Post-Card from Canada

 

      Some Days are more saturated than others…some colors
are more satisfying than others, and it is disconcerting to learn
that colors have no existence of their own.
     Color is an interaction of light and mind.  The light illuminates
and the differences in illuminations are captured by the mind.  One
can not exist without the other.  An abstraction as an image pays less
attention to the form, and more attention to the interaction of light
with matter. I like my work to reflect my fascination with intensity, intensity
of emotion and intensity of light.
    There is power in color evidenced by the dreary gloom of a damp
cloudy day juxtaposed with a blue sky spotted with white clouds under
a brilliant sun.
    In Canada the winters are long and darkness
needs to be enflames with warm colors.  The Blues and the yellows
in this abstraction of a pipe organ reflect those extremities in a
sanctuary of peace, tranquility and Gregorian Chant.
A. L. Dussault
St. Benoit organ
The Title of this piece is, “St. Benoit of the Lake”. The original
photo was taken in a monastery where ancient Gregorian Chants
are sung five times a day by brothers who are otherwise silent,
obedient and dedicated to survival and the love of God.
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Clams in Rhode Island

clamming in Rhode Island.jpgClamming in R I

 

It was a beautiful end of summer day.  Kathy has the Canadian Canoe with a 9.9 engine on the back.  We can row or paddle, or for long runs, Kathy uses the engine. The shallow brackish ponds curve around a landscape of the Atlantic on one side and the shoreline of southern Rhode Island on the other side.  The image above depicts our family group raking for clams

The 1st of October brings my mind into the new season.  Though we spent the afternoon in the water, it was really not warm enough for old bones to enjoy a swim.  Though each of us were so adapted to New England, I am sure we might have had we known the day would turn out as warm as it did.  My face browned with the passing of the day.

The southern migration of the popular tree swallow was in full swing and they were, we were told, on their way to Essex Cn where they converge to finish their way to the southern destination.  In New England, we understand snow-birds differently than the popular version which is to fly, drive and even train to some parts of Florida.  These birds were swirling and feeding off the pond all around us.  A flock of cormorants also converging were mingling with sea-gulls as we canoe around the ponds and marshes of Ninigret. Native American influence is fading but still visible when you look.

We brought in enough shellfish to have appetizers with dinner, a simple Sunday evening supper as was the custom in Canadian families.

Autumn and aging are at my front door.  At first, I had to adapt to the idea, then I realized the adaptations are transitions that require a new kind of deliberate intent.  Clamming on a bright, sunny, autumn day with folks you love and trust is a great source of spiritual healing.  I am talking about the kind of healing that comes from inhaling the rays of sun, merged with the aroma of the tides and the beauty of the colors the light provides.

Some days, with a bit of luck and a dose of determination, gratitude is in the air.

Summer’s Last Hour, Summer’s Last Flowers

watchaug october iphotoimpressions

 

When October goes the snow appears.  Or so it seems.  The transition of a simple moment, one minute it is Indian Summer and the next it is New England dropping leaves and acorns and the skies turning a darker shade of grey and the wind and cold are coming over the lake with a vengeance.

Nonetheless, October remains one of my very favorite months.  I love how it comes in radiant in color and brilliant in shades of of yellow and reds and russets. I love the smell of the fallen pine needles and I am reminded that life is a cycle and a very short one at that.  If we are given one chance, how lucky we are to have had consciousness, and if we are given a second chance how special we must feel for not having lost it–yet.

October is about aging it is about having all the energy of June just older and wiser and a bit more crunchy.

October is a lesson a preparation for the eventual final winter that will one day arrive in the night and be the thief it has always been portrayed to be.  October is alive, but it echoes with a call from the wilderness that is unmistakable.

 

In the short amount of time that I am here, I am glad when October reminds me to appreciate the vestiges of summer’s last hours and summer’s last flowers.

light in the forest

light in the forest

 

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver ~

Bending Birches: One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Image

Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,   55
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Robert Frost does justice to life in new england.  It is such a wonderful place to live in October.  Well, that is if you enjoy nature, some mud on your feet and branches scratching against your face.  A walk through new england woods at this time of the year bring back all that is good about memories.  And like Robert Frost suggest in this poem, it would be nice to leave this world, as long as he knew he would be sent back.  But to go and to never return.  Well, like most of us he wished to postpone that as long as he can.

October is a month of beautiful transition.  As the leaves begin to fall and the winds chills against the cottages, you can begin to see light smoke swirling from the roof tops in early evening.  The scent of autumn returns a moist earthiness to the air.  The sun does not warm as it did in August.  The air chills fast and mornings are crispy.

It is right about the time when we will get our first frost.  Till now a lot of green still runs through the landscape and the red and the yellows pop when the sun shines. But, soon a kind of russet will take over and guide us gently to the crispy brown oak leaves of November.

But while it is still October, I gladly walk in the autumn woods.  They help me to contemplate the consciousness I hold so dear.  They help me to remember that my Canadian memories are windows to my soul.

WHEN I see birches bend to left and right
Across the line of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

Image

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