Saturday, September 3, 2016


Andes, New York

 It's been a summer of variations on the themes of recent summers. 
Some weekends in the Catskills, not enough, but one day, if I'm lucky,
I will have lots and lots of time there, whole seasons to explore
all those greens.

jewel weed, also known as touch-me-not

As ever I am enchanted by wildflowers, little gifts that just appear
on roadsides and streamsides, unmowed lawns, 
wherever there is a little bit of space and dirt and light.

Taki the cat; Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Ten days in NYC, apartment/cat/garden sitting
for one of my sons. 
Ten days of walking, taking ferries, subways and busses,
taking it in, that endlessly interesting city.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Botanic gardens in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Monet, Metropolitan Museum of Art

So many museums.

There have been lots of cats as well.
I fostered three litters of kittens for the shelter where I volunteer
(and kept the one in the picture).

I am fortunate to experience so much goodness and beauty.
The real life problems exist, 
but I just want to share the good things, 
and hope you find a bit of pleasure in them,
a reminder maybe of some wildflowers you saw,
or a kitten you once loved.

xo, Jennifer


Saturday, June 25, 2016

frog pond, not peony

The palest of pinks 
with deep green leaves or a tabby cat.
Mountain laurel. Tabby cat. Paoneia.

Words. I used to love words, to write. 

I wrote poetry, novels, essays,
a few published, most not, but I kept writing,
because it was my way of understanding the world, and myself.

In the last few years I've lost that.
Maybe because I'm painting.
Maybe because I turned to blogging and now Instagram
which I love, but few words are required.
I still read constantly, but writing? 
Creative or otherwise doesn't have a place in my life.

It's sort of amusing that I'm thinking of returning to regular blogging to get back into writing. It's like I've forgotten how to write privately. I used to be obsessed. I worked as a lawyer in the family courts, cared for my three children, and wrote into the wee hours. Just me, pen and notebook, or later, computer. Word processor--who remembers that pair of words? Anyway, life... (that's an Instagram poem.) The thing is, I have one more tangle I really need to figure out, and the only way I think I can do it is by writing.

What I need to write about is a complex personal ecosystem. It's a frog pond, not a peony. It's a lot of dark and murky with some wildflowers and frogs and dragonflies mixed in. (Metaphors! Similes!) I'm thinking of blogging as my sketchbook. To be continued...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Pink Hills and Wildflowers

 New Mexico---I spent most of my time in the countryside, taking in the mysterious landscapes--red hills, pink hills, black hills, mountains and mesas, buttes and canyons. This most memorable place, Tent Rocks, a short steep hike up a slot canyon, was otherworldly. Truly, as though I stepped onto another planet or a Star Wars movie. The trip was a cliche--me following the Georgia O'Keeffe trail, but it was also a trip of epiphanies and learning. Geology, Pueblo Indians, the atomic bomb, there was much to think about.

 Then home, where I try to hold on to what I learned, 
and not let it all slip away,

 It's wildflower season in the Catskills.
 I savor the familiar landscape, the creek, the frog pond, 
the crisp starry nights.
I walk downstream, among the ferns.

I hope you are enjoying the season, whatever it is,
wherever you are.

xo, Jennifer

Monday, May 2, 2016

Around Here


 Hello friends. It's all kittens, all the time. I've been volunteering at a cat shelter, and offered to foster five kittens from three different litters, and the heroic mother cat, who has been caring for all of them. It's been great fun, and I love them all, but no, I'm not keeping any. Once they are spayed/neutered and healthy, the shelter will find homes for them. Kittens must be adopted with another kitten or young cat (or the mother cat) and it comforts me to know that some of them will be adopted together.

I've missed a couple of Catskill weekends because of family stuff and kitten emergencies, but look forward to getting back later this month and seeing the wildflowers. I finally have a few blooms in my yard, and supplement them with flowers from the store. I need flowers. There, I said it.

I'm still painting regularly. Seascapes, landscapes...Thinking about night flowers 

and frog ponds.

A few evenings ago I went to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, which stays open until the civilized hour of 10 p.m. three nights a week. I saw this Edward Hopper painting, A Room in Brooklyn, and it was like looking in a mirror.

Although I rarely post, here, I will continue to do so, to keep the thread, the connections, with those of you who aren't on Instagram. And maybe someday I'll post more in depth. I find myself staying away from the computer more, leaving my phone behind sometimes, picking up paper and pencil.

I hope that all is well with you.

xo, Jennifer

Monday, April 4, 2016

April Snow

Catskill hills

Aji and hyacinths

It is April, and today it snowed and tomorrow it will snow and at night the temperature will dip close to single digits. I worry about the birds, and the blossoms. I don't actually have any blossoms, but my neighbors do. I'm not going to complain. I can buy flowers at the store and bring them in my house. I have a house, and money to buy flowers, and a family that loves me, and a few friends and cats and lots of books. I have everything. I love the sharp seasons of New England, and  unpredictable weather. Actually, weather can be pretty well predicted these days, but we can't control it. And that makes me happy. A clear night with a splash of stars gives way to slow moving clouds. Wind blows, snow falls, sun shines.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Ice world, Catskills


They seem alive, these icy wonders,
constantly melting and refreezing, morphing
covering rock, moss and fern
hanging in the air.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

quiet, drifting

 After eleven feet of snow last winter, I've been happy to have a mild winter, although it didn't feel quite right. There wasn't the invigorating briskness of autumn or the freshness of spring, just something that felt in-between and kind of blah. Yesterday we had the perfect storm--about eight inches of snow, heavy and wet, so it stuck to the trees creating a Dr. Zhivago/winter wonderland effect.

 I put seed out under the eves close to the house and eventually birds found it. I sat for a long time, quietly watching them, and realized that sitting and watching is probably what serious bird watching is about. That's something I could get into. Wrens, juncos, titmice, sparrows and cardinals (spectacular against the snow) found their way to my deck while the cats and I observed. Nature is so lovely and complicated and poignant. Watching birds is surprisingly (to me) absorbing. It reminded me of what I've heard people say about fishing. It's mostly about being out on the boat, quiet, drifting.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

deep purple

Somewhere in December I hit a painting wall, 
so I took some time off, didn't even think about it. 
But I became obsessed with a color--
a deep purply black.

I only saw it in my mind's eye, and I don't know why,
but when I returned to my studio I painted this.

Then this.

I've been painting thicker and faster.

tree bark, Providence Rhode Island

I suppose the lesson is than when stuck
it really can help to step back, take a breath,
to let my mind, and my eyes, 
and my mind's eyes