Pink flamingos and feral crows - getting quarantine out of my system by writing some words and making a small book.
Pink Flamingos and Feral Crows
the hum of worker bees
a leaf blower being wielded endlessly,
an open fridge door beeping,
the neighbour’s dog yapping,
a fractious child across the way
A quarantine soundscape.
a cat on the shingle roof, soft treading the gutter, suspended above the city.
Later, prowling in the long grass
a steady stare,
a virtual world of mountains with colours for names
‘pink mountain’s real claim to fame is the high population of rare Arctic butterflies attracted here by the region’s blossoms’
‘it is a very scary place; reminiscent of a 1970’s horror movie’
I discover ‘big white’, ‘emerald’,
‘silver tip’ and more.
while the world sleeps,
I discover pink flamingos
and feral crows,
give away garden flowers
and a tiny front yard book exchange.
the temperature rising.
Radishes in the grey plastic tub
are quietly wilting.
I consider the crenellations of a thousand fir trees
on the distant mountain,
watching for the snow melt,
day after day.
I’m having trouble with the phone,
have dropped the croutons on the floor,
spoken to a federal officer at the door.
‘talk in a low tone
this will help you stay calmer’
A northern Flicker, thrashes and crashes against a glassy pane
as a creeping nausea descends,
This may be the longest day.
‘a rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control ’
This is a
Day ten was the hardest.
Words and images © Caroline Fraser 2021
So I have caught it..... despite being about as careful as it is possible to be without shielding.
I am now a covid survivor, for which I am grateful. OH ( my other half can also claim this accolade). He caught it from me after I kissed him before I knew for sure that I had it..... we had had an argument, and it felt very important to kiss and make up.....
It was unpleasant. I am still recovering 4 weeks later.
But I am back walking in the woods and up and down my local streets when the mud gets too unbearable.
I have struggled to focus on any one task; vacillating between writing, drawing and making books. I have decided that just doing something is better than nothing, and not to put too much pressure on myself for outcomes.
I have been talking with other artists and the advice seems to be 'just do something..... it will always lead to something else......'
Writing this blog has felt impossible until now. Today I feel that if I can just get some words down, then I will be back on the road to a regular post.
So here goes.......
I have been following a new diary format as suggested by Lynda Barry in her book 'Syllabus', as a way to draw without feeling inhibited.
Having to make a tiny diary drawing daily about something that I had seen is a great visual trigger for the excitements of lockdown life. The diary somehow feels much more alive with a few drawings thrown in.
Firstly, and most importantly, some advice. Don't try and do too much when recovering from Covid, even when you think it seems like a good idea at the time.
One minute I had the hedge trimmer in my hand to tidy a small bush that OH declined to touch, and the next I was trying to trim the whole of one side of the garden. The hedge trimmer felt more heavy than I can explain, and after a few minutes my arm was shaking , my fingers were not working and I was wiped out.
I have only myself to blame. It took several days to recover.
So a daily drawing has been substitued as part of my 'take it gently' regime.
Here is yesterday's effort. As you can see, I have a very naive style.
I have been finding a lot of woodland structures popping up in the local woods. Lockdown life is limited, and playing in the woods is still allowed. This can only be a good thing.
Even the mud has not stopped den building.
I love the variety of shapes and the thought of the pleasure that creating these structures is giving to adults and children alike.
I spent much of my childhood in a 'camp' in some rhododendron bushes. These camps are reminiscent of those days.
When the mud gets too much I walk the streets.
When the walking gets too tedious I sit at my desk and try to create something.
This book was created to hold some words that I wrote a while back. I have been wondering how to apply them to a book, and when I was unwell, sitting to make this book was very therapeutic. The fact that I gave it the wrong title on the sleeve is just a reminder that perfection is not essential, and also a note to myself that it really is myself that I am writing to.
The words are as follows.....
The Library of your Life
Caress these pages
for they are yours to use
as you will.
Fill them with your thoughts.
Your innermost secrets even
or if that’s too hard
compile a list
(for shopping perhaps)
crowd the page with financial calculations
collect words to place upon the page
take up your pen and feel the smooth paper slide
beneath your hand as you forget the world around you.
Immerse yourself in this
Savour this time alone
between these sheets.
Leave your mark in
whatever way you choose.
or in a rush of vigour to create this…..
the library of your life.
You can hear me read it in this short video.
So there we are.
I am well on the road to recovery, filling the days with what now feels like the new routine of life.
Writing, drawing, reading, walking, cooking, cleaning, eating ,creating images and ending the day with a spot of TV.
Bath, bed, awake, repeat.
You probably do exactly the same....
Caroline Fraser - an ordinary life
on life, suburban living, art, creativity, photography, book art and travel.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies
Welcome to Caroline Fraser Photography
Colourful abstracted and traditional photographic landscapes, book art and workshops. Capturing the moods and beauty of nature whether in wild open places or in small sanctuaries in suburbia.