Illustration Friday: Depth

I started thinking about different things that “depth” (the word for last week’s Illustration Friday) could refer to. I thought of depth of water, of depth of mind, or the depth of feeling that grows in relationships over time. Last Friday was also our fifth wedding anniversary, but Doug and I started out as friends over ten years ago.

It was on our first anniversary, shortly after my grandmother passed away, that Doug wrote me this poem. I keep a copy of it in the back of my sketchbook.


after the sadness
   heart in hiding during the black hours
      sighing wet with williows, dipping and swaying
   and lying fallow, sheeted with moss and primrose
through dim and dusk

in the gloaming
   the tidewashed sky of tumbling candle flames
      an ash tree blooming moist the crimson of its young
   and, far off now, the jay winding through treetops home
with restless wing

on the veranda
   swept up in the descending blue
      your eyes shining, gleaming mirrors of the scene
   now hear it! the fading thundering drum
of a rainstorm distant

in a heartbeat
   the rhythm of the world awakens
      meadows and vales, swallows and crickets
   your soul surveying what tongues deny
of the divine

within the moment
   tender fingers reach through dewy twilight
      to find mine, we two spirits met in wonder
   and I am filled with the electricity
of a heartbeat

– D. Johnston, September 9th, 2002

This is an underpainting for a small piece in egg tempera, and I will post more images of it as it progress. It is based on one of the many studies I collected when we were living in Nova Scotia, and is of the very place Doug wrote about in this poem.