April 29, 2022 Weekly Musings

Christine Alfery

Posted on April 29 2022

April 29, 2022 Weekly Musings


Oh it is just……Part 1

Featured image: Painted Bunting

When I was visiting my daughter in Florida. I would frequently sit with her in her office while she worked - to just be there with her. Her desk faces a large window looking out into her back yard. Her bird feeders are right outside the window and close so that she can watch the birds while she works. The day before I had refilled her bird feeder and filled a new hummingbird feeder that I had gotten for her. I figured the hummers must be here as they left the Northwoods soooo long ago it seems. I was just relaxing in her big easy chair petting my grand dog Zoey when I looked up and saw the most beautifully colored bird that I have ever seen. I exclaimed, “Oh, my gosh! What a beautiful bird! Do you know its name?” Bugging her while she worked which I promised I wouldn’t do, she looked up and said, “Oh, that is “just” a north American blue bird.” I am sure the word “just” was in that sentence because the bird visits her feeder all the time. I exclaimed, “Just? I don’t get any birds like that at my feeder.” I am always exotic when the grosbeaks pop in briefly during their migrations. And the blue birds come and go. The color that these birds offer to my feeder in the Northwoods makes them very special.

“Just,” I think again. I watched the bird for a long time. I thought that the bird was more than a “Just.” I suppose I might use that same word if she were looking out of my office windows at my feeders and exclaimed when a pileated woodpecker visited, “Oh, my gosh what kind of bird is that?” But, probably not. Birds are pretty special to me, no matter what kind they are. They give me major delight as I watch them.

As I think about it, hopefully I never say anything is “just.” Why? Because I think of just about everything as unique, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind. Everything, art, the individual, birds, ……. Nothing is “just.” My daughter is the most fair person that I know. She treats all things with immense respect, more than I ever do. She often reminds me when I am being unfair with a comment. I know she had no idea that the word “Just” would trigger a major response from me. It isn’t that I am being critical of her – it’s….it’s just …… it’s just….. that I am being critical of the word and how it is used at times when describing a living thing.

When I returned home I looked the bird up in my bird book. It is a male painted bunting and was probably migrating from central Florida over to Texas where, according to my bird book, they gather in bunches. I consider myself very very fortunate to have seen one and shared some time with it.



Oh, It's Just..... Part 2

Featured image: Painted Bunting II

Returning to my favorite topic, the middle is not grey, and using birds as an analogy, especially my witnessing a male painted bunting and my love for sparrows. The differences between the two, is one less unique or less one-of-a-kind than the other? My answer would be, “No.” Both are unique and one-of-a-kind. Both are different. Both get along in the middle. They are never, just a sparrow, or just a painted bunting. I think that when we often see things, the same things like a bunch of migrating sparrows, they become common and a ‘Just.” But actually, that might be the problem. Nothing should become so familiar that it becomes a “just.” The word, “just,” seems to take away their uniqueness, one-of-a-kindness and their originality. I hope I remember this story when I am talking about how the middle is never gray because it fits. Perhaps, we don’t know where to look when we are looking for the treasures that are hidden in things anymore. I absolutely know that we frequently miss the treasures that can be found in original art and in the artist who has created the work. I say that because so many buy wall décor now, to match things instead of original art.

One of my favorite sayings when we go out to dinner and the meal is a whole evening event, is that the meal is “dining.” So many don’t want to take the time to dine and savor the beauty of the meal and the companionship. They would rather have a McDonald’s happy meal with a toy inside that is devoured quickly with no thought given to the taste of the food and the environment in which it is eaten in. Nothing should be a “just," not even a McDonald's meal.



Magical Ends

Featured image: Yellow Finch III

My love is creation

All around creation
It is frail yet strong
From beginning to end.

Creation in all things natural
Creation in my work
Creation in all things

Creation its touch smooth
Yet textured
Glorious greys with
Rainbow bursts

Caged in its beginnings
Its release its magical ends
Magical wonderous ends




Magical Spring

Featured image: Florida Bluebird

Sunday skies are blue blue blue
Southern warm breeze

Wednesdays freezing blizzard
Rain and snow
Cozy fire

Friday morn early sun
Blankets of frosty lace
Covered with gold

Spring beautiful beautiful





New Works:

Painted Bunting


Two Cranes




Linus II - Wind Up Toy


Painted Bird Wind Up


Spring Bouquet for Mom 

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