Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New painting


"Too soon/Mort laisse un chagrin d'amour que personne ne peut guérir, l'amour laisse un souvenir personne ne peut voler"
by Hilary J. England, 2011
Oil on canvas, 24" x 26" x 2"
This was a hard painting to paint.  After the procession of deaths I have experienced over the last several years, I felt moved to chronicle the absolutely abyssmal pain that follows these experiences, and how we flounder and feebly attempt to process the enormity of the losses. 

For several months, I was languishing in a sort of limbo--my mind refused to move forward, but it also refused to look back.  It stubbornly resisted all thoughts of anything painful, as you would attempt to fight off a mugger.  I felt this apprehensive, breathless sort of waiting...as if something more was going to happen.  And, sometimes it did.

After several funerals this year, several last year, etc., and etc., I was a bit on edge, and just plain sick and tired of people I know and care about kicking the bucket...not very eloquent, but there it is. 

I am thankful at this year's end for all I have, and all that were given to me, for the people, places and gifts that make me appreciate life.  I mourn those who have departed this life before their time, or even, if it was their time, it's never good time for those who are left behind. 

In three days time, Christmas Eve,  Nicole will have left us a year ago.  Casey is gone a year as of December 15th, Dan died on President's day, Matt on Memorial day.  Several more have gone on since the beginning of this year, such as Lori at Thanksgiving time, even Larry who went at St. Patrick's day...we have all the holidays covered, not to be sick or sarcastic...and although I'm well aware that death is part of life, it seems once you open the floodgates, it's a never ending trickle. 

I remember 14 years ago when my Grandmother died, and it was the most enormous loss I had suffered to that point in my life.  Here I was a women in her mid-twenties, and I had been lucky enough to not have been touched by death in a major way until that point.  I knew in my heart of hearts Pandora's box had been opened with her death, and we had several more, back to back, all in a succession.  It seemed to grow quiet for several years, and then, again, all at once. 

So, this painting is my way of trying to work out the enormous love that is carried away with the departing souls, and the enormous hole that is left behind in the hearts of those who love them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Legendary creatures and local mythology


It's been a long time since I wrote here.  I guess I have been very busy, and I have been shunning writing, for whatever reason, but, it is what it is right now.

Today, while I was running along the canals in Weissport, I saw a black creature running along the ice, close to the shore.  It was running parallel to the embankment, and as I jogged, at first, it appeared to me to be a cat.  But, why would a cat be running along the ice near the shore?  I ran even faster to catch up with the animal, and as I neared it, I began to get an icky feeling it may be a big black rat.  I slowed my pace, and instinctively, the animal turned to look behind, casting his body into a profile position, and I was flabbergasted...it was a mink!  A beautiful, dark brownish black, large mink!  He turned to run and I chased after him, ripping the earphones out of my ears and fumbling to find my camera app. 

As I approached him, he tried to take refuge and hide from me in the brush that hung over the canal, still on the frail ice of the still stream.  I crept up slowly, and he was crouched into a position, as if ready to spring and strike at me.  I began to chuckle to myself about what kind of story I would have if I was attacked by a mink while out for my daily run.  Not a cougar, but a mink.  As I slowly stalked up to where I could get a good look and photo of him, he took one last baleful glare at me, and plunged into an opening in the ice and disappeared.  I missed my shot, and was sorely disappointed.

I waited for a few moments to see if he would resurface, but, he didn't.  So, I continued my run, and about 20 yards away, stopped and looked back, and there he was, on the ice again, watching my retreat.  I decided to leave him in peace and continue on my way, and just be content with the fact that I spotted him and actually saw a mink in the wild, and not stuffed in Cabela's showroom.

Anthony thought it was pretty funny, and said, "You should've caught and skinned him!  He's probably worth good money."  I told him not to be sick ;-)

So, that's my "TG" gratitude moment for the day!

Old Stone cottage and wildflowers

 "Old stone cottage and wildflowers" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 8" x 11" Lest you think I have moved to some r...