Category Archives: Every day

Self-Portrait in Moss…

A facebook post…

This morning as long awaited rain shows up as a lightly tapping symphony on my roof and the natural land bows its plant heads in a beautiful hush of prayer and gratefulness, I tumble down the fb newsfeed listening to the amazing voices who have joined my circle of friends here. I see a warning from an artist in the Ukraine (Vasil Woodland) who warns everyone that “ATTENTION!!!! I stop printing my pictures, due to the imposition of martial law in Ukraine. Please do not make a money transfer. All money transfers in my name are blocked and are subject to return to the sender. I hope that these are temporary difficulties … I hope that there will be no war and that the incident will be solved by diplomatic means. Thank you for understanding!”. Another amazing artist from Iran (Naeemeh Naeemaei) laments her dirty dishes and a deepening distress not quite clear to me with the awkward fb translation with these words jumping out at me “I can’t believe that the moments of drowning in joy and discovery of life have been tied to big lies.” The rain drops pound a little harder as I type these words about drowning. And, a minister in Mississippi (Hugh Hollowell Jr.) sends a message to critics about the runoff election that happened yesterday where hate won out, “The election was hard fought. That we even had to have a runoff in a race where a Black man was running against a white woman is remarkable, and a sign of how far we have come, and the result of so much ground level organizing. I am very proud of the work we all did, and will continue to do.”

As we notice how our world stretches and moans, trying to break through the oppression and lies that know no boundaries, only to seemingly revert back to old, rigid patterns of separation and non-loving, we must continue to gird ourselves for more hard work while we wipe the slime of grief from our hearts and faces. Today I will raise my face up into the rain falling from the sky when I go outside to dig the small ditch on the uphill side of my house so the kitchen will not flood (water seeps in when one wall of your house finds itself buried into the earth itself). And, I will transplant the sacred jimson weed native plant seedlings, gathered from my sister’s small farm in Woodlake, with the hope they survive in the drought-dry, vole-invested and deer-pruned landscape around my home.

And, I finally bow my own head in praise of poetry with the early morning words (amazingly found in the fb newsfeed scroll this am) from Dry Crik Journal Dofflemyer:

No worn path home,
we make circles
following the seasons
in the shadow of the moon—

to the coyote’s yip
and canyon conflagration
finding perfect pitch
to make a chorus.

Our dreams are wild
enough to need
no fuel, no accolades
to draw a crowd

any closer. We pick
our way, break no stems
on the eternal scent
of heading home.

[“Self Portrait in Moss” photo © Elsah Cort, taken along the Crescent Meadow Trail in Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park on 11-26-18 on an unusually quiet walk with my nephew, meeting only three other people and where we heard no yelling human voices as I usually do on that trail, but only the loud US Navy jets that now fly over the high sierra mountains from Lemoore Naval Air Station, preparing for more unnecessary wars)


After the smoke…

The hills, so grateful for the rain clouds that they hug them close to the ground, breathe a huge sigh of relief. I watch the cloud embraces move and shift from my living room window on this Thanksgiving morning. The buckeye tree with it’s rusty colored leaves says hello. The sycamore tree below, near the creek, intensifies its brilliant yellow with the rain. And, blue oaks, standing firm with their green leaves, can now bring forth an acorn crop after a deep rain drink. I am reminded that the earth has not forsaken us. All the days to come offer possibilites for humans to return the favor.

Happy Thanksgiving and full moon and sun moving into Sagittarius today…expand gratitude in all directions, led by love.

[photo © Elsah Cort]


Going to Seed….

Mandala born today…it’s name told to me
“Conception: remembering the time when we were…each…just two cells old”.
In our memory bank, buried deep in that wordless space,
we change the world when we acknowledge every single human has been there.

"Conception" digital mandala © Elsah Cort

“Conception” digital mandala © Elsah Cort


A few hours later, watering the garden…going to seed.

"Going to Seed" photos © Elsah Cort

Love-in-the Mist and Rose Campion going to seed underneath the blue oak canopy.

The story of the days of my life lately. I return to a seed.

[photos © Elsah Cort]


Here I Am…

The air is cooler…I feel relieved. The dried up earth all around the house is still painful to see. No amount of watering seems to make a difference (and I am not watering too much). Each plant seems to be hanging on for something moist and soothing to show up. Me, too.

The artists’ reception last night was hard, too. I had to go as one of the artists this time. Grateful to meet people and not easy to converse because the room allows the sounds to crescendo to the ceiling. All the while thoughts of why make this art? Does the world really need more art on walls? What does it all mean? All the while knowing I will probably continue to uncover more images…in fact, one has been on the “photoshop loom” for several days now, struggling to weave layers into a somethings that says, “Here I am.”

This one is from the past, made from the petals of the local endemic wildflowers
grown from same now dry earth. I need to remember this when I feel so dry.

Made about 25-30 years ago and hangs on a wall in my bedroom.

Wildflower Mandala © Elsah Cort

Untitled Mandala, watercolor with poppy and lupine petals, fringepod seeds
© Elsah Cort


A Bird in Hand

Birds fly in my house from time to time because I leave the back door open a lot.

After weeks of watching the canyon wrens feeding their screaming (in bird language) babies in the little nest hidden under the eaves on the highest corner of my house—and keeping the cats away from them—the babies finally flew the nest.

I think this little guy was one of the parents, flying into the house last Monday. Took me about 30 minutes to finally get him to sit on my finger, his mouth hanging open.

Canyon Wren, photo © Elsah Cort
He stayed still while I found my iPhone to do some portraits of of him.

Canyon Wren photo © Elsah Cort
Formal portrait on my finger.

Canyon Wren photo © Elsah Cort
Shaking so much on my finger, he did not know he could fly away.
So I placed him on the clothes line.
I began to gently take some cobwebs off his tiny feet and wings opened, off he flew.