The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 14: Earth

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK 14

The 14th theme for the year is Earth.

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

ADDIE’S PAINTING

Roots Into The Earth


MY POEM

Wildflowers

A peasant boy gathers wildflowers
for a girl—a ghost of a girl—he once saw,
summers-a lifetime-an aeon ago,
dancing, singing, alone by a creek, fringed by a hot sky
that burned the tall grasses golden.

He imagines her dirty, lily-white feet, stamping, pirouetting,
tra-la-la-ing.
He imagines her toes curling, timidly testing the cool, clear water—
perhaps it is too cold—

but what does it matter when there is so much life and love,
in all this sun and song?


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 13: The Seed

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK 13

The 13th theme for the year is The Seed.

Though I do not believe
that a plant will spring up
where no seed has been,
I have great faith in a seed.
Convince me that you have a seed there,
and I am prepared to expect wonders.

Henry David Thoreau, Faith in a Seed

ADDIE’S PAINTING

The Mustard Seed


MY POEM

Spring (Parts 1 & 2)

A small infant gestates inside the center of the world. From where did she come? 
Is she Father? Is she Mother? Is she Sun or Moon? 
Does she rise from her own ashes? 

To be sure, only paradox is possible. 

I saw her first in my mind, before she was real. 
I saw her fathoms deep in the dark blue ocean. 
She had spread herself thin, a wide willowy finespun web— 
a primordium of cells, each compelled but unaware. 

I stood alone on the sandy shore, buffeted by the wind, 
white cliffs behind me, sheer and imposing. 
The sky was black and studded with stars, 
and the sea glittered like a treasure chest of diamonds. 

So long was that Night 
that it showed me Death. 
I slept and sometimes wept 
to have lost hope to live forever—perhaps not to live but remember. 
Even eternal Spring has no memory of all its million flowerings.

After ten thousand nights long,
so long that what ends and begins are no longer one, 
the Womb-Sea churned and seethed, and turned itself over and within, 
and by Divine Alchemy was transubstantiated  
into a garden bed, worlds-wide, soil-rich, blacker than Night, 
from which bloomed a Golden Daffodil. 

The stem, strong and green, climbed the blue-water sky, 
climbed the windblown clouds, 
toward the Sun and Moon and the host of celestial fires, 
and from its corona, the Earth was born, 
and its cliffs of rock and stone, 
and its forests, and its birds, and its crush of living things, 
breathing and dying, 
and its roots, like vines, or sea serpents, crept from the water 
to my sandy shore, twisted about my limbs, and lifted me up, 
and set me down on its pistil throne. 

Did I come before the Daffodil, or it before me?
Did I create it or it me?

Are we two or one?

Is it a question that is its answer?
It’s an answer that is its question.


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 12: Spring

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK 12

The 12th theme for the year is Spring.

The Sun — just touched the Morning —
The Morning — Happy thing —
Supposed that He had come to dwell —
And Life would all be Spring!

Emily Dickinson, 232

ADDIE’S PAINTING

Out of Darkness Comes Spring


MY POEM

Spring (Part 1)

A small infant gestates inside the center of the world. From where did she come? 
Is she Father? Is she Mother? Is she Sun or Moon? 
Does she rise from her own ashes? 

To be sure, only paradox is possible. 

I saw her first in my mind, before she was real. 
I saw her fathoms deep in the dark blue ocean. 
She had spread herself thin, a wide willowy finespun web— 
a primordium of cells, each compelled but unaware. 

I stood alone on the sandy shore, buffeted by the wind, 
white cliffs behind me, sheer and imposing. 
The sky was black and studded with stars, 
and the sea glittered like a treasure chest of diamonds. 

So long was that Night 
that it showed me Death. 
I slept and sometimes wept 
to have lost hope to live forever—perhaps not to live but remember. 
Even eternal Spring has no memory of all its million flowerings.


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 11: Stairs

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK ELEVEN

The 11th theme for the year is stairs.

My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air …

William Butler Yeats, The Winding Stair

ADDIE’S PAINTING

Steps


MY POEM

The Stair

I beheld the golden-haired one, 
high on her throne. 
I thought her reign eternal. 

In her single eye shone, 
brilliant and blinding, 
a million paths unfolded. 

Curiously though, 
she sovereign stood 
to descend the stair once climbed. 

And my head crooked low, 
for so it mournfully thought, 
‘Even God submits to Time.’ 


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 10: The Path

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK TEN

The tenth theme for the year is the path.

This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

ADDIE’S PAINTING

The Path


MY POEM

Old Gypsy

Late autumn afternoon—
late, like so many autumns past,
is a sinuous, trodden path,
between redemption and regret
.

An old and wayward gypsy,
a hoary and hobbled tramp,
(does he know what is home and chartless country?)
snakes his way through the elder trees
that rise like skeletons
from the cold gray dust
to share their black arts and dark secrets.

See how their limbs stir the cauldron of breezes
with outstretched arms that reach past our mortal years.

It’s a kind of incantation.

He turns to hear
his own footfalls in the dust,
but bony, twig-like fingers
prod and point the way ahead—
divining rods that teach and portend
in signs drawn in wind and shadows.


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 9: The Bridge

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK NINE

The ninth theme for the year is the bridge.

We ourselves shall be loved for awhile and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Thornton Wilder, from The Bridge over San Luis Rey

ADDIE’S PAINTING

The Bridge


MY POEM

Longfellow’s Bridge

The river runs black with ink, 
as does the sky at midnight. 
Even her reflection shimmering, 
like the moon in a saucer cup, 
was written in ink.

You again cross the bridge, 
from starlight to the circus-city,
only to catch your breath mid-sentence. 
You drape your body over the stone parapet, 
like a wet rag.
 

You read her book again,
and thumb the brittle pages 
a short dozen footfalls from the clangorous city—
a million-headed ocean, 
that laughs to forget, 
cries at sunset,
and is then savagely struck dumb
by a white bolt of terror. 

What is your grievance?
Why raise your glass of sorrows?
Do you think she still cries for you 
in a room without doors? 

In your desperate silence
so near the manic crowd, 
plumes of nonsense billow up from the smokestacks,
and lilies laugh in the gardens. 


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 8: The River

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK EIGHT

The eighth theme for the year is the river.

May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Book of Hours (translation by Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy)

ADDIE’S PAINTING

Imaging Summer


MY POEM

The River

I came back to sit on this dusty patch of ground of my birthplace, 
by the side of a wide, flowing river.
Here lay the bones of my father, 
and the bones of my mother. 

 I am fractured, 
as they once were. 

I open the morning sun-gift, 
and scatter the gold on the cattails and the rushes.
The vault of the weeping willow, 
under which I gather myself, 
smiles

The sparrows come and dance. 
They share my bread.
I have read their book and interpret their songs. 
Their sense is keen and mark between 
the gentle deer and the yellow-fanged dog. 

Does the river purify or destroy?
Each morning I unravel dawn’s gilded question,
threading night into day. 

I have not seen the sea,
but heard stories of the monsters living there, 
and the pitiless fathoms, 
and the dark worlds beneath.
If I am stranded on open water for nights at a time, 
will I learn the language of the moon? 
Will I learn its secrets, too? 

In this wild and lovely moment,
I hear a new call for the old promise.
This river is true life.

Unmoor your boat and take your chances. 


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The 2021 Photo Journey

March 3rd through March 12th

Shots around about Cottage Home Neighborhood. Enjoy!

365 Photo Journey – A Picture a Day for a Year

Take a picture a day for an entire year. Apparently, this is a thing. Consider it a challenge, a journal, or a journey (I prefer journey). Take a picture a day and post it to your blog. Here are some reasons why you should try it, too.

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 7: The Hands

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK SEVEN

The seventh theme for the new year is the hands.

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

William Blake, from Auguries of Innocence

ADDIE’S PAINTING

The Hands


MY POEM

Hands

Hands manifest the soul
and reveal its secrets.

One hand wields a hammer
and another wields an axe.
Hands build to work and to survive.

Hands keep the hearth fire burning.
Hands wrap the blanket about one’s shoulders
and wash the filth from one’s limbs.
Hands mend walls to stand strong against the tempest,
shut doors against the storm,
and open windows to welcome in summer breezes.

Hands make the home ready for the guest.
A hand tips the host,
and drains the glass.

Hands darn socks,
mend shirts,
and cobble boots.

Hands steer the horse and milk the cow,
herd sheep and pitch a tent,
thresh the wheat and grind the flour.

Hands build machines
that erect monuments of concrete, glass, and steel,
that build vehicles that catapult one through Earth and Sky.

Thrust your hands into the soft ground,
feel the worms turn the dark soil,
grooming the earthen womb for another year of life.

Hands are often calloused,
and fingers sometimes break.

One hand wields a knife,
to butcher and to kill.
One hands pulls a trigger,
and another mends a wing.

Hands tighten the noose around the murderer’s neck.
Hands heal the sick and wounded.
Powerful fists pummel the weak,
and threaten the innocent.

The finger points to points uncharted,
to faraway lands exotic and unknown.

Hands shield the sun from one’s eyes,
and wipe the rain from one’s face.

The hand clings to the cliff’s edge,
so that into the abyss one won’t fall.
The hand holds long and dearly onto things already gone.

Loving hands embrace the friend,
the father, the daughter,
the mother, and the son.
They embrace the young and old alike.

When my hand takes yours,
I mean to share your soul’s work.

I often trace your curves with the palm of my hand,
driven by desire over your sand dunes,
in the blinding desert light.
No trace of my journey remains.

I trace your lips
with my fingertips
and a wordless language passes, like breath, between us.

Hand gestures embellish the word,
the noble thought,
and the story of the heart.

Hands scribble words and symbols.
Words become stories; symbols become music.
The interior world of dreams and magic
is given life by the pen and brush,
which exult the hidden and shapeless,
by immortalizing the solid and seen.

Hands come together to pray,
to give alms and make signs,
to supplicate a forgiving or unforgiving God,
both for the now and the everlasting.

We lift our hands to the Sky,
in praise and disbelief,
in fear and gratitude,
in awe.

See this hand hold up the moon.
And this hand hold up the sun.
And this one hangs the stars.

Hands cover the faces of those who weep,
and bury the dead,
and light candles to keep their memories alive.


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 6: The Heart

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.


WEEK SIX

The sixth theme for the new year is the heart.

My heart got to thumping. You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

ADDIE’S PAINTING

The Heart

The Heart

MY POEM

That’s Her

That’s her!
Time hasn’t spoiled her heart.
It cracks the cocoon
that is her body open.

That’s her!
The wind won’t break her wings
that have laughed
and cried for flying.

She does not shrink from rake or plough
Or the harvest that is her bounty.
She casts her net under a marble moon
into a sea of hope and longing.


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:
studioalchemy.art/


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!