Still Standing

This morning I made a most fortunate find. My dear friend Robert Genn (whom I do NOT know personally but who constantly provides such rich content in his twice-weekly letters that I have come to feel as if I know him), included a response from a woman named Jennifer Noxon.

Jennifer wrote a letter entitled An eccentric relation, where she managed, with an economical number of words,  to communicate the essence and influence of her relationship with her aunt, Betty Lane. Looking up the work and life of Betty Lane, I begin to realize what Jennifer meant when she said “Today, I, too, am a teacher, musician and painter and I have no doubt that my relationship with Betty Lane had something to do with the choices I’ve made.”

Naturally, I needed to explore Jennifer’s work, and was delighted with her music (hear more here), her art, her writing. Noxon is a creative force.

Still Standing by Jennifer Noxon. Used with permission.

'Still Standing' by Jennifer Noxon. Used with permission.

Let me offer you a slender, but rich, slice of her writing. In a one paragraph post entitled Still Standing – beauty in death, Noxon paints a vivid picture of a winter scene in my mind, and conveys a stirring message about forms that have been touched by death:

The good thing about it being that cold is that it’s almost always clear. Everything is sharp, in focus, defined, sparkly – the sky a cerulean / ultramarine mix – making the snow blue too – the palette is a multitude of blues and whites, beiges and deep gold greens, charcoal greys. Can’t help but notice the elegance of dead and dried shrubs. Seed pods, stems and frozen berries. The strength of fibre. All the little strands and leftovers of summer past in silhouette casting lengthened shadows on a blanket of blue.

Jennifer ended the letter she wrote to Robert Genn with the belief that “by sharing our creativity and allowing our individual-ness to shine, we pass on the flame to the children that come after us. We owe them that much.” Jennifer doesn’t owe me anything, but she certainly transmitted her energy in my direction.

I am a grateful recipient.

New Growth by Jennifer Noxon. Used with permission.

'New Growth' by Jennifer Noxon. Used with permission.


Can’t help but notice
the elegance
of shrubs that died and dried
but are still standing.

Seed pods, and stems
and frozen berries,
Leftover strands of summer,
now demanding

My attention, my full
The sky is clear, and blue,
And the snow ‘s a sparkling

Quilt of many colors.
Here amidst the shadows,
like the remnants of last summer
I’m still standing.    I am

still standing.

© Carol Wiebe & Jennifer Noxon


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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7 Responses to Still Standing

  1. Stacy says:

    Thanks for sharing Jennifer Noxon’s writing. She’s amazing.

  2. flora says:

    Carol, I can’t tell you what an inspiration your blog is for me. I love your paintings, your writing, your point of view and the topics you choose.

    This recent article about Jennifer Noxon and Betty Lane is just what i needed to see and hear!

    Jennifer’s work so beautifully reflects the world I see around me here in rural Nova Scotia. Her music is lovely too. Her aunt, Betty Lane was an amazing painter. I have so enjoyed discovering them both on this bright, windy, spring morning. And it is spring for sure because the peepers started up their chorus last night!

    Thanks again for being my curator! I would have never stumbled across them without your help.

    • carolwiebe says:

      You are very kind, Flora. I must tell you that the pear and tulip photos on your website are absolutely gorgeous!

      The entire post was amazing, Flora! It’s a whole lesson, with a beautiful still life to start, an inspiring story of kindness from a “near stranger” to add meaning and poignancy, and a flourish of a finish with an amazing piece of art. FANTASTIC!

  3. What a treat it is to come and enjoy your thoughtful posts. Press on, we must press on!

  4. flora says:

    It is so interesting how a work of art can influence the way you see because after looking at Jennifer’s work, I found myself seeing the plants outside as canvases of hers when I was doing garden prep outside yesterday.
    Thanks Carol for the comment about my painting. I like to share my techniques with people because I like to share ideas and ways to create. That is what makes blogging so wonderful. It’s like zooming right past the small talk and into the meat of the matter! lol. Thanks for your blog!

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