Journal Entry: Tue Nov 6, 2012, 5:48 PM
I can only imagine what a giant would sound like crashing through trees. Hurricane Sandy came and brought our little Maryland town more snow then the trees could handle and it gave me a preview of the experience. Trees crashed to the ground around the house, and after that the lights went out. No power no heat and things have become pretty desperate. But in times of hardship I see more and more of the best of humanity. It is the one of the many things that I love about fellow human beings is our ability to have such deep compassion for our fellow man in times of crisis.
I keep thinking about Dickens's quote in A Christmas Carol, "...a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on their journeys."
So often I've sadly watched people come and go with a silent plea, that sooner or later we will realize that we are in this life together, that we share the gift of it and are truly fellow passengers to the grave.
Somehow we can pick up the pieces, and many of us consider ourselves lucky compared to some. And then we move on. It's beautiful here, with endless woods and streams, but life here in winter can be harsh. For hundreds of years people have called Oakland home, and the beauty of who we are is the strength we achieve by living here empowers us to do so.
My uncle is an artist, so was my great-grandfather, and my grandmother. While they used oils and charcoal, my uncle's canvas is the earth itself. He takes natural leaves twigs moss ext, and makes pictures from them. Houses, nature scenes, and pressed herbs framed underclass. He then makes a frame from old barn wood.
My uncle is an interesting man, at first glance one would never expect such a person to create such intricate, beautiful artwork. An older man he knows more about this land then I do, and I soak it up when he teaches me about it. The trees always have something to say, telling us when to plant, and when to expect a change in the air.
Yesterday he handed me piece of cotton he picked in Georgia. He finds something everywhere he goes to use for his work, and it's great fun to help him. He showed me a map of the U.S. with pins on all the states but five. He pointed at it with wistful pride. He said he had pictures in all the states with pins, and his goal before he died was to get the other five. The rest of the family thought him odd, but I looked at him with awe. It's every artist's dream to leave a little of ourselves behind, to have the world share a little of who we were. I can only hope he gets his art to the other five.
Ironically he has never seen any of my art, nor has the rest of the family excluding my aunt, who thinks my art is odd. Oh well I can't win them all.
So even with a week without heat or power, I've somehow been able to find some humbling inspiration. Our human need to create, to communicate, to be helped, to be seen, and most recently our will to survive.
Listening to: itunes