Night Trees, Sea Breeze

‘We hold you’, say the trees.

art trees cicada wing grief

Night Trees, Sea Breeze
Sally Swain © art

I return to a beachside place of the heart. It’s been a while. The cabins that I used to stay in, to the north of the village, are demolished, erased. The whole camping ground is gone. It’s as if it never existed. I weep salty tears by the salty sea.

I walk and weep; walk and weep.

Other, more current griefs surface and spill. The long, slow, gritty grief of caring for elderly folk, in both my personal and professional life, unexpectedly surges forth. The bittersaltysweet release of tears is required regularly, it seems.

rockpool texture art photo

sea creatures create squiggles

I am able

to stay in a superior cabin to the south of the village. I breathe the night time scent of trees. The swish of sea on sand washes through me. Biodiversity of birds still exists here. I paint.

watercolour blue trees

Night Trees, Sea Breeze
play in progress
Sally S

I walk.

Who should show up but Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady?

(see Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady Goes to the Beach)

‘Welcome’, I say.

‘Help me lose myself in a seriously fun impermanent art project.’

She does. She steers me towards a shape. Is it a mandala? Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady tells me to make a circle with a tail. What is it?

A womb with an umbilical cord is what I perceive. The umbilical cord winds its way down to the sea. Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady inhabits my mind and body. She possesses me. She makes me collect cuttlefish, banksia and smooth stones and place them in a circle framed by three existing stumps of wood. What’s that spiny fish called? A puffer fish? That must go in the middle, along with spiky tumbleweedy plant matter. Prickliness is at the centre.

beach mandala

spiky life (and death) at the centre of the beach mandala thingie

Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady tells me the cord must be made of bark. It is the earth reaching down to the sea. Only at the water’s edge does the bark become seaweed.

She helps me make a sculpture

of the earth birthing the sea.

art beach womb sand sculpture

Earth Births Sea
Sally Swain, in collaboration with Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady

I do not know what this means. Perhaps you can tell me.

I only know that for maybe an hour, I am driven, absorbed, lost and found. I only know that I am impelled, compelled, happy, humming, doing what I do; doing what I love – the divine play of making art as I go along. Tears transform into a lightness of spirit.

sand earth art nature

Earth Births Sea
at a different time of day

Back at the cabin, the superior cabin to the south of the village, my indoor artwork acquires a black cicada wing. Once again, I do not consciously know what I am creating. I only know I must find more cicada wings and bring them together to the centre of the so-called negative space of the trees’ embrace.

art trees cicada wing grief

Night Trees, Sea Breeze
Sally Swain © art

Nature heals.

Art heals.

Dedicated self-care time

with nature and art heals.

seaweed art shadow

Tree-weed Shadows on the Sand

‘We hold you’, say the trees.

‘We are not ghost gums. We are blue trees of summers past. We embrace your mournful remembrance of a carefree zone. We listen. We glisten in the lighting moon. We hold you.’

Dear reader, I hope my words and pictures touch you; inspire you in some way. Let me know if so.

with love, art and soul
from Sally


5 thoughts on “Night Trees, Sea Breeze

  1. Dearest Salty-Sal!
    Yes, they do absaltolutey inspire me – as always! This is so very beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this you wonderful crazy art lady you! Love love to you xoxo
    PS I’m so glad you are in the world! xox

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sally

    these sometimes melancholy words are very touching and …yes beautiful…i feel you pulled down towards the sand and the sea, unravelling your grief so it can transform into these tendrils of light… your spirit is always there waiting to be given wings and set free but you are not afraid of beginning in the unknown, to be tentative and unsure where you are going

    …the processes of art and creativity that you share with us on this blog have shown me how to handle and honour the grit, the stones, the shells, the difficult, sharp things, the mutable soft things….so that tears and grief can be transformed into peace and light…to know how to do this is vital if we are to keep replenishing our hearts and energy

    thank you, sally, for being one of the light workers and for sharing all your manifestations…crazy art lady and all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. Linda. You are utterly amazing. What a weaver of words. With heart. I thank you so very much for the attention you give to Art and Soul Space; for your kindness, thoughtfulness, openness and much more. love from Sally


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