Twelve Signs for 2021 – Landscapes of the Imagination
This month begins with the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, the Fishes. The New Moon is also traveling in Pisces this weekend. My mother gave birth to me under the sign of the “two fishes.” A new moon heralds new beginnings. In spite of understanding this sign above all others, in its characteristic illusive way I struggle to grasp it. While I live out the poetry of this sign, I struggle in vain to grasp it, like the slippery minnows of childhood running through my legs at Old Silver Beach.
Martin Buber in his classic “I and Thou” posed the eternal question: “But how can we incorporate into the world of the basic word that lies outside language?”
Should I paint to make the words come or write to make way for a new painting? My new works are water landscapes. I paint the “landscapes of the imagination.”
My mind and body feel weakened today. “Aging is not bad,” my former parishioner, who had worked as a dental assistant and had a cat named Binky, told me “unless you weaken.”
Is it my over-active mental state or is it the result of the pandemic nurturing my Piscean dreams but not so much walking on the nearby boardwalk, swinging a racket, or punching a speed bag at the gym?
Yesterday my “spiritual Zoom group” meditated on a poem by Mary Oliver, Who Said This?” leading to the question of how we encounter faith.
….I was standing at the edge of the pond.
Nothing living, what we call living,
was in sight.
And yet, the voice entered me,
with so much happiness.
And there was nothing there
but the water, the sky, the grass.
Thank you for this beautiful epistle. Your renderings are wonderful. I particularly love the mystical sunset, and also your musings, of course. I admire greatly your ability to ‘say the word’ but also paint the image. You are a source of inspiration to me. This week I got into one of my bookcases behind a chair, not a small chore; however I found treasures. Amongst them my Mother’s poetry books from Radcliffe/Harvard, and also a biography of Tolstoy I had forgotten I had. It is also my biography shelf. Then I reread the inspiration I most needed in Dr. Schweitzer of Lambarene. He was one of my first role models some 65 tears ago, and I resonated so much with his own understanding of the life of Jesus, post-orthodoxy, and the evolution of one’s spirituality. His own life is a miracle for me, and his living out his own beliefs, an inspiration. So thank you also for enhancing this journey of mine….I look forward to seeing you one day soon. M
Virginia (Ginny Furtwangler
Ginny here: loved the blog questions, the Mary Oliver poem, and the wondering whether to paint, write, and so on.
I am quite simple now, I think, at 88, and try to do ONE simple thing a day that might constitute a gesture to another person and maybe bring a slight lift, in hard times we all share. I walk around the block 3 times a day, wave to neighbors (In my visible yellow scarf and yellow hat,(There goes that “The dingbat in the Yellow Hat Lady”), and it seems to make a difference. Each morning I get a flashing light back, just a HI LIGHT. It comes from one neighbor gravely ill, bedridden. We live in social distancing here, wear masks, feel separated, and this simple gesture seems to cut that a bit.
It is simple. Who really knows how to offer meaningful help, or make a little difference?. Just give a friendly wave. No words required. Ginny