Day 22. The inside on the outside

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“Inside on the Outside” 6×6, oil on canvas

One of the reasons I do the 31 in 31 every year is for the gifts. There are always little unexpected connections, joys and insights that pop up along the way. They come unannounced and without fanfare. They feel like childhood Christimas morning if you were to wake up and have no idea it was Christams morning. I’ll tell you about one.

Last week, one of the writers in the group wrote a poem that references the series of wilderness-haired women I’ve been exploring. I’ve finally added a little brass band to this one as well as scribbled Caroline’s poem into the background. I’ve included a legible version below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



“Half-Shadowed Woman”

by Caroline Dazet Sobolewskit

Today I saw a woman

With wilderness for hair

She startled me

She is me


It was as though


the inside on the outside

all the wiry synapses

A blink of light or color

here and there


There a thought

here a memory

emotion below

drive at the uppermost



There is music in that


sharp crescendos

soft chords


There is prayer

There the whispered petitions

of the beating heart

somewhere beneath all those vines


There too is paint

and color

and laughter

a mural of faces

an orchestra of voices


Here and there

are flowers

Tendrils that end in leaves

and some that simply taper off


Oh that I might

show you inside

that wilderness

that you might know it

As I do

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 22, 2022

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