We sometimes like to speculate that we understand the complexities of life. We may even brag that we have a handle on what all is going on around us. We try to make everything binary, black or white, an either or scenario. There’s a confidence in that thinking that tries to make things as simple as possible and thereby easily understood. Our logical minds know that nothing is that easy but we want it to be, so very much.
There is good and there is bad, and there is left and right, but it is the indefinite layers in between that is unsettling because it is not easily labeled. Like onion skin, the layers are indefinite and the variations that make life messy and multifaceted. It is not simple, actually.
I had looked out my kitchen window the other day and was enjoying the birds on the feeders and the grape jelly, enjoying the false forget-me-nots (bernerra) blooming in the yard, enjoying the fact that the hostas didn’t get ruined in the recent hard frost. I also enjoyed watching a tiny bunny who apparently survived the extinction of his other nest mates. Now, I don’t necessarily enjoy having full grown rabbits treating my gardens like an all you can eat salad buffet but little bunnies are just too cute to get mad at. I’ve been out there weeding and almost put my hand on him, and as time has gone along I have enjoyed seeing him approach what I’d call pre adolescence, where he was a little more flighty, a little more brazen, and knew the channels under the hostages so well that I rarely encountered him but only saw him from a slight distance. I was telling a friend of mine on the phone about the bunny in the yard and realized that I had started to amorphize him.
Then, the other day I decided to do a quick study of him because bunnies are, like I said, pretty cute. So I put up a canvas, painted and got almost done before stopping for supper. As I stood in the kitchen talking to my husband we heard the unmistakable sound of a larger animal crashing through hosta leaves and then the unmistakable noise that a rabbit can make. I knew what it was in an instant and ran to the kitchen window to see a feral cat from the neighborhood racing down the sidewalk toward the alley with something larger in its mouth.
I can’t dwell on it. I hate to think about it. I know my pendulum is swaying from far left to far right and back. I know that it is the way of nature. I don’t believe in people letting their cats roam. Everthing deserves a right to live. It is the balance of nature and God’s call, but the bottom line is it began to represent our lack of control in our current environment. We can’t control the feral cat. We can’t control life-and-death. We can’t control anything but our own actions and our response to the uncontrollable.
I was sad for a bit, and then finished the little study in hommage to the wee bunny for he made me happy for our short part in it all.
For your enjoyment, the painting is an 11×14 oil on canvas called, “Hommage”