Frozen flag with wind gusts up to 40 mph.

This morning starts out cold and gray. Only last night, I had to open the window to the bedroom so that it would be cool enough to sleep. Saturday, it was a gorgeous day, and the dog and I could go outside and warm in the sunshine. I had on short sleeves most of the day. The change in weather from hot to cold makes things tricky here.

In previous years, it would have snowed by now. My first winter in 2017, the weather looked like this. The three white strips on the mountain are ski slopes. Beech Mountain is a ski resort town after all. I miss the snow and am ready for it to fall again. Birdie loves the snow too. One of the mountain neighbors has posted that the sledding hill is open for the children. I’ve yet to read if there are any safety precautions in place since COVID is still tearing through our lives.

Choosing a title for a blog post is always challenging for me. Why? Because I start with an idea or a picture and then, by the time the writing is completed, the post is something totally different. Needless to say, I have several essays saved and on hold that I had hoped to submit to magazines to meet deadlines with specific topics. Stream of consciousness is more how I write than I like to admit.

Though 2020 has been a hard year for us all and world politics has left

Birdie and her dragon photobomb my picture of a saint.

me cold for the most part (or hot with anger), the muses have been bombarding me with ideas. Ideas of paintings, writings, music, and more paintings. In between these other explorations in creativity, I read and write. The dog demands that I also remember to play. She has had a harder time with the quarantine. Birdie misses all of her human friends. I have the same friends that I miss too, but at least I can type and talk on the phone. During zoom meetings or conversations, she gets excited when she hears a voice she recognizes. At first, she ran to the door to see if the friends were on the porch. Now, she knows they may not be there, but she watches the door just in case. Friends and family are always welcome here…with a mask of course.

This is not a complaint about how busy the muses have been at inspiring me.  At times in my life, it seemed they had abandoned me. In looking at a Renaissance painting of the seven muses, I pondered how I would paint them. So far, my sketches reveal that my muses have not

Doodling about muses.

revealed themselves as anthropomorphic in any way. Though, even in great paintings, nature is always a part of the inspiration for artists throughout time. I’m trying to do better about keeping sketches in my sketchbook. The dog is not impressed. When I sit down, all my attention should go to the dog.

Still, the muses are keeping me busy. The best thing about the painting process for me is that it keeps my mind off that which I cannot control. Of course, in 2020, that means everything. Though I am not trained as a painter, it expresses something deep within me, something unexpressed by words or music. These are paintings I’m playing with. Though the world is running cold with anger and distrust, I give myself to the warmth of creative love. May creativity flow into the cold places for you too.




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