Sunday, 27 March 2011

Today the clocks went forward - a momentous point in the year -  days are magically lengthened,  nights shorter, the dawn and bird song steal in earlier on a building rush to Summer.   Cornwall has been a marvel of powdered sunlight today - windows flung wide, the studio further cleared, brushes and palettes stripped and cleaned.  I have been mixing dioxanine purple and paynes grey with deep brown, vibrant red/pink and sheets of copper leaf.  The magic of Flora day is hovering on the sharp horizon.

Last night we shut off all the lights and power for "Earth Hour" - we lit candles - put away all electronic gadgets - iphones, laptops, tele, computers and sat and read and listened to silence.  Miles slept.  Poppy read.  And I was transported back to my childhood.  I grew up in a home where silence was appreciated like song.  It is an art to listen to the quiet living in houses and I was taught it at a very early age - the shift and creak of floor boards in an old house and the soft settling of coal on the fire - the swell of late blackbird song in the garden and the sad sweet scent of candles.  It is a meditation of colour and contemplation: the room blooms with the shifting light of passing cars and the steady flicker of candle flame.   Nowadays there is always noise - the hum of computers, televisions, phones, washing machines that ping to remind me they have finished their cycle, microwaves that nag insistently that the defrosting is done, dishwashers that slosh and wirr - I love my luxury but am amazed how calm I feel - as if my blood pressure slows and drops and my sensitivities rise.  We will do this again next week.

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