James Edward Hergel, Canadian Artist: A Collection

…home holds the heart as nothing else can

find me, buried in this frost & moondance rhythm of light & dark

the northern lights have held me hostage, willingly I die with them 

each summer, each dawn

this quiet haven of stilled sweetness,  thick & beloved, pining admidst the lucid shadows of winter—

there, all things are converging & tearing apart

my heart, my heart

I could pretend I know much more about Canadian artists than I do, but one thing I do know, Canadian artists seem to be some of the most illustrative & colourful. At least, my favourites are & I rarely see art from other countries that touches my heart the same way. 

Perhaps it is the bleak long winters devoid of colour, but I gravitate towards the intense images & bold colours. Often there is a fluidity to the lines that reminds me of blowing snow more than water. The shift colour gradients & deep shadows in many artist’s works is so engrossing. 

From a young age I wanted to be an artist, & for reasons I can’t quite understand, I felt very discouraged from this path. Only now do I realize you just can’t fight these things, you must let yourself be taken along for the ride with artistic journeys. For me, I could pretend only, to be anything else. My nature is artistic. 

Whether it’s been music, writing, visual art, fabric art—I am by nature an artist. This hasn’t always meant I’m good at it by nature, or that I’ve not needed to learn the craft, & practice it, it simply means, I see & dream & feel & live most thouroughly when being creative. I am not good with redundancy or conformity. I get tired, bored & definitely unproductive. Some people thrive on schedule, routine & knowing what comes next. I’ve discovered some people ‘hate surprises’ & change. That, I cannot wrap my mind around. 

I struggle to be constant. It is true, I love my own home, most certainly, my own bed; but, give me challenge & variants & an opportunity to learn new things, & I never get tired or bored. I wish I had a little more constancy to get perfected at something. I feel this might be my greatest flaw. But, if life had unlimited time, the slow gradual opportunity to form a skill as layers of sediment forms a ridge eventually, that would be perfect for my learning style. 

Anyways. Enough about me. I really just wanted to share some lovely art today. 

It’s a day when I expect the snow will start falling any moment now, things are looking browner by the day outside, the days are getting very short & dark, so this spark of colourful artwork is keeping me cheery. Enjoy! 


the gauging 

this, the gauging scream by which
you live each day, this,
the small scalples of moments
that won’t let you leave

this, the piercing of each day, lofting
against this rising & then setting,
the small droplets, run rivers down the quietness of this, the
alabaster bust, serene, of you

how white the winter that teeters
just beyond this, the fall, the
healing lies there, in the blades of it
the flocking continues, birds screeching about
this, the southern skies, the southern air, the southern drawl
but this, the north, nests against my heart, cooing & curling tight

i crave this healing, this, the winter bite

breaking free

you must break free now
the way you mold your haiku—
so perfect, so clean

grab hold that language
sculpture it with broken hands—
leave a little stain

what soft warmth is there
in pleading like a robot—
siezed, failed, & grinding

these gears within you
do they weep, are they mourning?
are they imagined?

bring me your tremble
bring me your quivering jaw—
suckle me on tears

let me taste this salt
let me hear the tremble of
cracking voice & soul

let the pain pulse forth
let me feel what is within
let me crack the code…

what tragedy lies
in this inner wound, gaping
what lies there, scraping

down the bones of your vertabrae
within the neck of you
what are you gasping about? what
are you choking for? what
kept you tossing through this
anguished night? have you felt
any softness touch to that roughness? break free that gaged cage
quell the rushing tide, breathe,
like its a last breath, or perhaps, the first
find what is lost & grip onto it
hold it, with both bleeding hands.

Psalms 12-14

Today’s daily reading for my schedule is Psalms 12-14. Wow! Well timed. 

There are so many little gems in this reading. It bolsters faith in Jehovah acting on behalf of the righteous. It shows the way we can feel, asking, “how long, O Jehovah, will you forget me? Forever?” Then it shows Jehovah takes note of each of us individually, noting “the foolish one says in his heart: “There is no Jehovah, ” ” pointing out that Jehovah is looking for those seeking him & that he will become a refuge for them, and stating that Jehovah is with the generation of the righteous. 

A short but worthwhile reading for sure. 

One Last Thing for Today’s Memoir

Tom Petty. I was mostly introduced to Tom via The Travelling Wilburys. Those couple albums shaped my love of British & American rock. Tom was proof you don’t have to be good looking or have the ‘perfect’ voice to be beautiful. His lyrics seemed to always have this raw conversational quality that defined a perfectly ordinary moment’s poetic potential. 

There are much bigger fans than myself out there, I’m more an appreciator than fan, but he was one of the ones I’d hoped I’d see perform live & never did.