08 March 2013

Charmed, I’m Sure, Downtown Missoula, Montana

In some shadowy ‘70’s corner of my childhood memory there lurks a regional charm bracelet craze. While jewelry has never been an obsession for me, I’ve forever been smitten with little things (yes, especially you, My Little Fur Child), and the minute, tinkling replicas were transport to a tiny imagined world. Memory being fuzzy around the edges, as pieces of childhood are wont to be, I’m not sure who in my family had one of these mobile collections. But I recall a sense of sitting close to someone older who allowed me to carefully, charm by charm, examine each miniature, sliding the bracelet along their wrist to bring the next small wonder into place for consideration.
I think charm bracelets will always revolve back into fashion, sometimes in alternate forms. Just last weekend a friend explained the significance of each detailed bead charm on her bracelet, recalling family milestones and relationships. Thankfully, the best kinds of nostalgia never go out of style.

06 March 2013

Winter Waiting, Bozeman, Montana

Perhaps it’s merely an emotional Doppler effect from handling the first seed catalogue in yesterday’s mail, or maybe there really is so much angst-laden waiting projected from this wintry backyard scene.

Waiting for enough sun to eat al fresco dinners on the sheltered patio.
Waiting for new shoots on the bare little shrub that reminds me of the pirated forsythia branches waiting to root in my milk glass vase - the one my sister secretly covets that features vertically aligned white bumps.
Waiting for new, soft, pale tips to peek shyly from the ends of the pine branches.
Waiting for a fresh coat of fence stain to counteract monts of weathering winter.
Waiting for the snow to fully melt and not blow back in overnight.

Interestingly, my initial view of this night-time courtyard produced feelings of cozy peace. Timing is everything, so they say. I don’t care what paranoid thoughts the groundhog had about his shadow - it’s high time for some early signs of spring.

05 March 2013

Dark Sky, Hamilton, Montana

'I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day'

By Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844–1889

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.
Every new-to-me read of any Gerard Manley Hopkins poetry underscores why my eldest niece so loves his writing. Thanks, A., for the introduction.

04 March 2013

Window Dressing 2, Downtown Missoula, Montana

This cropped perspective was inspired by Ric Gendron's "Red Apron" painting (to see this image, click here and then scroll to page 13), part of his "Rattlebone" exhibit at the Missoula Art Museum, which will be up through the end of March. I hate to use the same word in successive sentences, but I was inspired on multiple levels by his work. (I am woman - hear me gush.) He is an artist whose work cannot be boxed into a category. If his collection ever travels to a gallery near you, do yourself a favour and block out some time to view his paintings. Expect to be emotionally engaged, to look at a picture with "broken" and "heart" in the title and think, "That's exactly how it feels!"

03 March 2013

Pillar of Deep Thought, Missoula, Montana

Nothing immortalizes true love quite like carving your initials in stone. Especially if you border your handiwork with a heart. I think it fabulous that, during successive remodeling, the Wilma Theatre left these engravings intact. The stuff of life adds character, whether the canvas is stone block or a strengthened soul.