Sunday, January 3, 2010

On the Dead of Winter...

There seems to be something about the middle of winter that brings on my meditative spirit. In all likelihood it has everything to do with the feel of barren vegetation and lack of growth that exhibits itself the strongest at this time of year. Skeletons of trees and steely skies certainly set the stage for my ruminations. A sort of virtual cabin fever is part of it too. Even if you're not one of the exuberant physical types, the feeling that you can't engage in all those imagined outdoors activities (even if you wouldn't normally anyway)makes them feel all the more inaccessible with the attendant feelings of loss. (It's all in the head of course.) But don't get me wrong. I like it. In fact, I like anything that gets me to thinking deeply.

I'm amazed at how often something can be observed as holding the seeds of it's opposite. The serenity of winter's barren landscapes buzzes with the energy of life just barely concealed... waiting for the proper catalyst to launch it into full bloom. Here in California, it seems that no matter how dry and barren everything looks at certain times of the year, all it takes is a bit of rain (or even a heavy mist spell) to turn the hills a delicate green. Of course that brings all the insects out to sample the wares and...right up the food chain. Winter snow eventually melts providing the moisture to set the whole chain of events in nature on its yearly cycle. All you have to do is let your mind roll over those thoughts for a while and all sorts of events in life/nature start to take on a completely different look.

It's all too true that life doesn't revolve around me, but as the observer of all the things around me, it's sometimes difficult to step outside of that mindset. My environment and surroundings certainly affect me profoundly and take on the characters of "good" or "bad" depending on how they affect me, but in reality, they are not there for me. They, no less than me, have a life of their own. In that respect, biting winter cold, typhoon winds, earth rattling upheavals, and tsunamis are neither "good" nor "bad"...just very inconvenient for the lives and plans of us temporary residents. Like a guest at someone's house, I need to learn the to adapt myself to my host's life seems to be just good manners.

So, what did I tell you...the dead of winter brings on all sorts of mental journeys. And on that note... "Winter Meditation" (Acrylic on wood panel 8"x 8". This work is available, so if you are interested, please feel free to view more information at or inquire at