Wednesday, May 30, 2018

This Wild Summons

I didn't at all expect Lyanda Lynn Haupt's Mozart's Starling—a book characterized by Goodreads as "part natural history, part story, [that] will delight readers as they learn about language, music, and the secret world of starlings,"—to tap into my creative life the way it has.

But here Haupt is again, cheerleading me as I paint:

And what is this wild summons? What art is asked of us? The gift offered is different for each but all are equal in grandeur. To paint, draw, dance, compose. To write songs, poems, letters, diaries, prayers. To set a violet on the sill; stitch a quilt; bake bread; plant marigolds, beans, apple trees. To follow the track of the forest elk, the neighborhood coyote, the cupboard mouse. To open the windows, air the beds, sweep clean the corners. To hold the child's hand, listen to the vagrant's story, paint the elder friend's fingernails a delightful shade of pink while wrapped in a blanket she knit with the deft young fingers of her past. To wander paths, nibble purslane, notice spiders. To be rained upon. To listen with changed ears and sing back what we hear.

And here I am again, listening with changed ears and singing back what I hear.

newest patch
new patch in the big picture
work in progress
working title: Core Values


  1. Dear Dotty,
    You can read one of my last comments (about poetry and painting and you) and copy it here ;-).
    I always love how you introduce new words to my English world. So I never knew what a 'summon' was, neither a 'starling'! Thanks for your painting and your poetry!

    1. Thank you again for the poetry/painting affirmation : )

      What is the Dutch word for summon?

      Starlings, amusingly, are evidently universally reviled birds. There is next to no one who sings their praises!

      The words I quoted today really resonated with me. Comes back to our highest purpose: to be fully present in the one moment of life.

    2. I’m laughing at your explanation of starlings. We are currently at war with some that are robbing us of the food we put out for bluebirds!

    3. Oh. That is precisely why starlings are not held in high regard. Is Jack outdoors with a bb gun?

  2. This patch! The words! The BOOK! OMG! I am racing to bed each night to revel in the beauty of the book, of the starlings, of the intricate enchanting. The Wild Summons could be the title of the movie of your life, Dotty!!!

    1. Love that you are enjoying Mozart's Starling! *I* have just started Nepo's The One Life—such a gift right now!

      Don't you just love how reviled starlings are? Something about that appeals to the ornery side of me! We have starlings that nest in a little architectural space where the bottom of our garage roof has a horizontal piece that connects to the wall (and what would be the name of that space?) year after year, with their starlit feathers and the poop flight pattern they leave on our driveway. We do not revile them : )

      Happy to entertain the notion of The Wild Summons as a title for my life!

      Thanks for the joy you shine my way.

  3. Love the color palette here and the crinkly texture. Loving all the quotations. May we all listen and sing!

    1. Carol, fun to hear you say you like my color palette, since I mixed most of the colors! Crinkly texture courtesy of magazine and sandwich paper collage, Krink ink which tends to stay raised on the surface, and stencils. Thanks for letting me know you're enjoying the quoted excerpts.

      Yes, let's keep listening and singing!