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Nearly every morning, I sit with coffee in a fat old chair near a window in my studio that looks out into our backyard and into the woods. Some mornings, the moon is there also, perfectly framed by a windowpane looking into my room and reaching into my spirit. Now and then, I miss the instant the sun rises to scatter the new day across the tops of trees, through my windows, and into my conscious and, for me, that is a setback.


These days, in the early morning, there is a bird. He is there right before sunrise calling for his mate with the persistency of a child trying to convince his mother of something inconvincible. I am not sure what sort of bird he is because I cannot find him through the window; he is hidden by the new spring foliage of the trees. But, somehow, we have become “neighbors”, he and my dim light through the window are constants. I am curious as to whether he calls for a new mate each morning, if that is indeed what he is doing, or if he is calling for the same. The birds and the bees, such a curious bunch, a bunch we live amongst and many of us know very little about. Anyway, that just happened and now, the coffee is gone, the sun has risen, and the day is here.


Recently, I attended the Plein Air Exhibit and awards ceremony at the Shadows Visitor Center. The art was amazing, but what really captured me was the originality of the artists. Each artist was completely distinguishable. Of course, originality is, in my opinion, one of the main dialogues of good art, but unfortunately, that does not always exist. Here, it was apparent and much appreciated. The skill level was superior, as was the individual interpretations of the quaint and beautiful settings around Acadiana.


I felt happiness knowing there are many ‘pieces’ from our South Louisiana heritage that still exist as the modern, cookie cutter, big box world slithers in. I often wonder how long ‘we’ can last, and that wonderment makes me sad. I understand we want more and more conveniences, and more and more stuff is ‘needed’ to live our modern lives, but these desires of consumption leave little room for the foundations and identities of yesterday.


I cannot blame my opposing attitude on age, for I have always felt this mourning for the depletion of yesterday’s defining traditions and physical spaces. I have watched, for years, since 1960, as change occurs; now, it is rapid and exponential. Certainly, good will emerge from these transformations; I just hope we choose to preserve some of our foundation as we tear down much of our surface.


Anyway, the paintings from the show stopped this ‘advancement’ for just a moment and captured the stillness of time that is Acadiana. Thank you to all the artists that traveled here to share their talents and remind us of the beauty that is Acadiana.

Pam Shensky

Berry Tales

April 2, 2023



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