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Water for Body, Water for Soul

At the end of summer, a simple gift of water. Blessings of refreshment to you!
 

Thinking of Trees

 As I finish compiling a collection of poems, I’ve had to let many things go, including some grand quotes about trees. Since I can’t squeeze all of these beautiful bits into the book, I thought I’d share some here:  

 

 

The one who’s lying on his back under tall trees

is also up there within them.

— Tomas Tranströmer, “Breathing Space, July”

 

The trees spoke of patience.

— Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree

 

[I]n the language of trees there’s no grammatical mood: questions, statements, or commands—it’s all song, stripped of anything like judgement, intention, or need. 

Carl Phillips, Then the War and Selected Poems

 

Day brings what is going to be. Trees—

wherever they are—begin to stand. 

— William Stafford, “Letting You Go”

 

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord 

and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank, 

with roots that reach deep into the water. 

Such trees are not bothered by the heat 

or worried by long months of drought. 

Their leaves stay green, 

and they never stop producing fruit. 

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT



Three Watercolor Studies Done While Camping

Greetings!  I hope this finds you enjoying your summer. One think I enjoy doing is watercolor studies while my husband and I are out camping somewhere.  And, that’s what I want to talk about today. From Classes To Traveling. To explain, after spending several months concentrating on my online class with the Art Students League …

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The post Three Watercolor Studies Done While Camping appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

From Seed to Sky

When we built this house, I sprinkled a packet of wildflower seeds beneath the front patio. The first spring, mostly zinnias grew up. Last year, mostly poppies. This year, all Brown-Eyed Susans and some wild green thing that went to seed and grew taller than I. 

 

I marvel at how what begins in darkness keeps reaching for the light. From seed to sky, may we keep reaching. 

 

Blessings of Light to you,

 

Anna

Sky Me

On finding an old photo of alpenglow

O clouds—

such brief beauty—

you sky me

with your glory. 

Ode to my Denim Shirt

Ode to my Denim Shirt        

 

Thirty-three years, you held up—

while my arms held high-school books,

tropical shells, college art supplies,

graduate thesis poems, European

train tickets, shovels and rakes, 

my first love and my last.

Thank you for waiting to tear—

until unwearable—until

I’d learned to hold each moment

with a sturdy gratitude.  

Award for “Spiral Gyre #2”, Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO)

I am delighted to announce that my watercolor painting Spiral Gyre #2 earned an “Award of Distinction” in the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s Spring 2023 Exhibition.  As such, I send my deepest “thanks” to Juror Vera Dickerson for selecting my work. Where To See The Show Bend, OR.  If you would like, you may see …

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The post Award for “Spiral Gyre #2”, Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Laughing Earth

Letting Emerson (and the daffodils) say it best: “The earth laughs in flowers.” 



What a thing is spring

In this season of greening—

of already-but-not-yetness,

of muddy possibility,

of rainy enrichment,

of hungry wild ones

of pale tame ones—

I marvel at what comes up

seeking sun, seeking sky.

I give thanks for all

endings & beginnings. 

What a thing is spring. 

 

Winter Trees, Winter Reads

I have been diving into creative solitude this winter by writing, reading, and watching trees. One of my many book companions was May Sarton’s luminous Journal of a Solitude. Her wisdom on poetry alone astounds me. But so does her more general wisdom, some of which I decided to share on this first day of Lent: 

 

“Under the light of eternity things, the daily trivia, the daily frustrations, fall away.” (54)

 

“It is only when we can believe that we are creating the soul that life has any meaning, but when we can believe it—and I do and always have—then there is nothing we do that is without meaning and nothing that we suffer that does not hold the seed of creation in it.” (67)

 

“[S]olitude is one of the ways toward communion.” (73)

 

“I have said elsewhere that we have to make myths of our lives, the point being that if we do, then every grief or inexplicable seizure by weather, woe, or work can—if we discipline ourselves and think hard enough—be turned to account, be made to yield further insight into what it is to be alive, to be a human being, what the hazards are of a fairly usual, everyday kind.” (108)

 

“[R]eal joy. It is becoming exceedingly rare among artists of any kind. And I have an idea that those who can and do communicate it are always people who have had a hard time. Then the joy has no smugness or self-righteousness, it is inclusive not exclusive, and comes close to prayer.” (182) 

 

 

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude. W. W. Norton & Company, 1977.