Sunday, March 21, 2010

Figurative Painting: "Pitcher Full of Pinks"


Pitcher Full of Pinks@2010 C.LBurgess 20 x 16 oil on canvas

What better way to celebrate spring?

I had a teacher once, when I was merely thirteen, to whom I owe my love of poetry and teaching, among many other things. Her name was Sister Grace Maureen, a Sister of St. Joseph in Brooklyn, New York. I don't know if she still lives on this earth, but she is with me still. The idea of celebrating life came from her. She always seem to float into our classroom in a kind of celebratory fashion. Such a brave woman to face 30 adolescents each day with such enthusiasm! I thought of her when I read this poem from Mary Oliver, a favorite of mine. It seems to fit this image I created as well.

Happy Springtime to my friends and followers!

Invitation
by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude—
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.
— from Red Bird: Poems by Mary Oliver
published by Beacon Press, Boston 2008

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