Sunday, 27 December 2015

Winter Trees

"Tree Waiting for Spring", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Any of you who have been followers of my blog over the past years know how special trees are to me.  Large trees have always made me feel safe -- especially when I could climb up in them until I was hidden by the leaves. As a child and teenager, I even carried on conversations with special trees when I was by myself.  I have watched young trees "dance" in the wind and felt as though they were trying to cheer me up, telling me that life would not always be so terrible.  When the breeze would cause the leaves on a tree to tickle my head and brush my face, I would feel as though maybe there was love in the world even though I did not find it in my own home.  What a psychiatrist would make of all of this, I do not know, but trees are my friends and, at this age, I really don't care who knows it.

I like the look at trees in every season and I even like dead trees. Trees in winter look very much like dead trees, but then, in spring, the miracle happens again -- suddenly the tree is full of glorious, green buds.

Of course, I realize that I have anthropomorphized trees -- giving them human characteristics that science would deny that they possess.  However, I have carried on conversations with trees on occasion -- not only speaking to them but "hearing" them speak to me. But then, I have always been accused of having a wild and crazy imagination!

I still recall with what joy I discovered the Ents in Tolkien's second volume of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  This author, with his incredible imagination, had given me a land where trees were always what I had imagined them to be: sentient creatures just like us!

I have tried over the years to portray this concept artistically, but I have never yet done so to my satisfaction.  The next two drawings are recent efforts to, once again, show others how trees appear to me.  I was inspired to try to do this by some photos I saw recently posted on Facebook by my cousin, Ron.  He is a truly marvelous photographer (I love his nature shots) and if you are interested take a look at his web site: 

"Woman-Tree Waiting for Spring", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

This drawing is exactly like the one shown at the beginning of today's posting except I have added a woman's face as part of the tree trunk.  Even though the tree is barren of leaves, it is still a living thing and keeps a watchful eye for high winds or chain saws!

"Woman and Child-Tree Asleep Until Spring", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

In this drawing, I decided to make the branches the "tree-woman's" hair.  She appears to be sleeping, but you know that like any woman holding her child, part of her is awake and watchful.  The child, on the other hand, sleeps peacefully.  In the child's hand is an acorn which represents the surge of new life that will come with spring.

I put some snow drifts in my drawing just to remind me of how much I am missing the snow!  If our winter continues this way, the trees will be showing their buds by the beginning of March!  Bah! Humbug! I like winter.  Where has it gone?



Suki's favourite Christmas 
Gift of Christmas, 2015

Suki looking very alert as she waits
for the dastardly dot of the laser
pointer to re-appear! 

Joycelyn won Suki's absolute affection this Christmas by giving her a new laser pointer in the shape of a little silver-coloured mouse!

I had gotten a laser pointer for her about five years ago from one of those booths you find on the perimeter of the Saturday Farmers' Market.  It only lasted about six months before the batteries gave out.  I looked into the prospect of replacing the batteries, but found that similar batteries cost three times as much as the laser pointer had originally cost to purchase. So, I had asked Joycelyn to be on the lookout for a replacement pointer whenever she was in one of those stores that feature cheap products from a particular Asian country not known for being overly concerned about quality control.  Finally, all these years later, she found one.

When we gave Suki her gift, she sniffed at it for a few seconds and then turned her attention elsewhere.  However, when Joycelyn unwrapped it, removed the tiny piece of plastic stuck down between the batteries and then pressed the little button on the top of the mouse's back -- everything suddenly changed.  

To Suki it must have seemed that there was a red bug in her house that needed catching and she was determined to be the one to catch it.  In her desire to capture this intruder, Suki was running and jumping in ways that were almost kitten-like -- ways which I am sure caused her to later suffer pain and discomfort in those arthritic joints of hers.

Whatever the price, Suki was determined to capture this red dot even though it seemed to miraculously escape each time she pounced on it.  You could see the look of disbelief every time Suki realized that the "bug" was not under her paws but, once again, just a few inches in front of her.

There is almost something cruel about "teasing" a cat with one of these pointers when you know that no matter how hard the cat tries, it will never be able to catch something that really isn't there. However, Suki, as well as other cats with whom I've lived, never seem to take it personally.  In fact, they always seem a bit sad when the red bug disappears until the next time their human feels like picking up the pointer and pressing down that button once again, making that red dot move and wiggle enticingly across the floor!

The only real problem I am aware of with this toy is the fact that I am unable to use it for any longer than about 30 seconds at a time. If I try to hold down the button on the pointer for any longer, I find that the pain in my thumb and/or finger joints becomes too great to endure.  So, Joycelyn is now going to have to give up some of the time she would normally have spent taking care of me in order to play "laser tag" with Suki.  Rather suspicious don't you think? Perhaps it was really a gift for Joycelyn instead of Suki after all!

As for my activities, I did have a few visitors this past week and will be having a few more in the week ahead.  These are friends whose names and birthdays appear in my annual art calendar and so I always try to arrange to meet as many in person as possible in order to keep from having to put their calendar(s) in the mail.  It's not that I'm cheap, it is just that the postal service has been known, on occasion, to bend, fold or mutilate my parcels during transit. Delivering the calendar(s) in person ensures that it will reach its destination in pristine condition. Plus, it is always nice to see my friends once again.

By the way, if any of you would like a copy of the calendar (either desk or wall), please let me know.  I have a few left over (without birthdays) and would be glad to send you one.  I would only ask that you pay for shipping and handling.

Wishing you all the very best in 2016!

Suki and Sallie



"Icon -- The Holy Family, 2009", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 revised

Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have, you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’ ‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’ But they did not understand what he meant. He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and men.      Luke 2:41-52

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