the heart of the chaos

Posted: June 24, 2013 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: ,

“The heart that grasps the point of each contingency sees the chaos that surrounds it as pure transparency”
we live in a beautiful old lady of a house, a crumbling Victorian terrace who needs a lot of help to keep up appearances
housevevewe came home from work yesterday after three days of rain and the wall near the front door was running with water! All my old sketchbooks from the past 30 years were damp and my beautiful new book “Living Shrines of Uyghur China” by Lisa Ross was saturated, here’s a photo of the disaster zone
disasterzonethe frame of the big crow painting “A Matter of Time” by Glenda Jones was damp but the painting was unharmed thank goodness!!!!  So I spent hours shuffling the room around, cleaning corners I hadn’t gone near in the nearly 5 years we have been here…
crow-and-egg-movedegg-and-books-movedpots-movedand guess what? the room feels more spacious and it’s a lot cleaner ! So now we know the studio wall and the entry are wet areas, the dry working & storage spaces are getting smaller but what the heck… it’s a big house, the rent is cheap & we will hang in for as long as we can, we love our home!
LetterLafterthedelugehere’s a rough sketch for the Letter L made back in 2007 for An illuminated Book of Cats, the sketchbook for the Letters J-L was totally soaked so it’s interleaved with paper and drying under weights but  I do like the delicate blue waterclour effect  from the gel pen ! As  the Young Man Crow drummer said early in the year when the studio wall became a waterfall “maybe it’s time to take up watercolour painting!”
“The heart that grasps the point of each contingency sees the chaos that surrounds it as pure transparency”


  1. Patricia says:

    tell me true–did you even utter one little quiet profanity? your equanimity astounds me here! love

    • Mo Crow says:

      I totally freaked out for about an hour as I ripped it all apart & not exactly quietly… my initial reaction was “What the f…k are we doing living in a house that leaks like a b….y sieve when my main game is illustrations on paper, bookbinding and all my most treasured possessions are books!” Paper + water = Papier Maché and mould and also how good is a mouldy house for our health? and we pay $450 a week for the privilege! That’s cheap for Sydney though… a one bedroom flat in good condition starts at $600 a week in this area and a 3 bedroom house with all the mod cons can go for well over $2000 a week… we are going to have to move out one day in the not too faraway but for now we are still gardening locally to pay the rent and put food in our bellies… Old Man Crow just turned 66 though and I do dream of moving to the tropical paradise of Far North Queensland!

  2. Els says:

    Well Mo, I’m glad most things are (rather) safe again
    (and I love your room !)

    There’s a silly saying by our most famous footballplayer, Johan Cruijf, who once said (wrongly, but it has become a new saying) “every disadvantage has it’s advantage” ….. You can say thát for your situation …..
    Great reaction : taking up watercolour …. ;-))

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks Els! and so true but I was pretty upset for most of the hours it took to dry and clean & move all the stuff around & that working like a maniac blew off the steam coming out of my ears + Old Man Crow made a very nice baked vegetable dinner that soothed this savage beast!

  3. deanna7trees says:

    oh dear. i would have been upset as well. sounds like rentals are quite expensive where you are. looks like you have everything under control. hope most of your things are salvageable.

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks Deanna, living in Sydney is more expensive than San Francisco, Manhattan or even Paris these days but we do love it here and we charge a lot for the gardening so it’s all still OK for now but it is a wake up call as we will have to move one day…

  4. Carol says:

    Oh Mo, what bad luck! How did your new Lisa Ross book survive? You said it was saturated. Just make sure the pages are really dry before you let them sit together without paper between them. Are you interleaving? I imagine the pages are clay coated if it’s a beautiful glossy book so just be careful they don’t cement themselves together.

  5. Valerianna says:

    Well – the universe offers us opportunities to practice surrender, I’d say you are praciting the Zen kind… quite a good attitude!

  6. beth says:

    What a lesson in detachment… We had a basement disaster here once when the sump pump went out. I think I dried some books in the freezer. Can’t remember exactly how, but I think I found instructions by searching on line.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Beth, had a look at the freezer idea and it buys more time unless you can freeze dry but it’s not good for coated papers with lots of images like the photography book by Lisa Ross, it’s drying out quite well by interleaving with paper and weights to keep it flat.

  7. margaret johnson says:

    Hi Mo, what lousy luck. Is it possible to put a cover over the doorway, or is it actually coming through the walls? Can the landlord do something? Hope all your books dry out okay. Letting them dry in the sun okay? Our last house used to gush water inside the front door and in our daughter’s bedroom, when the rain was bad. Hope you can sort something out soon. Marg, ox

    • Mo Crow says:

      The rain is seeping through the side wall via the top edge of the next door neighbour’s flashing on their verandah, this is a new leak and a new neighbour, will ask if his place is leaking too. Our landlady doesn’t do any maintenance at all that’s why we can afford to live here but our lovely old home will need a new owner with lots of money one day in the not too far away. She’s one of the last unrenovated houses in the street, twenty years ago it was an affordable run down area but like the inner cities everywhere it is getting gentrified which is good for the houses as they are all so old and in need of major repairs but not so good for the artists… what the heck we’ll find the next place when we need it and will love it too!

  8. this is interesting…when things like this happen with the dire consequences of losing all that
    work, the sketchbooks, etc comes so close, it does something good in that it causes looking
    closely and honestly at why we live how/where we live….and what is the Exchange, and then
    for me, it allows the thought of whether or not to continue. to entertain the possibility of
    Change…or at least lets the seed of Change become active????

please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.