Ah, spring changes

The skinny columnar apple trees are in bloom. The trees don’t put out lateral branches but bear on short spurs near the trunk. That’s why I can have 7 different apple varieties in a 4×4 foot plot. That one in the middle is a little slow in popping out some blossoms.

Lots of changes besides the ones in the garden. Older daughter got engaged and will be married in August and Son and new wife have come from Tokyo to live nearby. I’m so happy to have them across the bay rather than across the Pacific.

The biggest change is that I have not done much clay work for the last month. It wasn’t just Eli and Junko staying with us till they found an apartment, or building the “taking forever” chicken coop with my shaky carpentry skills (more about this venture later), or becoming a co-author on a friend’s in-progress book about growing fruit trees (hopefully there will be more news about this later, too), although those things have taken up a lot of time, but also that I took a sort of leave of absence from clay because I have been confused about what to do. The calla series started to fall a little short of what I envisioned and I’m not sure why. Maybe I got a little too careful and precise and the results were then more controlled than I wanted them to be but I didn’t know how to loosen up.

So, I taught my classes at the studio, worked on a commission and finished some pieces in progress, but didn’t start anything exciting to me. Kind of felt like I was puttering. Right here in the narrative I would like to be able to say, “and now I have it all figured out and I will be finishing up the calla project and starting to do more image transfer on clay, or whatever,” but I’m not quite there yet.

This poppy is about to pop its top. About 2 seconds after I took the picture the pointy bud cover was on the ground. Wish I had caught that.

I went to San Francisco this week to hear Ian McEwan speak and read from his new book, Solar, which a friend had lent me. (This book was nothing like Atonement.) I don’t always like to hear authors because sometimes they can be a little boring even if I like their writing, but he was pretty wonderful. He was relaxed and funny and open even when a physicist in the audience chastised him slightly on his liberties with science. The Herbst Theater had these beautiful murals all around and I amused myself while waiting for him to start by taking pictures of them.

I guess you can figure out which one I was closer to.


3 responses to “Ah, spring changes

  1. i heard mr. mcewan interviewed on the radio the other day and it made me want to get the book. the garden sounds like some exciting changes. are those opium poppies? my friend had some but i never got to see them bloom

  2. Ah, if they were opium poppies I would be in business because they are growing out of every nook and cranny in my yard. No, just different cultivars of the regular California poppy. But thanks to your question I did find out that “Extract from the California poppy acts as a mild sedative when smoked. The effect is far milder than that of opium, which contains a different class of alkaloid.”

  3. those murals are great; they remind me of your calla series work. I’ve felt similar to you about certain aspects of my clay work, wondering where I am going, I distract myself with other projects (of which I have many right now) and eventually something will click.

    years ago I lived in san francisco and my landlady, who lived next door, had planted the garden with opium poppies. they were so lovely; I’ve always wanted them in my garden but never have, perhaps one day, California poppies are great too.

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