I sit in my workroom - my gaze drifting from this website editing and my latest book art project - out over the ancient plum tree, a venerable old lady who has lived here far longer than any tenant. We are having the first snowstorm of this year, and she is coated with snow, her branches knobby and silent in the quiet air. She has been the muse, focal point, and name-sake of my home for the last four years. When I first moved in, she was a sorry sight, competing with another ancient plum tree planted too close and dying for lack of moisture and sufficient nutrients to share the space. I had the other tree taken out -- it was asking to be re-generated, and so I bowed to its wishes and transformed it into firewood for the fireplace -- and cleaned out the ground around my tree, turned over the earth at her feet, cut back all the voluntary suckers that had grown up around her knees, and gave her lots of water and loving attention. She was so stressed by never having been pruned - the subsequent growth happening on the side away from the other tree for so long that the weight of all those branches had twisted her trunk into a corkscrew, and split it. I had to put a length of two-by-four under her elbow, to help take some of the strain off of her. See her photo below. Last fall, when I got back from the UK, I had her pruned. Over last winter and this last spring and summer, she has stood straighter. Although she had a nice bloom of white flowers in the spring, I really didn't expect a crop of plums this year -- and I was right. But may I say that I know how much happier she has been, since I have given her the honor she is surely due? I do know that the Deva of the Plum Tree has shown up in several photos my friend Mac and I have taken of the Grand Old Lady - a lovely orb of rainbow sparkling lights who floats among the plum tree's branches. And so I am content, as I look on her now, even though she is bare and cold and covered with snow. I know she is at peace. And so am I. Spring is coming . . . She will watch over my garden for another year . . .and give me lovely company as I work on my book arts.
I have had a fascination for graphic novels for several years, now. This seemed to blossom the more I got involved in creating my own book arts, as I learned to indulge my creative eye I seemed to crave all things visual, and so graphic novels beckoned to me . . . I have particularly enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (yes, I know the movie Hugo is its big screen adaptation, and a loving one, at that) and Habibi by Craig Thompson. Also Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. And if you are a purist, check out the boxed set of Lynd Ward. Wonderful woodcuts!
Much of setting up a business is incredibly convoluted details . . . something in which a Virgo should be able to revel . . .but I confess it sometimes feels daunting! All in aid of a good cause, however, as this is the crafting of a new career. Something like my fourth, now? "Seniority" is supposed to provide a time of inner contemplation and sorting out the truths and lessons of a life -- but somehow it marks, for me, a new adventure. Something to turn to when the daily requirements of external employment can be finally let go, and new and wonderful opportunities hold out the promise of good works, good friendships, new connections and, above all, the releasing of creativity to flow and inspire. So bring on the details! Even web-site building can be fun!
Book artist, bibliophile, Anglophile, wordsmith and library worker - I hope you enjoy my ramblings and my discoveries that I love to share . . .