Clotheslines


Dedicated to Wayne and Dolly.   I know….. three months haven’t passed and I’m posting here again.  What I needed was to clarify the purpose of each blog.

Airing-out-tent-web

After discussing the ins and outs of blogs with X this morning, I realized I would miss the opportunity that Third Time Around gives me to share who I am and what I care about outside the periphery of actually painting and drawing.  I would miss the journaling of odd but meaningful thoughts and experiences that I want to make note of. As I took my two-man tent of of it’s stuff sack for the first time in more than two decades, I remembered exactly why I started this blog and why I call it Third Time Around.

I turn 62 in October.  I’m at the beginning of my third phase of life.  With the experiences and knowledge I’ve acquired during my first two phases, I have most of the tools I need to make my third phase unbelievably wonderful ….. as long as I stay healthy.  But there’s no time to waste.  I have to start doing all those things I told myself I wanted to do when I grew up.  Some of those things I no longer care about and I’ve crossed them off the list.  I’m finding ways to do the things remaining on the list as well as constant additions to the list.  One is taking workshops with instructors whose work I respect and admire.  Another is wilderness painting.

I’m registered for Susan Abbott’s workshop at her Vermont Studio in early August.  I’d rather take two workshops and camp in a tent than take one workshop and stay in a hotel or B&B.  So that’s what I’m doing.  Camping in August will be a test run for camping at Mount Diablo in California at the end of September.

Why is this post dedicated to Wayne and Dolly? Because this is the tent I bought so that I could go with them to the Brandywine Fiddle Festival more than thirty years ago.  The moon was full, the fiddlers played all night long sipping moonshine and dancing with a feverish energy I’ve never again witnessed.  I felt alive …. incredibly alive.  I was thirty years old and entering into my second phase of life.

It’s as if this tent waited for me to be ready to invent myself yet again.  There are no holes in it and it doesn’t smell nasty.  I’m looking forward to get reacquainted.

It began sipping coffee in bed.

The last two sentences of my morning journal are “This is a beautiful day.  Let’s see what I can do with it.”

Pencil sketch of the bed linens drying on the clothesline

While sipping coffee and writing in my journal I noticed the branches of the blackberry bushes bouncing up and down more vigorously than possible in the gentle breeze that blew through my open window.  Upon closer scrutiny I saw small birds darting back and forth between the clothesline and the blackberry bushes.  I wrote the last two lines and began my day, anxious to join in the fun and feasting.  Between hanging pillowcases and sheets I filled my mouth with juicy, sweet blackberries, darting back and forth like the little birds.

As the third and fourth loads of laundry sloshed about in the washer, I set up my chair and indulged in capturing the shadow patterns created by the linens on the clothesline.  I have a passion for hanging out the wash.  As a young child I watched my mother hang wash, a smile on her face, her hair and skirt blowing in the breeze.  More often than not she would be whistling a tune.  I’ve never know anyone who could whistle as beautifully as my mother.

My plan was to be totally at peace with whatever I did throughout the day and not allow myself to fall into the habit of thinking I should be doing something, anything other than what I was doing at any given moment.

Finally, after six weeks, my new, bionic body kicked in and my energy level soared.  The drawing session was followed by mowing the lawn, weedwacking the yard (including the Secret Garden that has become a jungle), weeding the circular garden at the end of the driveway, sweeping the walks, watering and feeding the zinnias, lavender and Nispero (Eriobotria japonica).

All the while my brain was weaving the many memories connected with clotheslines.  Oddly enough, the photo below is connected with clotheslines  and played a small part in a novel I began writing in the early 80’s.  My sister-in-law saw the photo and thought it looked like something that would be on the cover of a fictitious alternative magazine named “Bizarre Horizons”.  The suggestion stuck in my mind and became a reality in the novel.

Alexis and me after a shower.

As the sun rose it gifted me with shadow patterns and as the sun set it gave me more shadow patterns.  All through the day cobwebs in my brain were cast aside and memories of recurring motifs throughout my life surfaced.

Morning Shadows No.1

Evening Shadows of aloe & sweet peas

Morning Shadows No.2

Morning Shadows No.3

Morning Shadows No.4

Morning Shadows No.5