Winter Solstice Tree 2021: Smack Dab in the Imagination by Dia Calhoun

Every year my imagination conjures a new Winter Solstice Tree design. I make a sketch, think of a limited color palette, gather materials, and try to make my vision a reality. As always in the process of bringing a vision--whether story, art, poetry--into reality, changes are inevitable. The artist learns to listen to her materials, her evolving characters, images, or metaphors to learn what they have in mind. Often the process is a struggle.

The tree I brought home had a symmetry to the top--two green branches on each side are held up like green arms. This brought the first change. Then two of the original materials didn't work as I had hoped. As I worked with the materials that did work, I listened to what they wanted to do.

They wanted to do something different from my vision.

The struggle continued. I was uncertain until nearly the end, when an unplanned combination of materials happened at the top. First, I placed a little crystal, decorative pick on top of the moon. To me it looked like a little tree. A day later, simply to hide the silver wire that formed the pick base, I hung a chandelier drop over it. When I climbed down the ladder, I looked up and saw a silver tree/angel with two red, uplifted branch arms (branches wired in earlier). It looks like a celestial tree at the top of the earthly, green tree.  

For a tree to grow up to the starry crown, it needs deep roots. The artist needs to hold her ground in order to permit the creative tension to bring something new into being. Allow, rather than force. Drive the car rather than push it.

In the coming, lovely symmetrical year numbered 2022, may we all stay connected to our ground in order to reach, and withstand the starry, creative heights.


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