The Old Apricot Tree – California

I remember thirty nine forty Maryland Road

where, upstairs,  I played my favorite record, “ Fire, fire, fire

put the fire out. Here come the firemen to put the fire out!”

The sweet scent of acacia trees filled my room.

“Thirty nine forty,” where on Sunday morning I’d wake up to Bing,

our canary singing with music coming from the living room,

“Rum and Coca-Cola,”  “Deep in the Heart of Texas,”

and “ Cement Mixer Put-Ti, Put-Ti.”

Where Mother Kitty, the homeless neighborhood cat,

wouldn’t let me get into my bed, we moved the newborn kittens

onto some old clothes in my closet, using an eyedropper

I fed the scrawny one.  In the backyard, Sweetheart my white swan,

floated in a galvanized washtub. He, or was it a she?  kept an eye out

for Bumpie our black cocker spaniel. Wearing a two piece sunsuit,

I was unselfconsciously happy, round and soft like the bunnies

in a wire cage beneath the gnarled apricot tree. I would climb that tree

to pick the sweetest fruit, the taste I have not been able to match.

I wonder if my grandchildren will ever know the taste of a tree ripened apricot

or feel the sticky juice dribble down their chin to land on their bare tummy

warmed by the sun. The Oakland Hills fire took the house, leaving our  brick

chimney standing alone except for a white cement front step. A tree is so solid,

so stable, that’s what puzzled me, the trees of my childhood were gone.

Editing Drawings for a Show

After speading out on the floor,  400 plus drawings,  I’ve edited them down  to about 50.  Definitely, I see stages of drawing during the 80 days of radiation.  This image of an orchid sketched  in the middle of the night shows one of the most recent pieces 12″ x 16″ on paper, pastel and india ink.

This little blue flower was done on the first day of 80 Drawings in 80 Days.

9″x12″ on paper. Sennelier oil pastel and graphite.

Then there are all the drawings in between.



    undone – definition of undone by the Free Online Dictionary 

    Adj. 1. undone – not done; “the work could be done or undone and nobody cared”. unfinished – not brought to an end or conclusion; “unfinished business”; “the 

    I keep losing weight. I have a string of pearls, bumps  down from my ear around my neck and up to the other ear – a string of pearls under the skin. I’m going in to have a biopsy performed on my neck today. It’s probably just scar tissue from the incisions from the surgery. But all the frightening emotions come back. No matter what the outcome, I guess  (I still say guess) I am a cancer survivor and will live sometimes forgetting about my cancer  but, then, the wondering will keep popping back up in my life. Right now I am absolutely  sure all the cancer is gone and it won’t come back, I think.

    I wrote this piece at the beginning of the week. I had drawn the roll of twine in the morning before the doctor called to ask me to come in and get a biopsy done.  I was sitting there thinking I sketched a roll of  twine this morning, now she is using thread and needle on my neck.

    The good news is biopsy report records no cancer. Hooray. It sort of took me back for a couple of days.

What is Redder than Red?

The color red isn’t hot enough. Red doesn’t burn enough. Red doesn’t scream enough. Purple?  No, it is just a darker color. Add green as the complimentary color? nope – looks like Christmas. Maybe cobalt blue. When I was making sculpture with my acetylene torch I adjusted the cone of the flame to control the heat. The tip of the gas flame. Is it cool there? Or is that the hottest point?

The Not so Pretty Paintings

Dry Tongue

Burned Clavicle

Halfway through radiation therapy my drawings changed., just like that! One day it’s pretty peonies. The next day it’s morning pain. So, you are supposed to feel the subject matter. I feel the subject matter. Draw from the heart, not the habit. I did that. too. Got 9 days to go. And about 50 drawings that could turn into paintings if I want to go that route.