Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 23: Be Dazzled

Day 23 of the Root:30 Day Journal Project ~Dazzle

Last spring I remember being dazzled by the power of nature and the pressure of time. Okay, so, I am dazzled by the power of nature quite often. In this particular case I was overwhelmed by the way that the elements had literally transformed this leaf into paper.

 Pressed like paint on the sidewalk, flat and fragile, I thought surely there was no way I would be able to preserve it. Why did I want to? "Never mind," I decided, "it's coming with me." Using my driver's license, I gently lifted its delicate matter into the envelope from the just-paid electric bill. Tucked securely between the pages of my sketch book, my library bag carried us the rest of the way home.  Safely back in the studio, I tucked it neatly inside of my newest, unread, hard cover book. Occassionally, I open the pages and ponder why I was so determined to halt its disintigration. Why did I bring it here?   I think it helps me remember...something.

In other dazzling news:

"Those people who recognize that imagination is reality's master, we call "sages," and those people who act upon it, we call "artists". ~ Tom Robbins 

I am quite certain that "Skinny Legs and All" by Tom Robbins was the book that dazzled me out of the dark. The female lead character, Ellen Cherry, was an artist, dazzling in her own right but the Can O' Beans, the Conch Shell, the Spoon, and the Painted stick were running right along beside her.

"When it comes to their reality, artists call the shots...
Ellen Cherry was calling the shots, turning mountains upside down, changing boulders into willow trees and willows into lemon meringue pie. The canvas with mad megajoules of natural energy: geology, meteorology, zoology,and botany all mixed together in slow boiling tribute to nature and paint. Painting she sang a song of cobalts and oxides, cadmiums and umbers; naming the pigments aloud as a novice in a convent might recite the names of the saints: "Vandyke brown" for example, patron saint of cheap cigars, "rose madder," protector of irate florists."
~from the book.

At a time of great floundering, the layers of meaning in this book entered my life with dazzling reminders of the person I knew I had always been. That was almost twenty years ago. Every  time I read it, I discover something new about myself and the world around me.

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