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.


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


The Path


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.


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:

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:

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