Coming Back to the Page


Sometimes when we are too long away from the page we fear it. Or maybe we fear ourselves. That our absence has taken us too far. How will we find our way back?

It is a form of trust to return to the emptiness and put our color down once more. Trust, that we still exist, that time has not stolen the core of us.

The weeks have taken me away. Too many things pressing. No chance to touch pastel to paper. And this morning I felt afraid. What was to fear? I found myself once again, there in the colors, speaking spirit and shape out of my soul into yours, even into mine.

"Falling" in soft pastels. By L.L. Barkat.

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Morning with the Moon

moon w clouds

color moon

She rises each day, before her sister... before obligations and breakfast, chatter and business. The night before she has looked at the sky. What are its nuances? She carries them into quiet morning moments. If the sky has disappointed with a blank stare, she imagines color, shape.

I find her paintings when I pass through and she has gone on to other things... reading, sewing, building, chatting. I find them and drink in her morning with the moon.

Moon paintings by Sara, 12. Used with permission.

Drift Me. Stop in and share your story.

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Driftwood: A Philosophy of Art


I could think on this forever... what it says about the nature of art and artists... simply in story form...

But Grandmother sat in the magic forest and carved outlandish animals. She cut them from branches and driftwood and gave them paws and faces, but she only hinted at what they looked like and never made them too distinct. They retained their wooden souls, and the curve of their backs and legs had the enigmatic shape of growth itself and remained a part of the decaying forest. Sometimes she cut them directly out of a stump or the trunk of a tree. Her carvings became more and more numerous. They clung to trees or sat astride branches, they rested against the trunks or settled into the ground. With outstretched arms, they sank in the marsh, or they curled up quietly and slept by a root. Sometimes they were only a profile in the shadows, and sometimes there were two or three together, entwined in battle or in love. Grandmother worked only in old wood that had already found its form...

One time she found a big white vertebra in the sand. It was too hard to work but could not have been made any prettier anyway, so she put it in the magic forest as it was. She found more bones, white or gray, all washed ashore by the sea.

"What is it you're doing?" Sophia asked.

"I'm playing," Grandmother said.

Sophia crawled into the magic forest and saw everything her grandmother had done.

"Is it an exhibit?" she asked.

But Grandmother said it had nothing to do with sculpture...

Driftwood on Long Island, photo by L.L. Barkat. Excerpt from The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson, pp.14-15.

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