L’Engle, Luci Shaw, and Julia Cameron.
In November 2013, I posted a quote from the back cover of THE ARTIST’S WAY EVERY DAY: A Year of Creative Living, by Julia Cameron (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin; 2009 author copyright).
“Creativity is God’s will for us and should be practiced like any other spiritual practice – a day at a time.”
When I was young, we bought records – albums – and the covers were larger than CDs and also works of art. I remember Joni Mitchell’s paintings. Health is a part of her story and art.
I am also interested to see how artists I have followed for years are offering CDs with remastered recordings and demos. Fleetwood Mac and the solo work of Stevie Nicks are two examples. Sometimes I may like a demo version better, and then the beauty of how the music is produced. Harmony.
When I look back, I see that poetry and music began for me in the Lutheran Church with the liturgy, hymns, and Psalms. Then the contemporary music of my generation, and all that continues to grow. During my first recovery from a major health condition, in the 1990s, all the great literature of poetry was waiting to be discovered. What I did not have time for before, when working full-time outside the home, was there for me at just the right time. And I began with haiku then. I write from my heart, and gradually learn about craft through reading a lot. Thank you.
And we all work in many ways. Many chapters over the course of my life, including my mother’s home years ago, and volunteer work in different places. These years I am grateful to be home! People don’t have to ask if I am a senior citizen before offering a discount.
So much to reflect upon. Another poet is Emily Dickinson – took a long time for her work to be published as she wrote it.
I am not an editor or critic – these are simply personal reflections from over many years. One day at a time.
On July 31, 2018, Karl and I went to the Long Lake Recreation Area, in the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit. We saw reflections of clouds in the water. Karl took these beautiful and interesting photos.
sunrise clouds years that passed too soon are with me still
“I really don’t know clouds at all” from Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell (1967)
A classic song, always new
R ose clouds at sunrise, and the day O pens to songs, silence, and new S trength, with hope E verlasting
These are a few posts from the past that readers found, and that I then rediscovered from the stats for this site. I also use the Top Posts & Pages widget (filed under Menu), which provides information and may help new readers get an overview of the content here.
Acrostic for WIND was also inspired by music. I was listening to a CD by Sarah McLachlan – please see the post for the poem and more information. Sarah covered a song by Susan Enan, “Bring On The Wonder.”
Over the years, I have received good feedback about this poem:
IT IS IMPORTANT
To have a vision to sustain the effort to see it all the way through – –
More recently, I discovered Helen Jane Long and her beautiful compositions without words. Yet her titles of CDs and songs seem so right, and I hope to learn more. For example, “Porcelain.” Perfect for a CD and the song.
Working with visual art more, with blog posts, I also look anew at the album and CD covers. For example, I remember seeing Joni Mitchell’s paintings all those years ago. I begin to see different languages of expression, and how artists put their work together for others to enjoy. Sustain others in difficult times.
And I continue to enjoy Wendy Brightbill’s art. Her site is a girl and her brush, gathering beauty in the every day. I buy her calendars, and certain paintings are associated with certain times. Her style is varied, and includes mixed-media art. I think, “I could do that too!” She is a teacher.
Life changes, and it is good to have our sources of inspiration that can travel with us as we learn new times. One song can recall a lifetime of work. One painting can fill a room. I have my Bible with the Psalms taped together now, as they have held me together. When I was not well enough to read, my heart was full.
The ripples of a life:
Your black iris hangs
In my study–
(the walls are grey and
you would approve);
How could you know the beauty
You would bring into our lives
You, who painted flowers
big to make us see–
Intensity of color to
Mirror intensity of soul,
And, having found
Expression, tranquillity of
You couldn’t have known, not truly.
You were simply working hard,
Faithful to what you saw.
You painted your way
And your passing grieves me.
Published in HARD ROW TO HOE, Reviews From Rural America (Winter 1994, Vol III).
The print referred to is from a showing of O’Keeffe’s work at The Madison Art Center: Paintings 1919 – 1977.
March 3 – April 29, 1984.