On March 3rd at 4:30 P.M., a ferocious wind storm arrived and blew out power for many in Kentucky. For us the outage was immediate. The power returned March 7, coincidentally both of our departed mother’s birthdays. We learned many lessons from what, for me, was an unexpected hiatus of fully living the artful life. The best lessons were spiritual in nature, like the Daffodils warning me to stop picking in the wind and go inside NOW. I asked Creator and the Cloud People to please be calm with us and protect all living things, the land and our shelter. We asked our moms to help bring back the power in time to better celebrate their birthdays. In the end, it was amazing to be able to make a soup from last year’s frozen tomato confit, spinach, peas that last afternoon, thanking our mothers and thinking of them. It was a unique 5 days.
After a 6-hour tornadic wind, the power was still out that first night. We ate ravioli cooked on the grill with side dish of dried peaches and figs. All of Greg’s recent bamboo leaf mulch was “gone with the wind”. The red winged blackbirds valiantly dove, circled and finally clinged desperately to their bamboo roost against the ferocious currants. Even an airplane dropped 10,000 feet in the same storm over Washington D.C. Wind drowned out the sound of the “silence of dis-empowerment”. Warm light of candles and wood stove reminded us that in the eye of a hurricane all is calm.
Wind stopped; I am realizing how far the wind storm outage threw me off track. How long it takes to return to the place of doing without electricity, like I did many years ago in the mountains of Colorado. No power meant I must use the Blackwing pencil to write, use the sun to warm the studio and be merry and bright, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. We got out for a deluxe breakfast provided by our friend Lorin. We marveled at the day, sitting in dad’s Adirondack chairs, perfectly still on the porch on a blue 70° day.
I wouldn’t know exactly how to define or describe the state of painting. It’s not me guiding the brush. It’s the amethyst crystals in the paint telling the water in the brush how to make the crystals flow so they emulate the desired outcome. Here and now though, it’s providing a safe harbor, a sanctuary of joy. It’s all the shapes, all the colors, and hummingbirds pollinating love.
Washing each other’s hair with Greg’s garden sprayer shower while bent over the claw-foot tub was exhilarating. The warm ambient air from the stove and sun coming in, left the bathroom 82°. No bother to get water all over. Later, the delicious still of the moon-lit night soothed us. I dislike and am afraid of my dependency on digital things, but love the connection that comes with it.
Day 5, thinking of a check list:
- 2 bags of ice, 1 for fridge in a lasagna pan, 1 for freezer
- Many 1-gallon and 5-gallon jugs for water. Be grateful for each drop of providential rain. Categorize; distilled, drinking, washing, flushing
- Daily DC battery and inverter, charged at Auto Zone, for appliances, coffee grinder etc. (must figure out what to do if everyone is without power)
- Have ample dry wood for stove. Be grateful for the windfall of branches.
- Always have water on the stove for coffee or washing
- Outdoor solar lights brought in to light bathroom. Charge all indoor solar lights, first thing.
- Open blinds for warmth in the annex, if sunny
- After that, enjoy the silence and the shelter of sun, calm air, robins galore, nightly symphony of red winged blackbirds, immersion into Georgia O’Keeffe books – “becoming” and “living modern”, new inventions (garden sprayer shower + large pan reservoir on the stove), “to paint is to love again” read by Henry Miller, long winter nights.
- Relish meals from a compassionate friends and water from neighbor’s hose whilst visiting darling Jesta, their Corgi.
- When the power is back, remove all things from freezer and have plenty to cook and eat with our mother’s birthday celebration.
The wind left many without warmth, beloved trees, food, water, light, loved ones even. Remembering too that some are enduring even more for unthinkable amounts of time in war zones.
Yes, I count my blessings for our safety and this hiatus from daily electronic hub-bub. I pray for the angels of mercy to comfort us one and all.
This is the first peek into my latest work, coming soon at Spring Into Art!