Day 6. More than one thing can bloom.

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“Look Within” 4×4 oil on canvas

I went running this morning in search of my heron. Turns out maybe she doesn’t live in the same exact spot every day. She moves. I keep waiting for her to fly up out of the ditch where we first met. I keep waiting to be surprised again which, what? If you’re actively looking for a “surprise” doesn’t it cease to be one?

And now I’m wondering if our initial meeting is all I’ll get, which I know I said on day 1 would be enough, but that may have been aspirational. Perhaps it’s time to look inside for her. That rising. The lifting. I think it was glorious to behold because it resonated with something inside of me. 

Maybe on my runs, I’ll stop going down the same literal road, and maybe I won’t. There’s something comforting about it: knowing that when I turn that curve after the forever-in-construction beach house, by the long stretch of train tracks, she could be there. And even though she’s not, her memory lingers like a ghost (these foggy mornings might also contribute to that).

No great blue heron in today’s painting because I got rid of it with a swipe of white paint. It wasn’t working, and I let some flowers bloom instead.

Are there any images in nature that you’ve witnessed that have just kind of stayed with you? I’d love to hear about it.

All my paintings from the month will be available February 3 at the gallery and online February 6.

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Denise Hopkins

January 6, 2023

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