Saturday, November 14, 2009

Intensity and dreams

Girl writing
Notebook sketch
black marker on lined bond
Barbara Muir © 2009
(This drawing seems appropriate
to today's main task -- marking test papers)

The weather today was unseasonably warm,
maybe that's why I dreamt last night about the
cottage I visited as a child. A painting by Julie Davis
made me think of it. Her painting showed a building with
a large, open to the air, roofed section.

When I was a little girl my parents rented a cottage
every summer from my uncle. It was on a crystal
clear lake and nestled into a wood with a clearing
in the pines and a set of wooden stairs down to the
dock and the lake. The days we spent there were
the best days of my childhood. Part of the reason
was that the old cottage, built at the turn of the
last century (very old as cottages in Canada go)
had a large living room with a huge stone fireplace,
a breezeway dining room, and a dining table built
from birch logs, with the white bark in tact.

The table was covered with a yellow, checkered
oil cloth tablecloth, and my mother served
mouth watering meals at that table. Plus our
cousins and aunt and uncle would visit and a
lovely air of fun and happiness descended on
our lives in those few brief weeks.

Last night I dreamt of one of those meals. My
mother cheerfully serving platters of fresh farmer's
corn, and huge sliced beefsteak tomatoes. Everyone laughing
as night revealed the glorious stars in the sky.

Then this morning I went to the market. I pondered
about why more people don't shop at markets,
and I think it's the intensity. In a world dominated
by text messages, and non-stop business, maybe
supermarkets and box stores feel safer.

A flower stall at the Byward Market in Ottawa
taken last summer

At the market everyone cares passionately about
their produce. The sandwich man is disturbed that
you won't let him heat the panini for you properly.
People smile at you and discuss what's in their offerings
of jam, and bread. You can't skim through, you have
to get involved. I bought blue potatoes, and leeks
thinking of soup maybe. I bought apples and summer
jam (peaches, plums, berries). I even learned about
how to cook my leeks (a vegetable I rarely buy).

How do these dreams and intensity themes intertwine?
In my childhood my happiest moments were set
in the bounty of nature. My brother and I collected
acorns and pine cones as though they were important
treasure. And they were. I feel a little sorry for our
generation with the cell phones glued to our ears,
and our distance from the people who make our food.
I like the man who worried about how I'd heat my
sandwich. He reminded me of my mother, and the
happy glow on her face as she'd set a steaming plate
of fresh corn on the table, explaining why it tasted
so wonderful.

Have a happiness-is-making-memories day.


eldon warren said...

I like hearing of your memories. They are almost like paintings the way you tell them. Thanks.

LeSan said...

Good heavens what a lovely wonderful post. You told this so richly and I felt the warm sun of your childhood days. No wonder you have such a happy disposition. I am glad that you know how to unplug and keep your feet in the rich soil of life. You are a welcome and lovely flower in our garden.

Liza Hirst said...

What more can I say after these nice two comments? They have said it all - this is a wonderful post with a wonderful story, wonderfully expressed!!

Liza Hirst said...

Oh, forgot to mention how much I like your little drawing!

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!