Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Accidental Model

Ode to a Dead Bird

It flew through the open art room door,

Now trapped in an alien world.

Panic, before we could open the window,

SLAM! Thud, drop.

It lay twitching Feathers ruffling in the breeze

From the now open window.

Stunned? We hoped…alas no

And now pinned to a tray an

Accidental model.

The tiny bird was finally identified as a female Ruby Throated Humming Bird. After several days of "posing" for the eighth graders and being stored in the upstairs staff refrigerator overnight it was time to put it to rest.

In the fourth grade I did an oral report on the Ruby Throated Humming bird. At the time and I was in awe of how small and beautiful a creature it was. I never thought I would ever see one in "real life". But 55 years later I have seen them several times flitting briefly around my friend's feeder outside her kitchen window in Indiana. We stop our coffee conversation and stare for the few seconds it gives us while it sips and darts away. Now, I have had hours to study its every feature. It was with regret and respect we found a spot outside the art room door and lifted some sod and slipped her under. Warren and Paola shared in the ceremony and paid their respects.

Meet the Chamomile Man or Art Supply Shopping with Warren

Warren arrived about 40 min past the appointed time without Vincent. Seems Vincent has no bell at his apartment gate and no operating or turned on cell phone…which ever he was no where to be seen. So after a bit Warren, instead of being dropped off by his mother and brother headed to my house, picked me up and then we dropped his brother and mother at his cousin’s house and we went on to do our shopping using his mother’s car.

We moved quickly around the city – downtown past the central park and the Cathedral and to the High School of the Arts. Even though classes were on winter semester break the school was open and the supply store busy. We purchased our painting boards and headed on over to Larache – sort of a combination of Lowe’s, Home Depot /Office Depot, with a large art and school/office supply section. We purchased water color paper and illustration board there and then went on to Don Quixote art supply store looking for charcoal sticks for Vincent, none found.

So we stopped for a coffee at the Café American next door before heading across the street to DaVinci art supply. While we were sitting outside at the Café we were approached by an “herb” seller; a man between the age of 35 and 55. It is difficult to guess the age of those who work hard and live on two or three dollars a day. He was selling bundles of fresh chamomile for 20 Lempira each. I bought a bundle so that Warren could get a picture of him with his huge burlap bag of chamomile slung over his back and an arm load of flowers in front.

Later that afternoon I searched the internet for instructions for making chamomile tea with the fresh flowers. I plucked the yellow blossoms and steeped them according to directions. I sipped a cup while I drew a few of the remaining flowers from my bundle in my sketchbook. And now I am spoiled forever and must plant some chamomile some where around my little house. I am thinking in the sun by the garden shed.