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44 Moons  -  Making Matter   -   Original Paintings

The Question final web.jpg

The Question


You think its about precision,

yet you’d like it to say everything all at once.

You might just have to scrub over the layers

with fresh colour and some water 

until the mind can infer a new shape.


It could mean anything,

even though you already worked out the whole story.


It could be the sum total of your experiences so far,

or it could be nothing but over-mixed paint reduced to brown,

that you imagine is saying something.


It could be about your whole life

or only these last few years.

It could be about the softness that comes after breaking.


Stroke after stroke,

opposing forces form the dark and light details,

like the news,

stark and provocative with contrast.


After a while It becomes garish 

and makes no sense,

so you blur the whole thing over again

with pale violet, 

as if it wasn’t true.


You redo all the parts you think you have finished

until they become awkward in their certainty.

Undoing your own efforts, over and over again

forcing softness in the right places,

or details where none exist.

“You can never be too sure”.


But perhaps sometimes you need to be certain,

and draw a strong line,

so the world knows who you are.


Painting is like growing up,

you chase these perfections,

then you realize that your edges are all on display 

and will need to be softened.


You try to follow every possible time-line

and after hours or years 

it becomes a tangled mess.

You need to pull back,

scour over everything you thought was clear

to match your shifting vision.

- start over.


Swaying between precision and a natural voice…

between deep meaning and the willingness to be wrong.


Accepting the fool within…the child that tries too hard…

the muse that enchants…

It could be art 

or it could be nothingness.


~ sonja rue 



Even with the rainforest around us

turning orange in the mid-summer heat

we still hope to dance.


Even as the roots of history entangle us

and bring up old and buried stories,

we watch the fire with wonder

and hope to celebrate again someday.


Even without the rain some crops still give food

and we feed ourselves with what is here.


It is beyond us

It is inside us

It is “Us”

We know we are staying here,

even when running makes more sense…

we know that “here” is home to many lives

beside ours.


We paint on porches as fires rage

Trying to explain ourselves through colour

We sleep despite the thunder

And let ourselves be rocked into witnessing

We swim.

It washes over us.

It is only everything.

Witness final web.jpg
Suspension final web.jpg


I can’t tell if its fire or flood that is killing us. Are we drowning or burning?
Or are we just talking about it? making it so.

I can’t tell if I should paint in orange or blue.

They are complimentary, aren’t they? Or opposite.
Working together...
Or something.

The hill above us is on fire
and what matters is what’s still alive. That’s what we take with us...
...or what we sneak back for in the dark of night to feed and give water to because....
...our hearts.


~ sonja rue

All we ever Wanted final web.jpg

All We Ever Wanted


I'm nostalgic for when smoking was cool,

when you could still fake your i.d. with a sharpie.

when there were still secrets.


I miss lying across the back seats of family cars with no seat belts,

I miss waiting in the rain for the boats to pass under the bridge to downtown.

We rode on bikes without gears or helmets

until the streetlights came on.


I miss needing to remember,

holding precious phone numbers in my head,

after a chance meeting of gazes,

while riding the bus.

Back when we had to raise our eyes,

to see the world,

and had to look carefully to learn anything.

Lean in closely to listen

because you might only hear it once.


I miss leaving a message on tape,

rewinding it with a pencil to save batteries.

I miss the faded beige of photos taken in bad light,

when you had to save your shots because there were only so many,

and developing took time.


I miss silence

I miss waiting to find out.

I miss wondering how.

I miss the unknown.

Our bright future,

I miss that too


We wanted to know what we were capable of.

we ached to fill every moment.

Find the things no one had done before.


now that we have,

I'm not sure I like what we've done with the place.

We left nothing alone.

So can we just go back a little bit?


In our hurry to grow up

we sang whatever tune was newest,

and the truth got farther away.

One day after childhood,

the blue sky became less enticing

than life with the world-at-our-fingertips.

Outside became foreign,

sometimes dangerous


But we miss it,

we remember how it feels not to know

what everyone in the world is up to.

We miss how outside was the playground,

how magic sprang from boredom,

and music from objects found at home,

how you could lose time and yourself in the woods all day,

until the streetlight came on,

and motherly voices called through the neighbourhood.


We miss that space now filled with answers,

so many that none are true.

We miss the movement and warmth,

that comes from walking to visit a friend,

the well-laid plans,

with no last-minute way out.


Where did we turn before the screen was always right there?

Do you remember what we did in that silence?

Before we were always available.


Can you recall the questions that came up through that emptiness?

How you found answers before they were a mere press of a button away?

I miss walking around without the world in my pocket.

I miss eye contact and awkward moments not caught on video.

I miss the moments where it was just us,

and no record was kept,

save the ones in our memory.

What we imagined,

with our innocent optimism,

no person will ever again have.

This childhood.

I miss that too.


~ sonja rue

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