Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Praise Ice

The third in my Arctic series, completed in February, is Praise Ice, watercolor, 11 x 8.3". I set a rather pretty scene of ice drifting in a warming sea in a mandala of stars and snowflakes. Since Mount Saint Helens erupted in in 1980, I've painted passages of night sky to remind us of the vast mystery beyond our tiny world. The snowflakes are reverse painted in red, implying the heat that endangers them. I want the piece to hold a balance between alarm and love, tragedy and beauty. I want it to be bold enough to awake resolve and peaceful enough to support our strength to act.

Painted in light blue below the mandala is a poem written in the traditional lanterne form: 5 lines of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables, resembling a lantern shape on the page.

methane threatens
quietly beauty melts
becoming deadly, so deadly
praise ice

In the poem too, I seek the balance between loving the world and calling action to protect it. These are challenging times, and I hope my images and poems contribute to finding solutions together.

I'm currently reading Hot by journalist Mark Hertsgaard. It contains much bad news about climate chaos, but the birth of Hertsgaard's daughter Chiara in 2005 spurred his commitment to a livable future. I'm inspired by all the collaborative and far-sighted measures he cites—such as those in Seattle, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. As I read, I'm gathering a sense of guidelines for how we can come together, globally in principle and locally in practice. He says, "I make a conscious effort to avoid despair, for despair only warps thought and paralyzes action."

I look forward to smoothing thought and energizing action. Meanwhile: Praise Ice.

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