“In winter all the singing…”



I finished this journal page yesterday, but it doesn’t really seem finished.  I’ve been thinking about getting back to more painting on canvas – its just been so long now, not sure where to begin.  I have two unfinished paintings from last year, but not sure if that’s the right place to jump in right now.  Why am I feeling so unsteady about this?  I suspect I know why, but the ego of it is too spectacular to even acknowledge.

I put together a new disintegration bundle last week and hung it out in the tree I can see from my studio window.  A couple of neighbors have asked me about it, since it hangs in the front yard (I’ll get a good picture of it tomorrow – its too dark now), my neighbors think I am strange anyway.   I told them it was “art,”  and there were exchanged looks  and an awkward pause.   I was smiling, I swear, but not explaining much.

I am moving slowly through this month of January – wishing it were spring and the days were longer again, but at the same time I  like this quiet that comes with winter, and ‘all the singing is in the tree tops.’  Below is the mysterious poem about winter by Mary Oliver.


by Mary Oliver

In winter

    all the singing is in

         the tops of the trees

             where the wind-bird

 with its white eyes

    shoves and pushes

         among the branches.

             Like any of us

 he wants to go to sleep,

    but he’s restless—

         he has an idea,

             and slowly it unfolds

 from under his beating wings

    as long as he stays awake.

         But his big, round music, after all,

             is too breathy to last.

 So, it’s over.

    In the pine-crown

         he makes his nest,

             he’s done all he can.

 I don’t know the name of this bird,

    I only imagine his glittering beak

         tucked in a white wing


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