Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Texture Tuesday : Lessons from Baba Yaga's Cottage

I know--a very different sort of still life than what usually appears in Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday, but a still-life none-the-less!   Stay with me ...

This antique letter opener and the desk blotter lives in the old family house of our friends, The Poyets, in La Canourgue, France.    As a huge fan of Baba Yaga (you know her as the witch in the old Russian folk tales with the house that dances around on chicken legs), I knew I had to take a photo of this wonderful item so I could work it up some day ...  Just waiting for the right moment!  And here it is!

This year, I've been exploring Light in all its facets.  I'm discovering (or perhaps being reminded) that you can't know the light without its opposite : darkness.   In some ways, the opposites help define it.  In some ways, they work together -- like Ralph-the-Wolf and the Sheep Dog clocking in on the old cartoons--each had an important part to play in the balance of things, and each respected the other--even though they constantly worked against each other.  They each had a job to do -- yin and yang, push and pull.

This past week has been a tough one for a number of reasons : a close friend lost her dear husband to cancer ; a family member unexpectedly died too far away to grieve with family; my mother underwent a serious surgery;  and I even had my own brush with death this week.  Any one of these would have been enough to contend with any given week of the year, but to have them pile up in the same 4 days was remarkable!

"Consider the uses of adversity" is something I always imagine Baba Yaga saying to anyone who seeks her counsel.  This is one of her great lessons.  If life were easy all the time, we wouldn't be pushed to do better, to solve problems we didn't think we could ever overcome, and to be more than we are at this moment.   My friends, Vicki and Lee, walked the cancer journey with courage, grace, dignity, and most of all : Love.  It wasn't easy--probably the hardest thing either of them had ever done.   Facing death, and the loss of a loved one and best friend is so difficult, but they figured out how to carry each other wherever they are.  If I know anything in this life, I know they will find each other again.  The memorial was a true celebration of Lee's life and loves, and the lessons he taught us.  I'm so humbled and honored to be part of their story.   Thank you Lee and Vicki.

As for the rest of the week, the lesson for me is this : You need the dark so you know how good you've got it in the light. If you know despair, it helps you value the joyful times all that much more. There was a time when I enjoyed the Dark--I'm not afraid of it.  But now, I choose the Light.  That may be easier for me to say--I don't suffer from depression. 

I'm not saying the Light is all good and the Dark is all bad.  Not at all.  Too much light can burn and too much dark can be just as bad.  Everything in balance ...  When they work together, we can see the stars shine in all their beauty!

Here's the processing on this image :

Layer 1) Background image (original)

Layer 2) My Own Texture (Kitchen SubFloor 6645) - Soft Light Blend Mode at 26%
Layer 3) Kim Klassen's Sonnet 2 Texture - Multiply 71%
Layer 4) Text - Gingerbread House Font - Mud Layer Style - Normal 71%
Layer 5) Copy Layer 4 = Normal 25%
Layer 6) Text - Gingerbread House Font - White Grid on Orange Layer Style
Layer 7)  Kim Klassen's Serious Magic Texture - Difference 38%
Layer 8) Copy Layer 7 - Difference 78%

And last but not least, a parting song for you.
Cat Stevens' version of "Morning has Broken."  We sang it at my friend's memorial service last week.  I always thought Cat Stevens wrote it, but it's a traditional praise hymn.  Thank you, Vicki, for setting me straight!   

Blessings on your day--even the hard parts!

Visit my Baba Yaga Pinterest Board.

Sharing with Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

Kim Klassen dot com


Diana said...

Beautiful image. Visiting from Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

EarlK said...

Very interesting letter opener. The blotter makes a great background. Beautifully done.

osiana said...

"As for the rest of the week, the lesson for me is this : You need the dark so you know how good you've got it in the light. If you know despair, it helps you value the joyful times all that much more." This is what struck a chord with me, all things are divine in this world and most importantly steer the middle path, keep balanced as this too shall pass...thanks Michele a lovely blog post.

osiana said...
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Roxanne said...

The letter opener is very unique and you've created a beautiful image with it--dramatic and different!
It sounds like your week was a trying one and I hope the coming week is a happier one.

cathy said...

Such a beautiful post - I am so sorry for your loss and your bad week. May this week be "lighter" for you.

Michelle B said...

The letter opener is so unique what a conversation starter! Your image is wonderful, love the texture. I hope your days become a little brighter for you this week...