Work like a bee… cross-pollination is good for you

Works by Barry McWayne, Kesler Woodward, and Margo Klass

I spent part of the morning in the garden, weeding amongst row upon row of blossoming strawberry plants. There were bees, creatures that I’ve become less familiar with since I moved to Alaska. Bees don’t like cold and windy weather; hence, bees don’t like much of the climate in Alaska. Yet today, as I happily bent over the rows, the bees were hard at work. I watched them go from the strawberries to the wild geraniums and then to the wild roses.

Recently, I’ve felt very bee-ish myself, gathering inspiration from many sources. This evening, I went to a gallery talk for an exhibit called Boreal Birch at the Pratt Museum featuring work by Margo Klass, Kesler Woodward, and Barry McWayne. In addition to the artists, a scientist from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Kimberley Maher, spoke about the botany of birch trees. It was a heady fusion of science and art in many forms: photography, assemblage, and painting.

All of this input is good for my writing and artwork. Even something that doesn’t seem at all connected to art (i.e. the chemical composition of birch sap) is. As I told Kimberly this evening, it’s all part of one big continuum. Even though we (especially the public school system and government) like to pretend that there is a box for art, a box for science, a box for math, etc., it really is all part of one big thing. Writing and art are the tools that I use to explore the world; maybe your tool is a computer or an electron microscope. Or a wrench or a paintbrush. Sometimes it’s a good idea to try a different tool to see things from a different perspective. Anything that makes us look at the world more closely is good. Anything that makes us pay attention to the world blesses us.

3 Replies to “Work like a bee… cross-pollination is good for you”

  1. Ah, so true–I wish I’d known about that event. I worked as a beekeeper in HI but tried last year here with no good result–still haven’t finished writing that out.

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