Happy Holidays! Thanksgiving was delicious and now our thoughts will turn to sugarplums. I was in Maine over the holiday at my childhood home visiting my family. Early snow has already covered the ground. The day was cold with a chilling wind and the temperature hovering around 10 degrees (F). Outside a pile of wood was covered in snow as if to hide from being handled. After filling the bird feeders and relishing the fact it was also a very sunny day I decided to deal with it.
Stacking wood can be considered a labor intensive muscle aching boring job. It is not one I get to do often. And there are many experts in my family who know how to stack a stable pile. But I discovered the whole process to be meditative and inspiring realizing I was transforming a pile of haphazardly spilled logs into something different. As I worked I started to look for certain shapes of wood to make the puzzle all snap into place. And I relished being outside on a cold day quietly working while listening to the sounds of the wintery world.
Here it is (not quite finished) against the backboard where I hit many a tennis balls growing up and the basketball hoop where my brother and I would play endless games of round the world.
My sister found this bird nest on the road by the lake. It was sitting there as if waiting for her. A gift from the birds. This nest is small. It will fit in the palm of your hand. But to see it is the witness a marvelous creation that these photos do not do justice to. This is art.
The birds used twigs, pine needles and birch bark to mold this fine nest. It would be an event of a lifetime to see them actually building this.
I was thinking of how the wood pile and this nest are both examples of building something from something else. Of giving new life to what surrounds us. And taking time to build the things that can bring such joy even though their original goal is more of need... for a home or for heat.
So if your are in the studio stuck with your work not progressing the way you want it to think about stacking wood or better yet take a walk in the woods. breathe the air, listen to the sounds of the forest and look up, down and all around as a gift may fall from the sky.