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.


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


The Mustard Seed


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.


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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