Tag Archives: Antonio Machado

Finding Joy

I think of the many things that bring me joy, (and there are many) such as the raising of my two boys, spending time with family and friends, working in the vineyards, planting vegetables in the garden, biking the back country roads, writing my blog, seeing the first rose, and making our Nicolas Alexander Meritage wine.  This helps me through the harder times in life.

I also love, equally as much, fine literature–a poignant poem or an excellent story to help me live a more grounded, purposeful and meaningful life.

Righlty used, words become a lyrical language, like a hummingbird resting on a branch, a cat napping on the porch, a soft rain falling on the grass, the moon rising over the evening.  Words are music to my ears, salve to my wounds, comfort to my soul, joy to my heart.  There is nothing like an excellent story to make me think, make me feel and fall hard.  Hemingway‘s shortest story, comes to mind. 

“For sale: Baby’s shoes.  Never worn.” 

Here, he communicates so much pain in very few words. 

As for poetry, I love the poems that make me want to dance, laugh, and tread lightly upon this earth.  As we approach the summer months, The Summer of Love, by Antonio Machado comes to mind.

The Summer of Love

I declare this the Summer of Love,                                                                                                        I declare this the Summer of Dreams,                                                                                                 I declare this the Summer when no one                                                                                            will stop laughing, except to smile.                                                                                                 When no one will stop dreaming, except to sleep.                                                                            The Summer of no watches because there is nothing but now.                                  The Summer of no wallets because everything of value is free.                                                  The summer when men become women and women become men.                                        The Summer during which no one wears underwear.                                                                 The Summer of pure feeling.                                                                                                           And the Summer in which everything…                                                                                          Everything has meaning.                                                                                                                        I declare this the Summer of Love.  The Summer of Now.                                                         The eternal Summer.   The mythical Summer.  The Summer we will always              remember on behalf of us all.  I declare this the Summer of Love.                                          The Summer that starts now and lasts forever.  

Dicentra spectabilis
 

Now, that’s a poem that makes me feel like these dangling hearts, where their very essence is joy.                                                            

Coming to Life

Sunflowers
 

Nature inspires me, grounds me, keeps me sane, alive with wonder.  Now that restful winter is turning to lively spring, I feel myself coming to life in a newly bloomed, juicy, creative and fertile way.

As I write about life in the wine country,   nature is my greatest source for inspiration.  I find this is true not only in my work, but by writers and artists that I admire, Willa Cather, Georgia O’Keeffe, Antonio Machado, Vincent van Gogh.

Just this week, I was riveted by Van Gogh Up Close, an art exhibit taking place at the Philadelphia museum.  I read about it and saw stunning photos of the exhibit on-line by the New York times.  There, his works come to life, through 45 small, looked over, paintings which examines the artist’s relationship to nature at its most intimate.  As I went through each slide, I was drawn by the fire yellow in his shrinking ‘Sunflowers’, the blue and white liquid brilliance in ‘Almond Blossom,’ the shaded green in ‘Rain.’ 

English: Red Vineyards near Arles (1888), the ...

In this painting, van Gogh paints workers in the vineyards, with his yellow sky, burnt orange vines, and blue trees; It takes my breath away.  Nature inspired him to paint in colorful, vivid detail.

When I admire his works, up close, I am reminded how much nature inspires me when I’m taking walks in the valley of the moon, pruning vines in our vineyard, planting onion bulbs and garlic in our garden, taking a picture of a white snowy egrit, or simply gathering wood.  I am inspired by nature and because of her I come to life, over and over again.

When I look around at the cherry blossoms, the deep blue ocean, the red rosebud, the yellow finch, the orange maple trees, the silvery drops of dew on a spider web, the stoic green mountains, I understand my rightful place in this world.   When I am one with nature and fully in it, I know my true purpose on this planet, to live the day, drink in the wisdom that comes from the well of silence, to be fully aware, taking it all in and looking at life in vivid detail like van Gogh did with his nature landscapes, his golden sunflowers, his purple irises, his starry, starry nights.