Happy Birthday to my little sister who lost the battle to cancer last November. She surprised everyone, including herself, by making it to her 66th birthday a year ago, and good for her. She lived large and according to her own design. A powerful woman.
I thought about all kinds of things on this cool and breezy July Tuesday as the edges of the marine layer flirted with my marina on and off all day. But mostly about Kay on her 67th birthday. My memories recently were confirmed that our trips to Carmel where my mom attended the Bach Festival for a handful of summers when Kay and I were little were fun and pleasant and we didn’t squabble, which we did constantly at home (I’m talking about hair pulling and kicking and rage — one time my exasperated mother handed us both a sharp knife and told us to kill each other, but do it in the bathroom where the cleanup would be easier; we were too shocked to respond). Removed from the family dynamic and in the company of our kind babysitter (no parents, heaven!), we had a ball and got along well. So interesting how kids absorb family tensions and dysfunctions and act them out. I am happy to think about that, the innocent joy we shared together during all those hours we spent on the beach. I am deeply grateful for those glorious, sandy, often-foggy summer days.
Had a nice moment today doing some outdoor household chores — I heard peregrines calling overhead and watched what may have been one of the resident falcons (there’s a nest on the Fruitvale bridge near me) chasing off an intruding falcon. Such beauty and acrobatic grace! A second or two of locked talons, even. Was cool I happened to be outside when that raptor-drama occurred (I did race inside to grab my binos).
Today’s painting — dug back into past photos. These are of wildflowers in Tilden Park in the Berkeley hills. Paints dry faster on windy days.
10″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $130
Saturday afternoon painting. I was going to head to my studio, but felt happier/safer here in my home, getting out my watercolors and selecting a photo to paint from, taken on a recent hike in Tilden Park, where small squadrons of bumblebees were collecting pollen in the profuse poppies growing alongside the trail. It was beautiful, magical, hopeful and fun to watch these industrious critters, buzzing from flower to flower, their legs laden down with pods of pollen like fat orange water-wings. Today: disappearing into a tray of paints, listening to the finches sing outside on my deck, greeting warm and friendly neighbors as they walk by on the docks, sweeping up bird feeder leftovers of sunflower seed husks that stick to my shoes when I walk inside, making peace with my life as it is in this moment. Can’t expect too many functional neurons today. That’s OK. My hands remember how to hold a paintbrush. I am alive, breathing, accepting.
7″ x 6″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper = $55