Weeding the rose bed

StartWeed2It is a warm morning and I am in the garden, weeding a circular rose bed in the middle of the lawn. The sun is slanting in low; I contemplate putting on my straw panama but the bushes seem to be shading me once I get down into the dirt. Weeding can be a chore, unless you become at one with it in the here and now. I think about the cult book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which I read when I was a postgrad student in the 1970s, and also about a lovely little book called Zen Guitar which, regrettably, I seem to have lost. Today all is good; I have Zen weeding.

My new nextdoor neighbour’s father arrives in his builders truck and starts carrying in bags of cement and what-have-you. They are in the middle of a major renovation of the property and are not yet moved in. We pass the time of day and I fork out another weed. I am sitting on an upturned plastic storage box. I get up from time to time to take a swig of tea from the mug I have placed on the living room windowsill. I notice how stiff my leg joints feel as I move into the upright position. Gardening is a pleasant way to give the body a gentle workout.

ProgressWeed2My other neighbour, Bob, emerges from his house to go for the newspaper. He stops and we have one of our easy-going chats. He is an exceptionally good realistic artist, currently working mainly with acrylics. He takes my back into his studio and shows me some paintings of Venice that he has recently completed. They are awe-inspiring. He has already hung some of his work in galleries. He very generously explains some of his techniques to me, and I am totally fascinated. A couple of years ago, what he says would probably have been wasted on me. My studies on the MA course last year have changed all that. I could relate what he was saying to things both my life drawing tutor and the illustration tutor had said to me. I explained to him that I would like to incorporate more of my sketches into this blog, so it becomes more of an illustrated journal. I gave him my website address and I hope he has a look at it sometime. By the time we finished chatting I needed to go indoors and brew some coffee. I shall probably finish off the weeding of the rose bed this afternoon.

I have so much to do today. I am determined to look again at my piano boogie DVD and my piano lesson has been moved to tomorrow, Wednesday, this week. I want to try to think about what to take in to my teacher so I can get the most from the lesson. I have three exercises to practice for her, anyway. Then I need to make a decision as to whether to go to the preview opening of the MA students’ design show. A week ago, I could not have contemplated doing this; I think I was in the equivalent of mourning. Today I feel a lot stronger. I have started to put sketches into this blog and the chat with my neighbour has put me in a good frame of mind as far as my art is concerned. I shall mull this over. Maybe I will go. It would mean that I was on top of it all. And I would love to see some of the tutors again. It might be a case of taking a deep breath and standing tall. I’ll speak to you later.

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