Tag Archives: Alex Sturbaum

Ill Wind

In spite of green and flowering times, a cold, ill wind blows.

Sirens blare and we shelter.  In place.

In which we shelter in place with two small dogs during a particularly dramatic tornado warning. I send Tony out to grab the scotch. This makes Ari quite nervous. It is a small room indeed.  We do the best we can.

Each day I attempt to outrun this wind, to no avail.  She catches up by late afternoon.  Daily.

One foot in front of another, I write, paint, play, plant.

Running.

Daily.

I listen to the wind.  The lessons we must certainly learn from these times, yet likely won’t.

I wonder if I will ever get to my places again.  To Taos, the west of Ireland, Guatemala.  (I will walk to Maine if needed, eventually.)  Flying could be tricky from here on out.  We are in changed times.  I try to be open to what needs to happen from here.  I know there will be choices.

Yet there is much hope in the world, though it’s hard to find it on a windy day.  I find that merely being in my body properly (something I’ve worked decades to achieve) is difficult some days just now in this time with its fear and uncertainty so familiar in my bones.

The wind howls outside.

A bard of the ages is lost to us this week; one who was the soundtrack to our era and many others as well.  I wept at his passing and wish for his loved ones to know a gentle grief if at all possible.

Tomorrow I am told a delivery will occur.

The makings of a boundary here.  To cordon off a bit of our small yard to keep for ourselves, away from the voracious overpopulation of deer.  I’ve lain awake at night worrying over this deer fence, about its placement, its date of arrival (will it come soon enough for us to get our tomatoes in?!).

I know it’s not about the fence.

Perhaps I can carve a small safe place in the confines of this new garden bed.  A place where I might leave my worries at the gate and tend to hopeful things there.

And there are hopeful things.

I keep on with the pipes.  (If you missed it, I made a little video):

I’m working with Seattle based musician and song-writer Alex Sturbaum to create some art work in support of his latest album project which is appropriately called Loomings.  His songs are timeless.  A new bard for the ages.

A big box of really nice paper in a larger-than-I-am-accustomed-to size arrived just the other day and I hope to continue to explore the world of gouache painting.  In discovering this new medium I have found a way to take painting on the road without all the solvents involved in oils.

Yet now I wonder if the road will still be there when this is all over.

I try not to think too far ahead.  Some days I am not even sure what day it is.  I just run.  Doing my best to stay ahead of it all.

 

 

 

River Run Wide

For days, it seemed as if it would never stop raining.

We hunkered in our homes, all of us  (including the Faeries, I do believe!) watching the gardens begin to awaken between raindrops and the rollercoaster weather patterns for which our region is known.

We tended our indoor plants as well, hungry to touch something green once again.  We are all of us ready to go outside once more.

As the rain poured down, our normally babbling brooks not only rushed but eventually even did a fair amount of flooding.  Up and over our little bridge and the drive.  Thankfully, the flood waters only lapped up to the door, with nary a trickle actually making it indoors.  We were lucky.

Eventually, the sun has shown here and there.  And things are beginning to bud and bloom.  Risky behavior for these intrepid plants, as warm days are still fleeting.

But bloom, they do.

While the streams rushed outside our doors, and the Ohio River and its tributaries raged closer to town, another far sweeter and gentler River has begun flowing…..

A new album of folk-styled music has been taking shape out in Seattle where my young friend Alex Sturbaum now lives.  You may remember Alex from my post about his amazingly hand-crafted wedding a few months back.  Recently Alex created a Kickstarter campaign for his River Run Wide project and it has been successfully funded (though there is always room for more)!!  I was thrilled when he gave me a call and asked me if I might be able to produce some art work to contribute to the design of the CD and it’s wee booklet.

There are so many tales to be told and behold through Alex’s music -both via traditional songs he’s interpreted for this solo album as well as his charming original works. Narratives rich in visual detailing and a sense of nostalgia for something just out of reach.  You can practically smell the salt air of a ship’s passage in his maritime songs….

You can feel the pull of a mighty river and maybe hear the voices of those working it just over the lapping of the river waves on shore…..

There is a longing for home that music such as this evokes.  It may very well be a sense of home which can never be quenched.

Congratulations to Alex, and his talented band of merry, music-making friends, with whom I’ve shared a number of late night sing-alongs.  May this album head into the world and encourage more singing, more gathering and telling of old tales, more joy in the making of music.