Pennsylvania SkyPennSky, unretouched photo & all text ©Irene O’Garden 2014

To listen to this post, please click here:Demitterre Diem

The other night I suffered a thigh cramp. A real howler–when muscles gang up on each other and each, in defense, grips all the harder.

Sucking deep breaths, can’t answer awakened, anxious husband. Bending, leaning, rotating. Coaxing, begging the leg, which snarls and defies like a mad dog.

Isn’t this over yet? Stop. Stop. And it won’t.

In spite of the eternity pain stages, it doesn’t last forever. Eventually our flailing finds alignment.  Try good leg. Foot ankle thigh take weight. Shift to ailing limb. Acceptance! It is relieved by the weight, glad of normalcy and, in its sheepish canine way, apologizes for its lapse of muscular sanity. 

I’d vigorously exercised these muscles earlier.  Shouldn’t they be tired and want to sleep? Yet, as body will, they’d been mirroring my frame of mind.

For I’d been pumping my muscle of accomplishment just as vigorously. So much to do, to see, to create: Christmas cards, gifts, errands, visits with friends and family, making house sitter arrangements, having contractor meetings–all clamored to be done. (We’re having substantial renovations in the next several weeks and are traveling while the workers sling their power tools.)

Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) is the very motto of our age, and has inspired me plenty. But, our thighs remind, if we seize non-stop, we seize up.

So here’s my little corollary:



(Let Go The Day)


Returning to a daily taste of yoga helps me do same. As does looking at an retouched sky like the one above. After all, the vigorous and mighty sun does it every night.  With style.



***Please Note: After more than two and a half-years of weekly posts, I’m taking my first real hiatus. I anticipate being back in the Wednesday saddle in late January, but will rely completely on my intuition for the timing. Have marvelous holidays!***


Publication News: People who are wondering how to buy a copy of the gloriously photographed “Connecting: Celebrating the People and Places of the Hudson Highlands” (which contains my essay on the arts)  can click here. If you’re in the area, the book is also available at Boscobel’s Gift Store (Garrison), the Garrison Café (Garrison), Storm King Adventure Tours (Cornwall-on-Hudson), Hudson Highlands Nature Museum (Cornwall) Jones Farm (Cornwall) and at the Putnam History Museum (Cold Spring)


The Main Thing: A Writer Wednesday Post

December 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Irene in Essays - (6 Comments)



The Main Thing, quote by Auguste Rodin, artwork & all text © Irene O’Garden 2104

To listen to this post, please click here:The Main Thing

Thank you, Auguste Rodin.

The minute I read these words of his, I penciled them down and pinned them up.   

When asked by the Garrison Art Center to donate a 5”x 5” artwork for a fundraiser, I relished the opportunity to create the piece above. Not only could I absorb the words into my bloodstream/thoughtstream and share them with others, I could further explore the medium of encaustic.

Pigmented beeswax is a jaw-droppingly versatile substance. After heating and melting it, you apply it to your ground (in this case, masonite, though wood, fabric, metal and glass can all be used.)  This piece displays the many verbs encaustic welcomes: you can brush it, marble it, carve it, shave it, scrape it, gouge it, splatter it and collage with it (the lettering was actually done on paper, affixed and coated with clear beeswax.)  Seems like the very stuff of life, which accommodates any verb we make of it.

After heating and fusing the final layers, you polish till it shines. If you’re not happy, scrape it off and start again. So forgiving. Like a soul evolving through lifetimes.

Once you’re satisfied, you don’t even have to frame it. Your final coat of beeswax protects it essentially forever. Like a soul recognizing an insight.

Encaustics from our first century are still radiant.

Part of me thinks when I’m all done with words, I’ll just play with this stuff—

For now, though, nothing moves me like words, or inspires my love and hope and trembling as they do. For now, I’ll live with them, sharing those I love with those I love.

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