April 17, 2016 by katmcdaniel
Last Saturday, April 9th, synkroniciti hosted In the Garden. This time we moved away from prepared pieces to build Faerie Houses.
We drifted together slowly. Anticipating that it might be a light night for poetry and art, I asked folks to bring along small natural items, the kind of things you might find beside the pathway while on a walk, the kind of things laying discarded in the yard. Some of us went out of our way, asking the neighbors for rogue bits of plant material and digging beads and feathers out of our closets.
We began inside, sharing a few stories of gardens and plants that were special to us. There was a grandmother’s bird of paradise plants, which didn’t bloom until she died, and native Texas bamboo and Japanese persimmons that failed to thrive after a grandfather’s death. There were gardenias planted at the four sides of a childhood home and a mother’s bed of violets in a country garden. Recalling these memories was, at least for me, calming and refreshing. Then we stepped outside into the cool late afternoon/early evening to construct our offerings for the toads, fairies and small creatures of my newly planted garden.
We brought out a card table and chairs and piled the table high with treasures: bits of bark, pine cones, spent bougainvillea blossoms, beads, shells, a feather boa, acorn cups, fuzzy pieces and leaves from a magnolia tree, Spanish moss, stones… these were just a few things we had collected and now shared freely. There were clay pots, scissors and twine to make things go together more easily. We didn’t have any glue, and I am thankful for this, because there is something very special about twining and stringing things together, like fitting together a puzzle. We didn’t necessarily know where we were going with our ideas when we started, but soon we produced our creations, rich in color and variety and surprisingly different in structure. It was a luscious, playful, Zen-like experience.
As it grew dark, we each placed our offering into the garden. As the structures arrived in place, small communities formed. It was magical. All week I have been taking care of them, setting them back up after strong winds and covering them when the rain looked to be fierce. They won’t last forever, but they are precious in their own time. Yuri the cat loves Susan’s feathered pot and a lizard has moved into Louie’s bark house.
Part two of this post consists of galleries of our work, which I have taken the liberty to write up in the form of house listings. Thanks to Neil, André, Shanáy, Kelly, Susan and Louis. Each of you is an original and I am so moved by what you made! Can’t wait to do this again next year… or maybe even in the fall. The wee creatures will be wanting new digs.
Maybe you can come?