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!

The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 5: Eyes

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.

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

Each week, we’ll choose a theme upon which to write and paint. We have many exciting topics to explore, and we are excited to share our work.

So, without further ado, let’s continue this year’s adventure!


WEEK FIVE

The fifth theme for the new year is eyes.

For she had eyes and chose me.

Shakespeare, Othello

ADDIE’S PAINTING

Eyes
(Portrait of Taylor Swift)

Taylor Swift

MY POEM

Eyes

Windows.
Mirrors.
Stained glass.
Waterways to the soul.
Blue, brown, green, and black.
The hundred eyes of Argus
fan from one end of the world to the other,
like a peacock’s tail.

Ocean-iris,
from where do these mountains rise,
snow capped and cloud covered?
And blackhole-pupil,
how is the rainbow-known
 turned inside out and upside down?

Conjoined spheres are the world and I.
A world without and a world within.
We touch, as if by magic,
by a prism-wand.

Beyond the sun there is darkness.
Beyond the darkness, light.
Beyond that, both truth and illusion.

Can it be that this is all there is?
Is it all in here? On the inside? Like a snow globe?
Or am I your mere reflection?


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

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.

Expect an outpouring of creative energy! 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

February 8th through March 2nd

Shots around about Cottage Home Neighborhood. Enjoy!

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 4: Music & Dancing

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.

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

Each week, we’ll choose a theme upon which to write and paint. We have many exciting topics to explore, and we are excited to share our work.

So, without further ado, let’s continue this year’s adventure!


WEEK FOUR

The fourth theme for the new year is music & dancing.

If I had to live my life again I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week … The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809-1882

ADDIE’S PAINTING

Dancing by Moonlight
(Studio door)


MY POEM

Two Winged Thoughts

Two winged thoughts.
Two winged steeds.

Hobbled by the fog of night,
Reared among the lifeless trees.

What’s your name?
I’ll call you friend!
‘Tis your soul,

your quickened flesh alone,
with whom I’ll dance
upon the loose and shallow graves.

But why dance here
among the long but restless dead?
Let’s frolic by the sea instead!

We’ll make our way
from moon and wood to sun and sea—
our passage born
winged and gilded upon the morn—
from path and sylvan canopy,
to harbor and forgotten quay.

Loose Argo’s lines, beloved mine!
Set sail upon the silver sea!
Upon her magic prow we’ll sing
to golden lyre an offering
to Phoebus’ fires for tailwinds strong—
prophetic wings we’ll race upon.


ABOUT THE PAINTING & POETRY PROJECT

Brad & Addie

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.

Expect an outpouring of creative energy! 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!