if …

One day I found myself walking along, looking at the world around me.  I passed a stand of birch and I found myself thinking, if I only knew how to paint, I’d paint these trees.  I kept moving along, but the sight of the trees remained in my mind and I found myself thinking, if only I could write music then maybe I could write a song about the trees.  But I know I don’t write music and so I started thinking, if only I could sing then maybe I could find someone else to write the music, but that would only work if I wasn’t shy. Now, I don’t really think I can sing but sometimes when I’m sure I’m alone, some kind of sound passes between my lips.  And so that day, with all those if’s put out into the world, I decided to go ahead and try that singing thing.  The following soft words emerged in some kind of rhythm.

If I knew how to paint

I’d paint these trees

How the wind does make them sway

Their leaves sunlit

Their branches bent

While high above soars a bird

Nothing Earth-shattering but it did make me feel good to sing and then hum the song for a bit.  Only later did I realize that the tune (if that’s the right word) that I used for my trees was for that of Amazing Grace, a point made clear when I viewed one of today’s Cowbird Daily stories.  The video short is an excerpt from the journey of another walker, Andrew Forsthoefel.  I hope you have a chance to view and listen to the video for yourself.  And by the way, that picture above … there must have been a day when I forgot that I couldn’t paint. ;)

Amazing Grace

simple words of windows

“Never ridicule windows.  It is out of windows that many fall to their death.  By windows love often enters. Through a window went the bolt that killed King Richard.  … When a mob would rule England, it breaks windows, and when a patriot would save her, he taxes them.  Out of windows we walk on to lawns in summer and meet men and women, and in winter windows are drums for the splendid music of storms … The windows of the great cathedrals are all their meaning. But for windows we should have to go out-of-doors to see daylight. After the sun, which they serve, I know of nothing so beneficent as windows.” – by Hilaire Belloc in The Path to Rome (1902)


the art of somerville

In New England, spring means flowers but it also means arts festivals galore. The one that I’ve become most connected with is Somerville Open Studios. This year’s official SOS weekend is May 3 + May 4 with studios open across the city and easily accessible by foot and trolley cars.  Several April exhibits are also already up and running.

Maps of different exhibit locations for the main May weekend are available in every Somerville neighborhood.  The mapstands, made by artist Hilary Scott, are quite distinctive and kept regularly stocked by volunteers.

The show is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.  You can read more about its unique history here. And you can learn more about participating artists via this link.  Each year it is inspiring for me to see how involved the artists are, at every level, in making the show a success for everyone.

You never know what pattern will be revealed.

Where do you find beauty?  I find it in the strangest, most wonderful of places, like peering through the window glass.  I hope you enjoy the following essay, Finding Beauty, now appearing at Creativity-Portal.com, an award-winning website that helps one explore, nurture and express creativity.

a neighboring tree

a neighboring tree

The May/June 2014 issue of Alive Now Magazine focuses on hospitality.  I’m grateful to have one of my photos appear in the pages.  It is a lovely, thought-provoking issue.  Hospitality is something I struggle with.  I know I’m not always as welcoming as I could be but I will endeavor to do better until the end of my days I hope. ;)  Learn more about Alive Now and the availability of this issue here.


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