Audrey's Christmas Letter "2004"
|Christmas 2004, Dec. 26|
It is the second day of Christmas. We woke up to a dusting of snow, a overcast day, which makes a dark day even shorter. The old windows are covered with intricate feather like ice crystal designs, an indication how cold it is outside. It is quiet except for the sound of wind outside and wood popping and sizzling as it burns in the wood stove. Doug is reading, Charlie is working in the studio. The tree that I cut from our yard that grew for 12 years or more, now decorated with lights and ornaments, stands 8 feet tall, dominating the room. The balsam smell permeates the air. The cats, Claus and Monkey lie close to the stove. Both cats came into our lives during the Christmas season. Monkey was a kitten last Christmas, Claus, a stray, moved in a few years before.
Why is it that I love the cold short days of winter, the long shadows on a sunny day, snow storms and starry nights? The memories imbedded in my genes, unconscious to my present mind, surface as a flicker of some other time that I enjoyed, call to me like a murmur I don't understand. Christmas is timeless in time, each one different but the same. It always touches my heart. It always speaks of the light in the darkness. It speaks of potential, unknown but moving toward a time when all humans will respect and care for each other.
Last winter was exceptionally cold with little snow. It was not fun to be out with a wind chill of zero or below. A windless day with a temperature of 20 felt warm. The cove was frozen over for as far as I could see. The tides broke up the ice and left huge blocks jammed together on the shore. At high tide the water flowed beneath the ice cakes and on top of new ice. The ice upheavals glistened in the sun,.their blue shadows and rectangular shapes reflecting in the pale green water. The distant shoreline almost black against the horizon. It truly felt like another world. I made several acrylic paintings of the ice and frozen cove.
In February when walking the dog at night I slipped on ice under the snow and broke my right wrist The arm was in a cast for six weeks. I couldn't hold a cup of coffee or turn a door handle, I couldn't tie my shoes or chop vegetables. After the first week I tried painting with my left hand and found out I can paint just as well left handed, however my signature looked like first grade writing. Doug bought 50 canvass of all sizes on inch and a half stretches. In January I began painting on them. Doug made a family web site, bechler-arts.com. He also put my paintings on ebay. I painted all winter on the canvas.
Charlie and I took a trip in early spring with paintings to Rehoboth Delaware. A couple there come to Maine to open a friend's cottage. They love my work and asked if they could show it in their bed and breakfast inn. We timed the trip so that we could go to Chris and Diane's daughter Cortney's graduation from Brown. Chris and family flew out from Eugene and Doug drove down from Newburyport. From Providence we drove to New Haven to visit friends we hadn't seen for years. It was good to see them. This couple I met in Europe back in 1959.
Spring continued to be colder then usual. Fog dominated the weather in June and July. There were a few days that made it into the eighties during the summer. The garden after a slow start produced a lot of food when the vegetables matured in August and September. No frost in September that usually kills the tomatoes.
For several years now a group of people on the Friendship side of the cove set off fireworks on the 4th of July. Everyone can watch them from the shore as they go off over the water. The mosquitoes were bad that night so I went up to my studio on the second floor of the barn hoping to see them from there, and yes they were high enough from my view exploding over the tree tops. All kinds went off for about one half hour, with loud bangs and whistles, and falling trails of sparks of many colors. In the field and tree tops the twinkling lights of hundreds of fire flies, blinking off and on like strings of Christmas tree lights gave the whole scene a magical sight. There were only a few nights after the 4th that the fireflies were out in the fields and then their season was over.
Doug went out to Eugene the end of August for three weeks to help Chris shingle the roof of his house, then they both came to Maine for a week. One day was spent at the Common Ground Fair put on by the organic farmers of Maine, another day in Rockland to see the art, and the rest of the time Chris and I painted together. This last year a gallery in Sausalito and San Fancisco took some of Chris's paintings.
On a September day I went to Pemaquid Point to sit at a co-op gallery I belong to. I had the date wrong so I took the day to have fun. A public trail along the shore leads to a point where the surf is on one side and the other side is calm. The rocks at Pemaquid are spectacular to see and they are easy to climb on. I went along taking pictures with my digital camera of rocks and surf, reference for paintings, and noticed a large group of people on the point. A whole family of all ages, children and teenagers testing the surf, kids in tidal pools and grandparents sitting on rocks holding babies. They were having a great time and I enjoyed watching them. It was a hot day so I went back to the calm side where there is a rocky beach to take a swim. I never leave home without my paints and my bathing suit. I crawled over the slippery rocks with the water pushing me back and forth and swam through 12 feet of seaweed until I got to a calmer clean area. I feel the motion of the water against my motion. I feel its cool temperature and the hot sun on my head. I smell, listen and look at the sky, clouds, rocks and distant horizon. For me being in salt water is a healing, regenerating, spiritual experience. After the swim I sat on the rocks and painted a watercolor. It was a perfect day. Everyone needs to have perfect days.
Two years ago Charlie wrote music for a musical called BeoWulf the king, from an old English tale that was one of the first stories written. Hurry up and wait. Finally there is a performance date set for the end of April. The instruments start rehearsals next week. With all the setbacks we hope it will go well from now on. Charlie plays the piano at church every Sunday and the jazz jam is the first Sunday of the month. Most of his time is spent in the studio working on music on the computer.
When I was in Newburyport for the week I have my annual show at the Newburyport art association I saw the Movie What the Beep do we Know. It is about quantum physics. It is about philosophy, science, theory, and spirituality coming together. This movie would never have been made 20 years ago, no one would have gone to see it. This movie is so popular it is being held over in many theaters. It proves to me that more people are seeking information. Who am I , why am I here, what is my purpose in life and what is life? Well you will come out of that movie still asking those questions but it will give you more to think about.
One can not lose hope with all the terrible things happening in the world. There is the expression the darkest hour of night is just before dawn. Old ways are fighting to keep old ways. The dawn of a new age is coming. The cosmic forces are moving everything into alinement, a new cycle.
(In 2012 the plane of our Solar System will line up exactly with the plane of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. This cycle has taken 26,000 years to complete. Virgil Armstrong also says that two other galaxies will line up with ours at the same time. A cosmic event!
Time is actually speeding up (or collapsing). For thousands of years the Schumann Resonance or pulse (heartbeat) of Earth has been 7.83 cycles per second, The military have used this as a very reliable reference. However, since 1980 this resonance has been slowly rising. It is now over 12 cycles per second! This mean there is the equivalent of less than 16 hours per day instead of the old 24 hours.
Remember, in any given moment we are making small and large decisions. Each decision is based on LOVE or FEAR. Choose love, follow your intuition, not intellect and follow your passion or "burning inner desire." Go with the flow.)
The vibrations are quickening, the sun is moving into the middle of the milky way. A great and wonderful change will take place. I feel it in my heart. I keep coming into contact with more people that are open, that are working for the betterment of everything. The ego and the true self are fighting it out and in the end there will be an understanding. The Christ consciousness is coming. It is our destiny to be fully human. BE STILL, feel, love, breath in, breath out. The whole universe is breathing. When our world is frozen and asleep it's potential is coming into existence, all is breathing.
For a lot of people Christmas is over the day after Christmas. They throw out the tree put away the presents and go back to work. I enjoy the season of Christmas for the 12 days and longer. The house glows with warmth and joy because it is filled with beauty. I had an open house December 18th that neighbors and friends came to. Charlie played the piano along with a bass player and soft drums. Christmas eve about 4 o'clock Charlie played an electric piano at the open party at the sandwich store down town Waldoboro, eggnog and oyster stew for all. After that our neighbors the Slawsons came to a Christmas eve dinner feast of roast beef. Doug was in the house when we got back from downtown. We had an eight year old neighbor boy over for tea .Monday. Tuesday we had three people for dinner. I am usually a quiet person that likes to be alone, but not during the Christmas holidays. I love the music, food, decorations, lights, snow and people around to share it with. Every day when I am in the house I think of Doug, because he made the house beautiful.
After I mail this letter to everyone I will go into my studio and paint every day. I am excited to paint, so many scenes, hundred, but I can't paint fast enough. Some will go well and some will give me trouble. I will try to stay focused and not be interrupted. I am blessed to have the ability, enthusiasm and time to paint. I am in the perfect place for me. Learning to be a better painter trying new colors, new shapes, inspired be nature, It is the best place to be, to be in the act of creation. One of my favorite quotes is from Robert Henri, "Art is simply a result of expression during right feeling. It's a result of a grip on the fundamentals of nature, the spirit of life, the constructive force, the secret of growth, a real understanding of the relative importance of things, order, balance. Any material will do. After all, the object is not to make art, but to be in the wonderful state which makes art inevitable."
Best Wishes for good health and happiness in the new year.
For more information, please contact:
Audrey Bechler 968 Backcove Rd. Waldoboro, ME 04572 1-207-6832-6806
Layout, Design, and Revisions ©2005 by Douglas Bechler...... Revised, January 9, 2005