Waiting with Trembling Hands

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I read an article last night in Smithsonian magazine about a neurosurgeon who teamed up with a neurologist. It seems like a logical team, but apparently it is unusual for those two disciplines to work together. These two Doctors figured out a way to insert a small electrical probe into people’s brains, and stop a tremor caused by a stroke or Parkinson’s Disease. The article went on to recount one particular patient and his journey towards elective surgery (it was affecting his golf swing) and play by play of his surgery (which he was awake for). To test if the probe was in the right place they had him draw spirals on a clip board during different stages of the surgery. The surgery was a success, his spirals went from shaky to smooth. As I fell asleep I wondered who would elect to have brain surgery.

Then today I got in the car to drive to NM with my dear husband. He likes to drive, so I had all day to sit. Why not paint? We weren’t in a car actually, we were in a SUV, and it was a fairly bumpy drive. I had time and desire to paint, but couldn’t get my hands to hold still. Then I remember the article, and thought how I just had to wait until a small town for a red light, or even a pit stop to regain the steadiness in my hands. I chose for this one small painting to paint with my hands shaking.

Walking the Dog

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Walking the Dog

Two universes mosey down the street
Connected by love and a leash and nothing else.
Mostly I look at lamplight through the leaves
While he mooches along with tail up and snout down,
Getting a secret knowledge through the nose
Almost entirely hidden from my sight.

We stand while he’s enraptured by a bush
Till I can’t stand our standing any more
And haul him off; for our relationship
Is patience balancing to this side tug
And that side drag; a pair of symbionts
Contented not to think each other’s thoughts.

What else we have in common’s what he taught,
Our interest in shit. We know its every state
From steaming fresh through stink to nature’s way
Of sluicing it downstreet dissolved in rain
Or drying it to dust that blows away.
We move along the street inspecting shit.

His sense of it is keener far than mine,
And only when he finds the place precise
He signifies by sniffing urgently
And circles thrice about, and squats, and shits,
Whereon we both with dignity walk home
And just to show who’s master I write the poem.
~Howard Nemerov

“Beijing at Night”

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I have an artist friend named Dave, who not only can paint, but is a lovely tenor as well. I had the pleasure of painting with him last week. After painting the rocks all week, Dave asked me how I would paint a complicated city scene at night. After discussing it, we decided we would both try it this week. My plan was to have a dark painting with few lights. Well, I will start by saying it is easier to explain what to do, than to do it. The buildings were complicated for me, I found it easy to get lost in all the moldings, but it was fun to try. Thanks for the challenge Dave.