Arc

She opened her right palm and rested it on the rock, opened it to the sky. Her left hand placed two stones inside.

It was a new year, with lots of twos. Twenty twenty. She was two, her own being with one other. He was large and black with eyes that reflected what was inside her, two eyes that glistened, twin stars. Castor and Pollux. And he was her twin. They did everything as one.

They walked here, together, into the trees where the stream flowed small, almost unnoticed. But noticed by those who needed it. She needed it today. The quiet. She was glad to have this space in the middle of a place that housed people on top of people and cars that ran the streets all hours.

But this space was hers right now. His head in her lap.

She curled her fingers around the two stones. She wanted to feel their roughness. She wanted to know their story. Their way to this place, like hers must have been round-about. Or maybe they were always there waiting for her.

Wasn’t that how it was? Someone or something always there waiting. Waiting to be what they were supposed to be for the one they were supposed to be for. So while they waited, they just were. Doing just what they were supposed to do.

The arc of the bridge
spanned the thoughts of the young one
who knew its power.
Not because of something she was told,
but something she knew deeply within.

She wanted to build bridges.
Elegant ones,
although she didn’t know that word yet
in her five-year-old existence.

But she knew bridges were strong
and could take you over rough water.
Or over another road going another direction.
Or lift you high enough to see the mountains
and the plains,
if you could look both directions at once.

She knew this,
all of this in her five-year-old existence.
It would take courage
to move Earth to make the mounds,
and big trucks and large shovels.
It was a job for big machines.

But it also took a pencil
and a piece of paper
to draw the lines.

And isn’t that all that matters.
Isn’t that where it all begins,
with a line.
One elegant line
to take you forward or
around or
above and to the side.
And you are in control.
And you can do it.
And if you make a mistake,
no matter.
You just continue,
a sort of start over.
Because no one really knows,
and it doesn’t matter anyway.
And you find that,
eventually,
you create the most elegant
and beautiful life
with twists and turns
and mistakes
and glorious vistas
all with one pencil,
a line,
by listening to what
you know deep within,
not told.
Make the space
To listen
To do
To be
just who and what you are.

And she marveled
each time they drove over
that arc
that bridge
that took them into town.

She opened her hand and placed two stones on the ground. 

He sighed and grumbled that he had to move to make way for another of her inventions. But he did. And this time it would be different. She made the room to listen. 

She took her finger and starting at the two stones side by side, she drew an elegant arc.

.

.

.

Author’s Note:

I am honored to have my story and painting published in Issue 8 of Wormwood Press Media Journal.

Here I Am

Thank goodness for National/Global Poetry Writing Month. Or as we know it, Na/GloPoWriMo.

I realized that April is at my doorstep and I must get ready. It was then I realized I hadn’t been here in a very long time.

I broke my arm in late October closing day of the art exhibit. My last post. Then my seventeen year old computer decided it was ready to retire.

All has been addressed. Arm healed and I can type and write and carry things again. And I have a new computer. So I will be doing a few posts to record some of the work I have done while I was gone.

And I can’t wait for April 1st.

Many blessings,

Lex

(she, her)

PS I really hate what has happened to my blog since I’ve been gone. Maybe it’s time for an update here, too. I can’t seem to find how to change the font or how to add images. Oy. 🙂

Influences, Loveland Artists Collective Art Show

I am very honored
to be included in this group of amazing artists.


Please join us for our virtual opening and vote for your favorite!
Lex

Hello artists and art lovers, 

We are proud to bring you “Influences,” a group show of selected works from regional artists that explores the connection between artists and their influences.  Our virtual opening  night is THIS FRIDAY from 5-8 pm.   Please join us as our Director of Exhibitions, Amelia Furman, walks you through the exhibit and takes time with each work.  This walk through will be interspersed with special virtual visits from the artists in the show.   

So how can you participate?   It’s pretty easy!

Here are some options: Head to the Event Page and click “going.”  You’ll get notifications in your Facebook Feed about new posts and when we go LIVE on Friday evening.   When you are on the Event Page, you’ll head to the “discussion” tab to see all the goodies we are posting.Do a watch party with Facebook friends:   Click here to learn how. Watch the LIVE videos later.  These videos will be available on the Event Page Feed, so you can access them after they are recorded.  We’ll also be posting the videos on our IG page for all our ‘gram’ buddies. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite piece.  You can access a complete photo gallery here  and if you comment “PCA” on the image, that counts as a vote!   The artist with the most votes will be receiving a much deserved cash reward. 

Please forward and share with your friends!
Sincerely,
The Loveland Artists Collective

PS.  Questions about our virtual opening?  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We’ll be happy to help you.

 Vote for People’s Choice
Downloadable Artist Statement Catalog

Nessun Dorma

Driving through the fog I felt my front tires hit a bump. 

I slammed on the breaks. Now the questions started. Do I keep going? If I keep going, will I drive over what I just drove over a second time? Do I get out and see what it was? Will I get hit by oncoming traffic? Oh, god, if I’m stopped in this fog am I going to get rear ended? 

It’s amazing how quickly one’s mind can go through a myriad of questions. One leading to the next while you begin to race out of control.

Closing my eyes, I let out a deep sigh and opened the car door.

I opened my eyes. All I could see was a bright light glaring at me. I can’t remember if I chose not to move or simply couldn’t. 

I looked to my right, just moving my eyeballs. Then to the left. All there was was a glow. It wasn’t harsh or too bright, just enough to block anything else.

There was a faint something else, music I couldn’t quite make out. I closed my eyes to help me concentrate. I always close my eyes when people read to me or I when I want to focus on some sound. Like opera. Closing my eyes is like a filter and a projection screen all rolled into one. I close my eyes to see.

 

I close my eyes to see more clearly
A way to block out the unnecessary
Too many memories clutter the present
Too many worries hide the truth
A way to social distance my worries
A mask to keep me safe

I close my eyes to see more clearly

In dark I see more clearly
Making space for what is needed
Not what has been devised
Though I wonder if I am missing something
I wonder if I don’t want to see
Or is it that small light that burns in the night of inside
Can only illumine what is necessary
Not of my choosing

I close my eyes to see more clearly.

If I am truthful with myself
I clutter to avoid
I stack and pile so I don’t have to see
It’s better to hit the bump and stop
In the fog
Than continue blindly on

I close my eyes to see more clearly.

 

When I opened my eyes, the fog had lifted. Just that quickly. Close. Open. And a memory of something nudged at me.

I stepped away the car being careful to check for traffic this early morning to see what it was I hit. Just a hole. Tires okay. 

Back in the car I continued on my way. I turned on the radio to hear Bocelli singing Nessun dorma. It would be with me to my end destination.

As I drove it was the music instead of my eyes to close around me. To focus me on the present. To see what I needed to see. To realize what I had to do.

If given the chance, I will do it all over again.

Author’s Note:

Writing from today’s Afternoon Writer’s prompt:

  • Opening Line: Driving through the fog I felt my front tires hit a bump.
  • Closing Line: If given the chance, I would do it all over again.

Let Nothing Upset You

95265301_10219813626803062_7219632869713379328_n

Let Nothing Upset You, acrylic and ink, 18 X 24, watercolor paper, Lex Leonard

 

Let Nothing Upset You

Let nothing upset you.
Let nothing frighten you.
Everything is changing.
Love alone is changeless.
Patience attains the goal.
They who love lack nothing.
Love alone fills every need.

…St. Teresa of Avila

 

Author’s Note:

This is a prayer I use in my Passage Meditation. It is a practice of Eknath Esawaran and the Blue Mountain Center for Meditation. Please excuse the updating of the prayer to more inclusiveness for me.

 

The Reluctant Baker

 

napo2020button1-1.pngglopo2020button1-1.png3.jpg

 

The Reluctant Baker

But you don’t eat bread.

I do now. Thin. Whole wheat. Dave’s.

Do they have it?

I don’t know.

I’ll get some yeast and start making bread again.
I’ve been wanting to do that.

Yay.

.
.
.
.

No toilet paper. No popcorn. No yeast.

You’re kidding?

.
.
.
.

I’m going to make sourdough.

Really?

We need to make a starter.
I can use a bowl but we will need some jars.

I cleaned out the shelves
and the recycling just came.
I got rid of the jars.
I think I have a pickle jar that’s almost empty.

.
.
.
.

I don’t think it’s working. 

It’s cold in the house.
Beer bread is good, too.

I’m going to keep going.

.
.
.
.

It smells sour.

I don’t smell anything.

You can’t smell this?

No.

Can you taste food?

I think so.

Let’s take your temperature just to be sure.

Okay,
but the starter doesn’t look
 like the pictures I’ve seen online.

It’s good. I can smell it.

Okay.

.
.
.
.

It’s not working. 

Do you want me to try?

Sure.

Then you can bake the bread.

Okay.

.
.
.
.

I emptied the pickle jar.
I put the starter in the jar
in the cabinet
near the stove.
It might be warmer up there. 

Okay.

.
.
.
.

It smells sour.

That’s how it’s supposed to smell.

But it smells like pickles.

It’ll be fine.

.
.
.
.

Ooooooooo….looooook.

What?

It has a few bubbles!!!!!

Uh. Huh.

It’s working.
Do you want to see?

When I come downstairs.

Okay.

.
.
.
.
It’s time to make bread!!!
I’m so excited.
When do you want to take over?

How about if you make the bread?

Okay.

.
.
.
.

Benny grunts.

Okay, here is a recipe that calls for lots of stuff.
How did people use to make this without all this stuff?
I just know they didn’t have all these fancy tools
to make bread a long time ago….

Benny sighs.

OMG.
Look at the number of steps.
A loaf of sourdough is going to take days to make.
Well, at least I’m home with little else to do.

Benny whines.

Okay, go chase the squirrel.
I’m going to find something easier.
There has to be something that is more sensible.
I know there must be.
I’m not a baker.
This is Colorado and a high altitude.
My mother always said you must adjust the recipe.
How do I do that?
Days.
It’s going to take days. 

Benny barks.

I’m coming.
Let’s go for a walk.
I need to make a plan.
We’re going for a walk!

Okay.

I’ll work on the bread when we get back.

Great.

“I’m going to make sourdough bread.”
What’s wrong with beer bread?
But noooooo,
it had to be sourdough.

What?

Nothing.
We’ll be back

Okay.

.
.
.
.

Awww, look how fluffy the starter is.
I think it grew!!!!

.
.
.
.

It’s really sticky.  

.
.
.
.

Pull and turn.
Pull and turn.
Pull and turn.
Pull and turn.
Set the timer for 30 minutes.
Repeat for FOUR hours?

.
.
.
.

It’s soooo pretty.
You are such a pretty mound of flour and organisms.
Keep on going.
You can do this.
I know you can!

.
.
.
.

Let rest 6-18 hours.
Place in fridge for at least 12 hours.
Then bake.
You silly little round of nourishment. 

.
.
.
.

Yes.
Release. Patience. Trust.
In the time of virus.

Author’s Note:

The challenge in our writing group was to write dialogue. I tried to keep exclusively dialogue to see what I could bring about in a minimum of words. When it came to Benny my dog I had to rely on stage directions. No too sure how to write his sounds. I’ll work on it.

Winter Violets

napo2020button1-1.pngglopo2020button1-1.png

IMG_2868-1

Winter Violets – acrylic and pen n watercolor paper – 18′ X 24″ – Lex Loenard

 

I didn’t know they are called winter violets
I know them as johnny jump ups, violas
They don’t bloom here in winter’s bite
They wait for spring to introduce themselves
They tuck in wherever they please
I cannot design their path
A surprise, a nod to independence, survival

                                                         winter violet
                                                         she carries
                                                         a tiny fire
                                                                   – Ami Tanaka

My grandmother grew them in her lawn
Candytuft their partner
Honeyed liquor for bees
Judicious steps for bare feet
A summer’s expedition 

                                                       violets here and there
                                                       in the ruins
                                                       of my burnt house
                                                                      – Chiyo-ni

It is snowing, again
Another kept quarantine
Amid no-contact solitude
Amid numbers piling up
Like snow
Like leaden slats of blighted ruins
Waiting for Phoenix to rise again
Or little purple yellow faces
Peeking out from beneath
A kept quarantine

                                                       no limit to kindness
                                                       winter violets
                                                                       – Mitsu Suzuki

There is a kindness of canvas
An artist’s peace
If just a glance, a moment to dwell
An offering
Rising through depths of piled forfeiture
There is a spark of hope
Purple yellow faces
A cycle not denied

 

Author’s Note –

I was graciously invited to attend an on-line reading of haiku by some amazing poets from the Pacific Northwest and around the world. They read one haiku – their own or another’s – and spoke of the meaning. It was in celebration of International Haiku Poetry Day. The theme was taken from The Poetry Society of America who invited poets to write about “poems they return to in difficult times – to find solace, perspective, or even moment of delight.” Thank you Cj Prince and Victor Ortiz for this brilliant opportunity to learn and grow.

In the short hour, three of the haiku included winter violets. The images stayed with me and deepened as each new winter violet popped its head up to speak.

I took it to the canvas first and played with a different process than I usually do. It is very difficult to photograph this image. It just doesn’t do it justice. You may get a better idea of what it looks like if you do close-ups of the above image.

Then I moved to write with the inspiration of the poets – Mitsu SuzukiChiyo-ni, and Ami Tanaka. Much gratitude.