Head in the Clouds


I love to stop and ponder the headless statue whenever I go over to Bedlam Farm, the home of bestselling author John Katz and artist Maria Wulf.
This weekend I was there to participate in their semi-annual Open House, celebrating Rural Art and the creative spark that lives in all of us. I love the Open House because you can’t get up the driveway without running into an old friend and fellow art junkie, but this year there was something deeper to love, and it gave me a clue as to what might have happened to the pilgrim’s head.
As happens with every Open House, people from all walks of life and points of view came together to enjoy the art. Throughout the day I overheard people praising the work of others. Sitting under the apple tree on a wicker love-seat, I heard one visitor contemplating reviving her creative life as another enthusiastically encouraged her. We watched sheep herding and listened to kids relatively new to this country sharing their musical talents with a damp-eyes audience.
This weekend ended up being, for me, about nurturing the idea that the things we have in common–the things that bind us–are more beautiful and powerful and than those that divide us. There seemed to be a mass mutual recognition that our creative sparks are worth fanning and when we come together to encourage people’s gifts, we are all better.
That thought kind of carried my head into the clouds as I sat on that love-seat on Sunday, and I realize that’s probably what happened to the little pilgrim statue at Bedlam Farm too. I think he found himself at the altar of creativity (featuring a recycled art sculpture by Ed Gulley) and, keeping his feet on the ground, let his head get lost in the clouds as he chased his own creative spark. 

It’s a worthy pursuit, and I think all of us who had a chance to sit near the altar this weekend went home full of sparks to nurture and share.

A Perfect Plan

What started as an exercise in learning to storyboard a kid’s book for The Truth About Trolls has morphed into it’s own project–a way for me to laugh instead of cry about the eternal black hole that is T2’s room.

I’m almost done inking the drawings for “Dweezil’s Perfect Plan.” T2 has been happy to contribute his Defcon 5 messy room — one of the perils of encouraging creativity in your kid — for me to use as life model. 

The plan after the inking is to convince T2 that it’s time to move to Defcon 1, but as the past few weeks have shown, even the most perfect plan can produce unexpected results.

Focus

Thing2 is wrapping up his second year playing for the minor-league in Little League baseball. He’s played catcher this year and loved it.

I think this is the year that most parents love watching. The kids still place a high values fairness — something about which we all seem willing to compromise as we get older–andsportsmanship. Parents cheer for their own players, but it’s also common and encouraged to cheer good plays made by the other team.

I love watching the players trying to strike a balance between youthful exuberance and competitive focus. Having done this with Thing1 not too many years ago, I know I’m watching the end of one era and the beginning of another.  They’re both amazing to watch.

The Bears are Back in Town

No, you’re not looking at a painting of a suggested location for the remake of the Munsters or the Addams family, down-home version. That overgrown patch of weeds and meadow is going to be my garden this summer.

The local bears have already begun inspecting my composter and have made off with the lid to make sure there’s no confusion about whose garden this really is. 

More than Weeds

A week ago it was in the 30s, and this morning I walked out to the driveway to find that The first wave of dandelions had already bloomed and float away. This is a member of the second wave getting ready to open.
I know they’re weeds, and I probably won’t be so philosophical when I’m yanking them out of the garden next month, but right now, after a long rainy spring, they’re a lot more than weeds. They’re miniature sunflowers.