A Very Good Mail Day

Small box on front porch
inside reminders: freedom
hard won and maintained.

Thanks @WAMCradio for the tshirt and mug but mostly for being who you are – a strong center in a world that needs both news and arts. Also thanks for a World Peace Poetry postcard in the mail.

And according to one of those silly facebook quizzes, if you can’t find me, here’s where not to look (I’ll be the one wearing a First Amendment tshirt…)

One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honour or observation. — Sir Walter Scott

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And Just Like That, March Arrives

Yes I know it’s the third. Yes I know I’ve been rather quiet.

Had a bad cold-whatever which kept me home for a string of days, not good for much other than brewing tea, swilling day/nyquil and watching movies.

Spent February doing a postcard poetry thing – World Peace Postcards. I really enjoy the daily-ness of these months. The first few days might feel a little rusty or forced depending on how much I’ve been writing before the first day of the month, but each day gets easier. Sort of. There are still days when I resort to writing a haiku or three about something near at hand or a word combination overheard to see if that will lead to something else.

But, every night I get to go out to the mailbox, after marking off the list and scanning the cards going out (this time with a postcard each to my two US Senators). It’s a nice nightly ritual, a grand excuse for going out in the cold and looking at the stars or enjoying the snow etc.

The mailbox sometimes rewards me with the work of others – sometimes one card, sometimes a bunch. Sometimes it’s a little wish for peace, sometimes a take on a recent news event. I try not to get tied up in tallying how many arrive but being who I am, I dutifully check off the names of the senders on my month’s master list just as I mark that I’ve sent them a card and what photo/watercolor it was.

So I’m in it for the daily, the every day, the repetitive doing of the work because at the end, that’s what it’s all about, eh?

PS – I’ve spent the last few days doing some head-down, serious type editing, considering of poems I want to submit as a group. What a different way to look at things.

Poetry and Postcards and Watercolor

I work at my watercolor (not as often as I’d like) and I work at my poetry (this month very regularly indeed) and they often cross paths when I’m sending out postcards of poetry. These are the three postcards I made today. Sunny and Cold is the newest one, inspired by today’s bright blue sky and puffy clouds.

From the Quote Box – More Guidance

A man’s duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life. — Plato

I spent part of this morning working on poems and then fetching sunflower seeds for the tiny but very hungry birdies. It was wonderfully pleasant to be out in the sun, temps in the forties and the sky so blue. Big puffy white clouds.

To divert myself from the world over the past few days I’ve watched quite a few instructional videos about watercolor. Last night I watched Frank Clark who walked through quite a few exercises, doing a landscape in one color, using simple shapes to suggest people, fruit and things like boats. He talked about sky, horizon lines and foregrounds. He uses goat hair brushes which are pretty strange but wonderful. Can’t argue with someone who can dash off a fair landscape in a few minutes (with hairdryer at hand) using 8 colors and three brushes.

I’m learning myself that most of the time things get done with bigger brushes so it doesn’t surprise me when I see these video guys using brushes that are 1 1/2 inches or bigger.

Anyway, I gathered up what I’d seen and sat down with the two latest paintings which were lacking proper foregrounds. I played around with my biggest brush a one inch wash and it did a pretty good job of being ragged and rough when dry. I played with holding the brushes by the far end and that just needs practice and repetition.

When those had grassy and melted areas here and there I slapped some blue and grey washes together and created a big bright blue sky with puffy white clouds sailing by. I didn’t let myself leave the foreground empty. That way I can start a new painting next time. No more dilly-dallying. Do the work. Keep making art. Do the work.

Mom and I, Snow and Snow

Mom and I went to Lowell to visit the New England Quilt Museum and arrived just in time for a blizzard. The museum was closed on Thursday but we did get in on Friday due to the New England-ish work ethics of one of the employees. We of course had brought lots of stuff to keep us busy and we spent the blizzard day watching the snow and the snow clearing crew out the window and binging on Pokemon and political stuff.

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Came home, shoveled out my driveway, went to work the next day.

Spent Sunday snowed in again.

Rinse and repeat!

Today’s Mail and Thoughts

Tonight as I was leaving work, I was chatting with another co-worker (also in the “older” bracket of my worksite) about stuff. I was telling him what my next month’s goals were – world peace poetry postcards, sent also to legislative/congressional sorts etc. We both expressed amazement that all this stuff had been going on – for one week. Felt like months. He felt the same way.

As I drove home I was thinking about the chat and it now occurs to me that what I’d been describing – passing along articles and tweets and screenshots of tweets to my facebook pals, explaining how to vet things, where to find primary sources, keeping the story in the news – was much like what I’d just seen on a live feed of Elizabeth Warren talking to a protest crowd at an airport. She was holding a megaphone (apparently non-working) but she and the crowd had fallen back to the Occupy human megaphone technique. She’d say a sentence or part of one and the crowd around her would repeat it verbatim so the people in the back could hear it.

So be it. I can be like that. I can be the pebble tosser that maybe finally pushes someone to make a call or a donation or to talk to others about what’s going on.

Also today, I made a bigger than normal donation to WAMC our local public radio station. I rely on them for news and commentary and they’re rightfully concerned that the federal funding for public radio will be pulled. It’s not a big percentage of their budget but it’s a meaningful one. They added 1/3 of the amount they’d lose onto the fund drive that’s about to start and will keep that money squirreled away just in case.

I want to make a donation to ACLU but I need to button down the info for my company match first. Not gonna throw away the match!

Came home and this was in my mailbox. Between these and my big safety pin I think I’m in good shape.