Monday, March 30, 2009

Living Color

Where is human nature so weak as in a bookstore

This is a postcard I bought when I was at the coffee shop in Taos. Then, in the bookstore, I found the book.

Living Color
- A Writer Paints Her World
by Natalie Goldberg

"I realized nothing I have ever created held the light the way a leaf did or caught the shadow in a white room. No painting I've done matched the peace I've felt at twilight or the feeling of loss I've experienced at bleached high noon in New Mexico. But I wasn't going to let that stop me. I was crazy about the wrong color sky and the heart-sinking beckoning of headlights on old cars. I painted for that terrible overused word that a writer should never utter: love. For that reason, I kept trying to catch up to the picture just ahead of me in my mind and before me on the porch."

One of my favorite authors and Buddhist friends writes about her life and illustrates it 'in living color'. Here is a tiny excerpt to give the flavor "I noticed that the blue of my paints wasn't blue enough to get the intensity of that New Mexico sky. I painted the sky red instead." Tender stories of family and friends ... the paintings of her father are extraordinary.

After knowing Natalie as a writer, author, and teacher ... Wild Mind and Writing Down the Bones, Long Quiet Highway and The Great Failure, I was happy to discover her paintings and life stories. The colors, oh the colors, a purple adobe house in Hopi Land, blue and green skyscrapers in New York City, a blue adobe house in Santa Fe.

There's a chapter devoted to her grandfather and a series of paintings of trucks.

If you own this book now, you probably shouldn't lend it. You may never get it back again.

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