The Secret of Winter (January Journal)

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  If there is a secret of winter, it must surely be to ‘wait.’  I have learned throughout my life to wait – somethings I wait a little too long for and then expectations are dissappointed, I take responsibility for this ability to wait too long.  It takes time to grow up, but not so very long to grow old.  As children we were driven to grow up and cramped by the waiting and some of us may have pushed it too fast – another kind of secret.  It is easier to be patient as we grow older, finally learning there is a kind of reward in the waiting itself – just like winter. 

This has been my nicest January since I can remember;always in the past that terrible let down of “everything” being over and now nothing to do but clean up and stare into the grey face of countless winter days.  This January appears to be different…  Not only am I graced with another January, which is no smallish thing, but my eyes are seeing possibilities in small things again.  I am thinking visually again, and not just agonizingly practical – that doesn’t even make any sense, except that it does.  The heart of me may have some imperfections in the core structure, may not be perfect, but it is strong, and it is true, more true now than at any other time in my life.  I am graced by this winter of 2010 like no other winter I have known. ( I sing a little evensong over every day.)

Perhaps I should say a few words about this double page spread.  I am making a Journal of January on loose paper called Bogus Rough.  It is very rough brown paper comes in a 9×12 in tablet.  As usuall I gessoed all the pages front and back because you never know what you may want to do with a particular page.  On this layout, I painted with acrylics, then I covered that up with oil pastels and some richly pigmented colored pencils.  I used my own drawings from an old sketch book for the two ladies, one represents the moon, and the other the sun (as in return of the) and she sits honored in a glorious silver frame with the word secret hand engraved, and wearing the image of the sun as a hat on the front of her head. I put a sketchy house shape in the background near the moon woman, the one wearing the image of the moon on her head, but I wanted lots of snow to be on the ground and so left a lot of white areas.  On the moon side is a butterfly which I fitted together by cutting onion skins into the right shapes and then glued them down -I liked the veins in onion skins as veins in a wing.  The transformation thing I suppose. The needlework bird on the sun lady side was a found object I found at the goodwill and I cut it from its permanent frame so I could sew it to my page over a Tarot card which shows a female figure riding through the snow on a reindeer with a butterfly over her head.  These images all seem to be telling some little secret of winter that when told together equals a rather grand statement!  Winter is mysterious!

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