Not As They Appear, These Things, At All

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Feet in the sand blue sky canopy we step into the day. She painter, artist, friend. I write.
We walk into the day. She paints. I weave words, slice them up and move them all around.
There is an unfurling that begins, feet hit the ground, sun up, eyes up. It is what it is.
Or it is what you see, you see. Or how.

You should paint that.. I say, she sees. We see together, we see  different.
And I tell her what it is that I am seeing in the rags flapping in the wind. Barnacle laiden flying into the blue.

I tell her of my love for what looks like burlap, though it is not. When we look closer, the burlap was a mesh. It was not as it appeared.

We see different.

And isn’t that the way of the artist. Her art hangs on gallery wall, exhibited and displayed in place of prominence, by selection. Money changes hands between artist and art lover.

Her beautiful eye and her beautiful hand and her beautiful palette of paints will see the world in one beautiful way. The way of artist Laurie.

So she will not paint the flapping brown rags released on  line to dry out in the sun, bake out the pluff mud this tool of Lowcountry oyster catcher man.

No she will not paint it, not at all. She will not, can not paint it, paint them, filthy rags.

She will not paint the worn bags on a canvas, capture the bits of white stuck in the mesh like diamonds adorning the fabric of royal silk. Value and beauty in the rubble hanging and dancing in the salty Lowcountry wind, this day.

They whisper to me, come write my story.

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Of where I have been drenched in the sea in worn hands of man. Of where I have been dragged across the jagged shore and held the shells which hold the pearl. Holding on and holding dinner.

Out to sea and back again. Out and back, dragged and drug and hung again. To flap and sail swinging in the wind. Tool of man, art to one.

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And feet back in  the sand, dog in hand, under the oaks we walk and talk. Hit the road.  And stop to stare at peacock, hen. As she stands statuesque. I know this bird. But if we had not met I would have thought her dead, not alive. Her stillness, still as stone, her glassy stare belied a bird alive.

Things different. Things changed. Things not quite as they appear after all.

And painter friend she sees what I do not. This walk of artists in the sand. Brings eyes. They collide seeing different. Seeing same.

The Lowcountry  littered with joggling boards. Rite of passage for every child along the way. In the south, for children’s play.

And lady peacock, hen has her own. A perch which I could not see. My eyes beheld the beauty  only of the bird.  At first.

But two together, they double the image, compound beauty.

Bird on a beam. Bird on a board. Bird suspended mid-air. We stare.

So painter, writer see the world through different eyes. But the beauty is compounded when combined.

So husband, father,  wife and mother,  Christian One and Christian Two. We all do. Our views collide and complement. Artist, painter, artist, writer.

He brings his eyes and I bring mine. She sees the bird up on the board. At first I see the peacock hen and then the board. She is my improved vision. She corrects the lens on life. He is my improved vision. He corrects my lens on life. The complement, the shift in view. Four eyes, two hearts can see together what alone we cannot.

Four friends in search of oysters for our meal and we prefer the singles. Stop by the market ,ask around. Ask some more. The singles are the best and more expensive than the others. The clusters are  less desirable in the oyster world.

We buy the clusters or it is no oysters at all. Grab the knives, hold them hot. Fresh from the steamer, grab the hot sauce, lemon and the saltine cracker, eat them up. Can’t get enough. Oysters, hot, delicious clusters. We convert. We elevate these mangled masses of jagged shell to a status new for lover of this delightful delicacy.

And in the world of seafood too. Things are not as they appear. There is delicious delight en masse in groups. These clusters delight the souls of man under the crescent moon. Split open each with a frenzied pace. And let them slide down the throat into the belly.

If you love oysters.

You would love the clusters. The singles no where to be found, the hot commodity. In demand.

We huddle up and split open each, one by one, the oysters held in groups of white grey calloused shell.

The gift is in the blended views. We are lost. We are found. We are both.

We are better with each other. Artist, writer, painter, friend, husband, wife, Christian One and Christian Two. Poetry and prose.

I need you. You help me see. I am found. I am lost. I am both.

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Joining Laura and Ann today.

And counting gifts with Ann

*New ways of seeing life

*Old friends

*Days on the coast, rediscovering old favorites

*Consoling a child in her grief and finding beauty in the loss of life. Somewhere.

*Hearing a friend’s words at just the right time.

*Watching the dog herd her free range chickens. And delighting in the dance and art there

*Walking in the sun

*Walking under the moon

*New mercies

*New vision
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Dear Poet, Writer, Artist, Friend – Letters From The Village (Day 4)

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see

–edgar degas

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I understand a little better now.

Than I ever did before. About how you stare off with a wondering, wandering mind. How beauty is captured in the net of your imagination. Stored up and tucked away. For a moment while it grows.

Your gift, God given, gifts us all, the receivers of your art. You give us a lens through which to view the world in ways we could never dream. We see through eyes of artist you. And it is beautiful, indeed.

You, artist, writer, poet, friend, are co-creators with the God and creator of all, making beautiful new and offering it into the world. 

Using your eyes, hands, soul and heart you render offerings, take the stale and make it new, breathe new life into the dull, blow the dank and dusty off the weary, light us up with life-giving beauty.

Dear you, don’t stop. Pick up your pen and write us stories. Make us cry or laugh. Cause us to feel human in our loneliest moments, lowest times.

Inspire us when we lie in a place of uninspired repose. Blind to beauty, numb to life. Point us, lead us to every particle of God-beauty. Grace us with your art. Show us Him with paint and words.

Walk us to the very edges of creation and frame His glory with your artful gift.

Pick up keyboard, write a poem, one that aches as it tells of love and loss and life. Whisper into our souls and say I know, I hear, I see, you are not unto yourself, living on this side of Glory.

Pick up your palette and release the paint until it becomes a masterpiece of ships wrestling on the sea or children nestled on a mother’s lap. We will wait for stroke on stroke to flow from your finger tips, tips of brush, the very soul-notes that only you can sing.

And frame it as only you can frame, this life, with the singular vision of your soul. You, you turn kaleidoscope and slant and tilt us toward your art.

The earth is whispering to you sweet things that I cannot hear. Will you share with me?

I am missing out and missing much, but you redeem my blindness with your art.

You see it slant, so beautiful, will you write me songs of all that sailed right by when I was sleeping, lost at sea.

Will you write me love songs of this life, so I can sing and dance and sway my hips into the night.

We are hungry for your special gifts. Would you wrap them up in love, release them into this world. We are dry and brittle to the core and long to read your poems and listen long into the night to stories that you tell so sweet.

And if we fail to say thank you, can we tell you now how truly grateful we are for your art.  The tender workmanship of your hands. When you were flying high or sinking low or seeing life as only you can see, you created, offered your very self to your fellow man.

And we are changed. We are touched. We see life, anew.

Dear poet, will you write as only you can write. And wrap it, send it, share it please don’t hide it where it’s dark. Let light shine on it, in it’s radiant release.

And poet, songwriter, story-teller you, please let your words truly breathe. Then exhale in the light of day where we may smell the fragrance of each syllable and note. Each phrase and fragment of your word choice, the cadence of your heart.

You photographer, our eyes would miss so much if not for brave and beautiful you. You walk soft up on beauty, click in perfected rhythms as the earth breathes in, breathes out.

Dear artist, hold your pen, grasp your brush, hover over keyboard, piano keys, journal pages, canvases for all the art and lay your gift, your offering out before for a very grateful world.

The human heart receives your art and off the lips of all man rolls a chorus of sweet thank yous.

Now artist go make art. Now artist go use your gift. Go find your voice. Go create. We wait.

I understand a little better now.

new fave for art quote

Joining Laura, Heather, Jen and  Ann