It’s The Honey

Dolice 1, 12 x 12″ on wood panel

Nigrassa, 40 x 40″ on canvas

Both paintings are from the upcoming show, “On the Surface: Outward Appearances”, at Chautauqua Institution, June 16 – August 19, 2014

For us, honey is a gift; for the bee, it is labor.
–Jane Hirshfield

The poet Jane Hirshfield is a constant source of wisdom about making in all its many forms, and this line speaks clearly to what every writer/painter/musician/dancer/performer knows intimately. There’s honey to be had, but it comes after hours and hours of work.

In the same essay, The Circular Path, from the collection, A God in the House: Poets Talk about Faith, Hirshfield includes a few more resonant insights:

Writing is an act that generates and expands attention. And if I’m lucky, I may write something that helps expand the life and attention of others as well.

Whatever people find in my poems of radiance or grace comes out of the struggle to turn away from disappearance and toward presence.

The hope—and the quiet sense of surrender—in these words is aligned with my own thoughts as I head out to Chautauqua for the opening of my show this week: On the Surface: Outward Appearances.

I’ll be back to Slow Muse next week.

11 Replies to “It’s The Honey”

  1. dipittsburgh says:

    All the best to you, Deb. And may the greatest good come of all that you put your hand to.

    1. deborahbarlow says:

      Di, thank you so much for your words. It means a lot to me.

  2. Wonderful, fluid images. Sometimes I look down at the water in the morning and see the ocean and the cosmos at once. You sharpen the intellect, heart and the senses, always.

    1. deborahbarlow says:

      Thank you Rachael. We drink from a similar stream.

  3. Oh, my. I’ve been on a bleak polemical track with my writing. You pulled a switchgear and the scenery changed. Thanks very much.

  4. Gorgeous work, Deborah.

    Hirshfield’s such a wonderful writer.

    1. I second what Maureen says, on both counts!

  5. Sublime. Best to you.

  6. Love “Dolice 1”!

  7. These are both really beautiful.

  8. oh beautiful Dolice! it gave me that tingling and sharp intake of breath! And your blog is such a feast, thank you for the reading you have shared to, I really needed to hear about the Eisenstein book you review above too’ Fibromyalgia is biting hard right now so I am very grateful for the lift to spirits and creativity, sometimes it is hard to keep making art when I feel the ‘should’ of activism at my elbow and hearing your thoughts couldn’t have come at a better time!

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