daily painting | american kestrel

“Allow” is my word for today, the first anniversary of my sister Kay’s death. Unsurprisingly, my feelings are bouncing all over the place, so I think my best practice is to not resist today’s emotional road trip. I love the bullet points in “The Mourner’s Bill of Rights,” sent to me by a wonderfully supportive facilitator who comforts family members of those who chose “Death with Dignity.” A sampling:

• You have the right to experience your own unique grief

• You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions

• You have the right to experience “griefbursts”

Aren’t these marvelous? I will keep this card handy today as so far I am really needing it; my brains are scrambled and I’m upside down, so I’m just going with it. My little guy Buster greeted me this morning with his usual “Wheek! Wheek! Wheek!” which means Good morning, I’m hungry in guinea pig. I scratched his head and gave him some cucumber (his little purring noises crack me up). So far I’ve needed one trip to Berkeley Vacuum and Sewing Center to clean out the shavings from Buster’s cage that clogged my vacuum. He’s worth it, though my house smells like a barn from the small animal hay he eats, but it’s a nice smell. With all the death in my family and in the world lately, I am especially grateful for the miracle of life. In all its forms, including guinea pigs — warm friends who walk with me and hug me when I need to stop and sob for a few minutes, the wonderfully feisty falcon (American Kestrel, shown here) we banded last week, the butterflies visiting the plants on my deck, the occasional bat rays (that look like sting rays) gliding in the shallow water at low tide in my marina, the optimistic Cooper’s hawk that perches on top of the cement silos in our parking lot, playing I-Spy-With-My-Little-Eye (which is probably a gorgeous paprika color) a nice small songbird happy-hour hors d’oeuvre. I am happiest when I am 100% focused on this moment, this second in time. Because I am alive, and so are you, and isn’t that amazing? 
NOTE: Raptors are handled and banded at GGRO with appropriate state, federal and IACUC permits. 

 

 

 

watercolor and ink painting of guinea pig by emily weil

daily painting | buster posey

I wasn’t going to post this but looked at it again today after I came home from grocery shopping and decided my little painting showcases Buster’s adorableness. Buster Posey is my new guinea pig housemate, and how lovely to have another beating heart in the house! (I wasn’t quite ready for kitties.) My wonderful friends Allen and his wife Allison found this little guy in their Berkeley neighborhood, likely abandoned. They tried to find his owner (Allen, being a naturally brilliant biologist, properly sexed him) but no luck and Mr B needed a permanent home, so I adopted him. Allen and Allison and I decided his name should be Buster Posey, as he was Giants-orange and I live by the Posey Tube. Like, duh. Anyways, he’s pretty cute and I’ll probably do a few more sketches of him as he’s a wonderful model, sticking his head out of his favorite place to hang out, a little cave-like plush bed or a tunnel (shoe boxes work great). He’s a little eating machine, loving small-animal hay and sweet peppers and lettuce (Berkeley Bowl day-old produce is now a regular stop). I’m embarrassed at how many cushy little beds I’ve gotten for him. He also has a little play pen where he does laps for exercise and “popcorns” — guinea pigs do these darling little hops when they run around. Sometimes he holds still while I pet his head, and he makes a little purring sound which is heart-melting. OK that’s my animal news, and it’s a good thing my vacuum sucks up the small-animal bed shavings that spill from his cage, as they are everywhere (I pulled some out of my hair today, but things tend to get stuck in there). 

7″ x 7″ watercolor, pen, acrylic pen on paper