Flowing Fences

Watercolor by N Wait

Watercolor by N Wait

I live in a neighborhood of wrought-iron fences. Fences of one sort or another have been around for a long, long time, keeping some out and others in. People have been migrating for a long time too. Also animals and birds, the fishes, insects, and of course the Plant Kingdom. Whatever is part of the life steam, (and what isn’t?) will move about.

Tree bed on 9th St. by N.Wait

Tree bed on 9th St. by N.Wait

The fences in my neighborhood are usually only a foot-high or waist-high, simple curves, or intricately carved and decorative, they enclose houses and doors, or trees and the plants and flowers growing around them, sometimes overflowing the fences. 

watercolor by N Wait

watercolor by N Wait

When I first began noticing these wrought-iron fences for themselves instead of part of the general landscape, what caught my eye was the contrast of heavy black ironwork, strong and sturdy, with the fragile and colorful flowers climbing up alongside, sometimes thrusting themselves through the bars. It was a glorious harmony reflecting the inter-connectedness of man and nature.

Tree bed on 8th Street by N.Wait

Tree bed on 8th Street by N.Wait

Then, a few days ago I was walking along thinking of the drawing I’ve been working on lately, just a simple curved fence up the block enclosing nothing more extravagant than some tall wild grasses and short vine leaves. I had taken a photograph and was working from the photo. Strangely, or perhaps not, the perspective of the shot was eye-level with a toddler or a dog… I hadn’t done it on purpose, but it was absolutely the right focus.

I left the sketchbook open on my drafting table and abandoned the drawing long enough for me to question why I was drawing it in the first place. What had I seen in this simple fence and nondescript grasses that was important enough to draw? There are so many other things I could be focusing on, and some things I should be focusing on, so why have I come back to these fences?

I asked myself what had I seen and what had I wanted to communicate as I was walking along, and the answer that came to me was harmony and flow. In the iron fence whose curves flowed like water, enclosing an unprepossessing mass of wildly growing tall grasses, I had experienced a harmonious duo.

Wrought-iron fence on 8th St., Park Slope by N.Wait

Wrought-iron fence on 8th St., Park Slope by N.Wait

And then I thought how I used to walk along looking at people and objects and things, noticing them, studying them, whereas now I am conscious of energy. Everything I see is an example of an energy flow. Some things I flow with more than others, but if it is in my environment then I am experiencing its flow. My choice is then to flow with it, or against it. (I’ve probably spent too much time flowing against what I don’t like, or flowing with what I don’t care for, but that’s a subject for another time.)

I would like to be in a place where I just experience the flow. Like the flow of this fence with the heart shapes outside the building where I live… 

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.James Baldwin

About Nancy Wait

Nancy Wait is an artist a writer, a writing coach/editor, and author of the memoir "The Nancy Who Drew, The Memoir That Solved A Mystery." She is a former actress (stage, film and TV) in the UK under the name of Nancie Wait. She hosted the blog talk radio show "Art and Ascension," and more recently, "Inspirational Storytellers." Nancy is currently at work on the sequel to her memoir, "The Nancy Who Drew the Way Home," to be published in 2020.
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5 Responses to Flowing Fences

  1. Pingback: She Will Have Music | Nancy Wait ~ Artist, Writer, Radio Host

  2. These are amazing and you are capturing the flow beautifully xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susanne says:

    I was drawn to your post by the contrast of the black iron fences against the burst of colour. Interesting comments about “flow”. I’m trying to establish a “flow” routine for writing. Habits of time, place, and even scent that triggers writing in a flow state. I often experience resistance, as I did this morning when I did just about everything to avoid writing – laundry, dog walking, rearranging plants…. Anyway, lovely paintings and thoughts on flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nancy Wait says:

      Susanne, I know what you mean about resistance! And yet it seems to be part of “the flow” too… I often need to occupy myself with other things while my brain is mulling over a question or problem I’m having in my writing, and I just go with it. My discipline is in place, and my willingness, but they don’t always add up to productivity do they… Anyway, you have clean clothes and made the dog happy! Thanks for your comment ~

      Liked by 1 person

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