Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Exquisite Evening

I feel grateful, blessed, lucky. What words are best to use as I sit here on the screen porch at the end of today, a day which has been so beautiful. A day with cloudless blue skies and constant breezes. A day in the mid-70s with low humidity. That in itself would be quite enough to be grateful and happy about as I sit here on this beautiful screened room of mine. But there is more.
I can see Farrell's tail through the screen so I know he is patrolling the perimeter of the property. There is distant traffic and doves are calling. The wisteria vines are lunging out over the flower beds, looking for new places to entwine.
These things too might make for a perfect evening, but there is even more. I was fortunate enough to have Felipe come yesterday afternoon to wash down the outside of this porch and sweep away crumbled roses petals from the antique climbing rose that bloomed just weeks ago over the doorway. I was fortunate to return home from an evening spent with wonderful women (that TTN group of which I've written before) and still have enough energy to to recover that last chair seat for the trio of porch chairs I repainted last Saturday.
I remember the first spring after this porch was completed. I wanted to live on the porch. I'd drink morning coffee there and have a glass of wine in the evening. I plugged in my laptop and worked away on this porch. I longed for a hammock and ended up with a vintage metal hand painted bed. I found those chairs at a resale shop on Harrisburg. The flower pots were willed with fern and hibiscus.
All of this is quite enough. But it says nothing about the rest of this day that began with a look at every room in the house because Catherine and Jenny were to come at 10:00 to photograph the house. Actually, Catherine said, they'd be focusing on the details. I took that to mean my multitudinous tableaus of objects. She said they'd be here two hours but they photographed and we talked until mid-afternoon.
As Jenny photographed, she talked about a woman friend of hers and we discovered that she is Martha's daughter-in-law. Martha, whom I've known since we arrived in Houston in 1967. Jenny is also friends with Nancy's daughter Emily and she'd seen some of the photos I took of Nancy and Emily long ago.
Catherine and I sat in the sun for a bit and spoke about our mothers, newly gone from our world. We both cried and each of us had a story about birds. Both of our moms sent back a message by way of a bird, or in my sister's Kate case, a black feather. Mom is there. Somewhere.
We spent time in my studio. Catherine looked at photos I'd taken years ago and said, "Everyone in these photographs is looking for something." Then I showed her some of those 11 x 14 collages I loved to make on Kodak's now defunct Rapid RC Polycontrast paper. I loved that paper because I could not only print an image, but I could draw and erase and smudge and paint on it too. I really loved that paper and one day Kodak simply stopped making it. The digital age made RC paper archaic or at least unprofitable. My photographic world was turned upside down, but I digress. Catherine understood the collages too. She said they were portals into a different space. Yes, that is exactly what they are. How many people see that?
We looked at photos I'd taken of women and the word 'wellspring' came up. She looked at montages from Silicon Stones, that exhibit for Houston Center For Photography that Carol and I created way back in 1985. Catherine got Silicon Stones too.
It is so infrequent that I show photographs to anyone. And now I've done it twice in less than a week's time. Last Saturday, Earl and I looked through several boxes of photos as I cleaned and reorganized my studio in preparation for today's visit. Reminded me of the evening months ago when he showed me years and years of paintings he catalogs on memory sticks. I'd ask him if they'd ever been shown and he'd say no. So, we both have so much work that has never been 'out there'.
Now, I feel a sense of urgency. Still so much to do, to share, to make, to write.
The sun is low and the carillon at Villa Matel has just begun its evening song. I think they're playing 'Faith of Our Fathers.' Is that not a Protestant hymn?
Breezes still waft across the porch. An airplane roars overhead. I sit here with laptop and know I am lucky to have this oasis. After all, in the world outside this screen porch, people in Alabama are suffering the brutal effects of tornados, fires may still be burning in West Texas, Osama Bin Laden has just been killed, millions of Americans need jobs, our elected representatives (those whom I did not vote for) continue to have no sense of decency or the common good and most folks are still using and throwing away billions of Styrofoam coffee cups every year. 'Throw away' is a misnomer. Those cups are still with us.
Yet, twilight hour on this screen porch is perfect.

P.S. I photograph the images I just spoke about and add them to this blog in another post. Night is here and I am suddenly too relaxed to do anything more.
P.P.S. And there was work to be done today too on my consulting project for the Houston Permitting Center. Went to the paint store to buy a 5 gallon bucket of 'green' glossy paint for the building contractor so that my two text walls can be readied for their wallpaper of words. Buying the paint is a task not completed because I didn's have the paint number. No, those number stood for the 'type', but the color.
Also dealt with the insurance agent who wrote the commercial liability policies for seven of the ten artists working on this project. Seems they didn't forward the check for payment of the policies and artists were informed that they would no longer be covered. I fixed that in a hurry. That's the last thing we need.
Also had an hour's meeting/chat/visit with Matthew late this afternoon over at HAA late. Spent the time catching him up on each artist's project, told him I was wondering where some checks might be in the payment process and gained some clarity on a text wall that's been troubling me. Always helps to talk things through.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Exquisite is the right word.