The locust is the last to leaf out. I sat underneath, a few evenings ago, gazing up at the stiff knarly branches, and the fern-like fronds of new leaves, when a slight breeze rippled across the canopy, ruffling their feathery edges in turn like the shrugging shoulders of a flock of green birds. Beyond the locust, fully-leafed maple branches billowed in the same breeze like sails, while above them the individual leaves on the great poplars shimmered, as tremulous as paillettes on the costume of a belly dancer, each attached by a single thread. And it's all a matter of attachment, I thought, this diversity of movement -- and at the time their varied dances seemed miraculous, the most beautiful thing in the world.
Perhaps I was just becoming feverish. That night I woke coughing, my head completely congested, and have been sick ever since with a miserable summer cold that seems finally to be abating. I've moved from the couch to the bed and back again, with brief forays into the kitchen for chicken broth and tea, while J. has made me meals, and made me laugh. I haven't been sick for a long time, and it reminds me how much I take my normal state of health for granted. Another attachment; another body, stiff or pliant? How does it move when the wind blows?
Still life with lilies of the valley and an animal skull (1), pen on paper, 11" x 8 1/2"
I've been drawing a bit, more explorations of the muguet de bois, and probably will do some more today. These are two versions of the same basic still life, drawn on the same size paper but with pens of very different thickness. The line width makes a big difference in how the drawing feels, and the second one is also more simplified -- your opinions?