loving the world II


oil on linen


In a private collection

sold through Edgewater Gallery

After working on a small study of the brilliant metal roof and back-cast shadow on a barn in Bristol, Vermont. I gravitate to certain barns because of the spare, simple geometrics of the windows and structures. There is a child-like joyfulness in the shapes and colors. The painting’s name comes from Mary Oliver’s poem, ‘Messenger.’

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.