A Quabbin Summer Solstice

You’d think, with all this extra time, I could keep up with my sketchbook … I’m not even drawing that much right now. So be it. Quabbin Reservoir is amazing … you can look it up … Western Massachusetts’ watershed, wisely protected and guarded (don’t even think about wading), it’s pristine and uncrowded. We drive 5 minutes, walk 1/2 mile, and settle for hours.

The text is a big bit of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire,” which tends to go on and on. I’m fond of words that never seem to end.

Welcome to 2020


December 6 I arrived at MacDowell; today, there’s but one week left of my 8-week residency. I’ve kept it somewhat quiet, and because I’ve been here through the holidays, no cards and no parties. Greg drove up to spend a solstice weekend with me, and then we settled on, “I’ll see you in 6 weeks,” as he left.

They call it a gift of time and space. And what a gift. The snow, the forest – with deer and foxes, wild turkeys, a bobcat; three views of Mt. Monadnock changing daily; and a constantly rotating group of artists coming and going, to keep one’s head spinning or in the clouds. A lunchbasket delivered to my door every day. Breakfast and dinner, delicious, spent in common, and presentations nearly every evening.

Quite a different world, indeed. I’m lucky Eyes Wide Open was able to accompany me. She has  a talent for accepting a world that often stuns me senseless. This has been that kind of place and that kind of time.

Early Summer 2019

On Memorial Day – lovely weather – we headed out early for a slow day of drawing, reading, eating, and plain old sittin’. Friends from Missoula visited in June, which took us to Shelburne Falls. Closer to home, there’s always the Amherst Farmers’ Market, in full glory of summer. But biggest of all, the day we turned 140, we also closed the deal on our new house in Shutesbury.

The picnic poem is a Darms’ family favorite, culled from Donald Duck comics. And did you notice that Eyes Wide Open is wearing a watch? It’s emblematic of the busy summer we were heading into. I’m hoping she will take it off very soon.