My Solstice Gift to You

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Astoria Oregon, even in the dead of winter, is full of so many gifts. That we can be on the edge of the continent – a Columbia River estuarine blend of salty ocean and mountain snow. That the sun is shining on this shortest day of the year. That the hawk just visited our birdfeeder, but the little birds saw him first, so he settles on wire with a grumpy shake of his tail before he flies back into the forest. That on a winter morning we can see dawn reflected off the windows of our neighbor across the river, but the color shows up only in the water; the windows above stay dark-filled. That there are places downtown that invite us in to draw all winter long, maybe even a little pot-bellied fire for warmth.

I love this town. Its gritty, rusty, creosoted and moldy beauty. I wish it a peaceful Solstice, and you as well.

The Turning of the Year

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2015 comes to a close. I especially love this particular week between Christmas and New Year’s; few expectations but to relax and be quiet. A jigsaw puzzle in the works on the dining room table; watching the birds at the feeder or the grebes in the river.

I’ve been spending some of my time closing out Sketchbook #6 and readying #7. What I love about a new sketchbook is – like the year to come – I do not know what will be inscribed on the pages.

Because I’ve been doing this for over 7 years, I’ve struggled with the repetition of things to draw in my life, and, admittedly, sometimes I get bored. So I haven’t been drawing as much. But I find I am missing that activity in my day. I think there is a change a’coming – a new way to approach the page, and maybe my own life – I wonder what it will be?

Anyway, I leave you – and the year 2015 – with this perhaps final page of the current book: Solstice with my friend Christine (I blasphemously spell her name with an X … because how often does a calligrapher get to use that letter?) and with Greg, Susan and Roger. We had a wonderful little holiday in Portland.