01 December 2018

Yes, I'm a tree hugger. I feel an incredible respect and affinity for trees; always have. It started when I used to climb trees as a kid in Detroit. Our backyard was barren, aside from overgrown grass and a beautiful maple tree. I remember climbing that tree so many times, resting in the crook of large limbs, looking down over the scraggly back yard and quiet alley. I felt invisible and protected there.

About a year ago I found my childhood home on Google Earth and was sad to see the house was a wreck, along with the rest of the neighborhood.  My tree was gone.

Since those days in the late 60's and early 70's, I've lived among trees.  I've lived under trees; fallen out of trees; driven around fallen trees and planted trees. I've slept under trees, picnicked under trees, cried under trees and made love under them. And I've been in four terrifying storms where trees fell all around me. It's the most eerie feeling in the world to be standing outside on a relatively clear morning, no rain, with only the deafening roar of wind in your ears, watching trees tumble over across the lake. Not hearing them crash - just seeing them. It's like being the star in a David Lynch movie.

Despite my tree PTSD, I continue to plant trees around my home and marvel at those around me that are well over 100 ft. tall. Any one of them could reduce my house to matchsticks, and take me out in the process. But I can't imagine not living among them. There are worse ways to go.

11 July 2017

Cedar Cove


I created this Vintage Parlour Box for my Guest Artist Show at Whidbey Art Gallery in Langley during the month of July, 2017.  When I started the project, I wasn't quite sure where it would take me and how it would turn out.  I decided the best thing would be to tap into my emotions.  Anything coming from that place of unedited, authentic truth can't be wrong!  This particular piece is called "Cedar Cove," an ode to three beautiful cedar trees in the woods behind my property that were recently taken down to make way for two houses.  Progress?   Ugh. Here's the poem that accompanies the piece.


Cedar Cove

Every morning
for twelve and a half years,
     early
cup of coffee in hand

I shuffled onto the back porch
rain or shine,
     in bare feet 
raised my gaze to the clouds
admiring the towering majesty
of your limbs

Most times quiet

Other times thrashing in the island current,
a mammoth, cone-shaped monolith
blacked in the night sky
blocking out the stars and moon
     at times
always steady, always there.

Witness to Marlboro tears
snapping rage and biting loneliness
to soul-searching, reawakening, 
moments of serenity and lightness of being,

always steady, always there.

Until this morning.

I awoke to the chainsaws
and I could not save you
because you were not mine to save.

I’m so sorry.