The robins have been ice skating on the pond. Every morning just as I am finishing my tea they confer en masse, and compete with the starling, the bold jay and the infinite supply of juncos for stage time. I have been thinking about the idea of village at this time of year, so focused as it is on connection and on gathering together. I went out to get my mail, and the mailbox startled me with its beauty. As I walked back through the snow ideas of human friendship, of nature’s dumb and lovely company and the ways we stay in touch when far away swirled in my mind.
I started collaging with a juxtaposition of the robin and the mailbox, and then realized that the robin properly belonged on his own card, “in” the box. I found an ancient postcard from a dear friend who wrote to me from Germany the day she met her true love. If ever I considered throwing out the archives of a lifetime’s correspondence today I thought better– to have nothing but email in ones’ drawer and to have to buy emotional ephemera from Ebay……!
I can’t decide which of these two versions works better. I tried about a million layer effects and sizes of the postmark. I laboriously changed the date to today (now hidden.) I finally knocked it back to almost invisible. I rarely put human faces in my work as I am more interested in asking the audience to see the view rather than to notice the viewer. But I think I like this woman of the German stamp. She has a winter face.
On the other hand, the pure nature narrative, the robin trading me his bright color for a few sunflower seeds. Tell me what you think.
I love the one on top. It’s haunting, that icy-yet-welcoming mailbox and the German brow a blank. She looks almost totally mad in her left eye, coldly suspicious in the other.