(Nuns, Forence, Italy)
Looking back on my first year of blogging, I am infused with gratitude for all the comments you have shared in response to my feeble attempts to do what I love most; and that is to connect with you through poetry, art, essays, photographs and sometimes a rant or two on issues I can't help but take a stand on. I'm not going to give away free stuff or start advertising or add a slew of badges and meaningless awards to lure you to my site; but hopefully I can add some substance to your work day, generate a few laughs, ponder a hidden revelation, and enjoy a photograph as much as I enjoy taking them.
I appreciate your presence on this journey with me as I experiment with different art forms, report on the miracles of nature that keep me grounded, and talk to you, my tribe, as if we are all sitting around the dinner table (or better yet, the campfire). The meaning and the purpose of this blog is connection, not numbers. To all of you who have connected and shared, Thank YOU! I can't wait to hear what you have to say in the months ahead as our thoughts and ideas mushroom. When you link to YOUR site, you entertain me, make me laugh, inspire me to try new things (especially the many wonderful cooks out there), propel me to new thoughts and ideas, teach me to paint and write and appreciate great music (though rock n' roll is still king!), and crack open my heart with your stories of triumph over illness and divorce and depression and grief. There is so much beauty and grace in this crazy spinning world and sharing our stories lightens the load and takes us to a place of deeper meaning.
Last night I watched the movie, Camille Claudel (the highly accomplished French sculptress), about her relationship with the legendary sculptor, Auguste Rodin. Back in the late 1800's, women were highly discouraged from practicing and pursuing an artistic career so it was quite a surprise to learn of a woman with so much inherent talent and passion for her work. The film is a biographical drama where Caudel abandons her own work to assist Rodin, becoming his muse and lover. Eventually, she begs him to marry her, but he refuses and the affair ends disastrously, with Caudel becoming a drunk plagued with constant emotional turmoil for the rest of her life. Their work together, though brief, is legendary: The Crouching Woman; I Am Beautiful. I have always been fascinated with the human form; its elegance and beauty in dance and yoga and tai chi; and the human face with its range of fleeting emotions, how the eyes tell a story of what lies broken and healed in the heart. In the film, Rodin closes his eyes and slowly explores Claudel's face with his fingertips; in another clip, he is molding her face in clay as if he didn't require sight to create a delicate reproduction of her energy and grace.
Art sustains us. And slow food. Friends, family...a glass of fine wine. I look forward to hearing about what sustains you in the coming year when your path is murky...or light. What lifts you up, makes you strong; what breaks your heart open?
Thanks for tuning in thus far...see you on the road ahead.
(Family crest: may you have wind in your sails, Florence, Italy)