"This World That We Are Born Into"
12"x14"
watercolor and oil pencil
2014
 
I'd intended to shut up shop this morning (as usual, I got up at 4 am), but I had a very lovely, if short, email from Maureen....followed by one from Marcy.....and I decided to continue working on a picture that I'd started this past summer at Bob Nieldbalski's house in the woods between Chapel Hill and the bypass (which sits FAR below). I'd set the picture aside until I was in the right mood to do the sort of work it required.  At that time, I wasn't in the frame of mind to do the sort of loose, foreground work this picture needed (in case you wonder?....wooodland fields of ferns are a bitch to paint...it's difficult, for me at least, not to draw every single-damned blade of grass).
 
The title is taken from one of my favorite (unpublished during her lifetime, and supposedly "unfinished") poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.  Here's an excerpt:
 

"As sharp as in my childhood, still
Ecstasy shocks me fixed. The will
Cannot entice it, never could,
So never tries. But from the wood
The wind will hurl the clashing sleet;
Or a small fawn with lovely feet,
Uncertain in its gait, will walk
Among the ferns, not breaking back
One frond, not bruising one fern black,
Into the clearing, and appraise
With mild, attracted, wondering gaze,
And lifted head unhurt and new,
This world that he was born into.

Such marvels as, one time, I feared
Might go, and leave me unprepared
For hardship. But they never did.
They blaze before me still, as wild
And clear, as when I was a child.
They never went away at all.
I need not, though I do, recall
Such moments in my childhood, when
Wonder sprang out at me again,
And took me by the heels, and whirled
Me round and round above the world.

For wonder leaps upon me still,
And makes me dizzy, makes me ill,
But never frightened - for I know -
Not where - but in whose hands I go:
The lovely fingers of Delight
Have hold of me and hold me tight."

Edna St. Vincent Millay