Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Morning Delight

Delightful to see but why do I wonder why I've never been able to produce a garden with flowers and vegies here?

(of course no pictures because I'm an idiot who ought to have her camera welded around her neck!)

Scene - Cool, for the time of day and date on the calendar. Midmorning. Still shady here on the westerly edge of the lake. I'm perched on an old counter stool set outside for breaks sipping a last mug of coffee. reading a bit in SARK's 'Prosperity Pie' (because I was looking the other day for 'Succulent Wild Woman' in my daughter's room and she took ALL the other SARK books back to college). In my peripheral vision over the edge of the book, two fawns leap across my view from the south to the north, followed momentarily by a third and I grin. (and silently curse not having my camera at the ready) Hardly a second goes by as I follow them out of sight to my left and one and then another comes right back followed by a doe and then the third little one. From where the fawns first appeared at my right comes another doe and the first two fawns stop in front of and to her side. Still grinning, I think to myself a mother's dialogue of Mama Doe #1 being glad her child has come home from play but irritated if those other two think they're gonna stay and hang out.

"You two can't stay here now. Go on home." she scoldingly says.

And I remember how I used to sit and watch the male and female mallards the first Spring I lived here strutting through the back edge of the property, peeking and poking at every clump of weed and grass growth, and imagine human conversation to their clucks and quacks as it they were a couple shopping for real estate as they scouted out a good nesting spot for egg-laying high enough from the water's edge so it wouldn't flood when the rains soon brought the level up. (You're probably thinkin' I'm crazy but I SWEAR that must be how 'Bambi' and 'Winnie The Pooh' were created. And now they're CLASSICS!)

This morning I imagined the does were sisters and Mama Doe #1 was none too pleased that Mama Doe #2 might be considering pawning off her twins when she had places to go and things to do and one was enough to handle. And about the time I get that far in my fantasy deer dialogue from where Mama Doe #1 had come comes a third doe and two more little fawns!

Three does and 5, f-i-v-e little fawns. WOW! (Now the language of my mental cursing is getting even more foul at not having my camera ready to point and shoot!) I want so badly to get up and grab the camera, but I'm certain my movement and the sound of the sliding screen door will spook them so I just sit still and watch. And grin some more.

And I'm grinning still as I type this out to share. GOSH, IT FEELS SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! When was the last time you found yourself unabashedly grinning at something just plain delightful?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN! - This is IT!

I just opened up my 2nd blog here - (complete with my original photography header) my intent to expose my most authentic, creative expressions and pursuits. Please come visit!

WTJ Wrap Up

Well, yesterday was the close of this Summer's The Next Chapter - Wreck This Journal and I can't help feeling like the end of Summer Camp and like there should be quiet singing of taps, hands crossed in front of our bodies and held in a circle 'round the fire. I can hear the music in my head but would you believe I CAN'T REMEMBER THE WORDS to that old Girl Scout rendition??? Can't get beyond "Day is done, gone the sun.", la,, la, la... Oh, well - you get the idea.

I'd love to summer camp with this Wrecking Crew anytime! Can you IMAGINE the art supplies stash? The 'mess' hall with Suzie as overseeing Camp Cook ???? And First Aid with Kavindra as Camp Nurse???? Come and go 'WRECK'-reation all day???? All the journals laying out to dry in the sun or dangling by clothes pins from the line after swim time or outside the showers? The overheard giggles and whispers from atop a cabin roof as you pass and dodge the plummeting of journals dropping from someplace high or the visions of journals tossed wildly flying like birds through the air? Nine and 18 hole journal golf courses springing up everywhere in the camp? Or, my personal favorite vision - seeing Wreck Stars twirling journals on strings through the air like cowgirls practicing with lariats. And then there would be the encounters on the hiking trails with Wreck Stars 'walking' leashed/strung journals through the dirt and bumping along on the rocks behind them or carrying them as they write in them/draw lines while hiking.

Maybe I'll open a 'Camp WTJ' here in the foothills with side trips to Yosemite. That's the ticket! And for the non-camper types, inside I have 3 bathrooms, 3 unused bedrooms, 3 tables that would seat 8-12 comfortably, (make that 2 tables and 2 bedrooms - the third(s) are for studio use - more on that later) and there are sleeper sofas in the family room and front rooms...hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Nah! I don't think so...but the benefit I'm seeing in myself from the WTJ experience has been significant - to me anyway. I'm taking more chances, trying new things, being surprised and delighted and inspired when things aren't perfectly prepared for and done and something I wouldn't have thought was practical or sane or smart or comfortable turns out to be fun, funny, entertaining, interesting, and sometimes even pretty. 'Why not?' more often doesn't have a good reason not to so...just go on and give it a shot. I'm almost finished with my first page of a new 'art journal', I'm starting a 2nd blog for my creative writing, quilting and dabbling in photography & mixed media, 'Studio Lakeside' - and I hope to post my first 'art journal' attempt later today and will be exosing my rejuvenation/rebirth/reclamation of me as a practicing creative there.

Aside from that - three things I've learned from the WTJ participation are:

1) I need (well, okay, need may be an overly strong word), I want more art supplies - paint that isn't latex semi-gloss would be great and I keep hearing about some gel medium stuff I want to play with (looks like spackle but spackle doesn't work very well anyplace but dry wall, that I've found - yet)

2) I can now download pics to Windows Vista as well as Windows 98 from the digital camera my daughter passed on to me when she got a 'better' one. (there's 'better'? Wonder when she's gonna replace THAT????)

3) Dial-up internet services SUX for accessing videos shared by WRECK STARS!

Thanks to Jamie Ridler for hostessing an amazingly fun summer's journey! I'm going now to listen to the Wrecking Ball Call I missed - I did call and the 'greeter' said I was the 1st caller and I'm NEVER 1st for anything so I panicked and hung up thinking I hadn't translated EST correctly to daylight time and then on to Pacific time and I'd be waiting maybe another hour for Jamie and others to get on the line. So sorry to have missed it LIVE and in person!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the Flip Side

There must be an evil wind blowing through blogland's various creative regions - kind of like a chinook, according to weather guys and my reference books, blows warm and moist out of the southwest over Oregon and Washington. A number of places I've visited lately have been writing of fear - confronting it, what it may be indicating, how it paralyzes. Of course, reading about it I can't help thinking about it, ruminating on from whence it comes and what to do about it, with it, and so on.

Floating on the surface of the pot those thoughts are bubbling in on the stove of my mind, is the distilled phrase from the historical wartime address - there's nothing to fear but fear itself. When out in a boat on the lake with the gals of my book club this past Sunday, I was bound and gagged - paralyzed, by fear. Even though I could manage (with some very appreciated recent improvements in pain level and subsequent increases in freedom of movement) to walk down the dock and get on-board my friends' boat without assistance, once on I was stuck - caged by fear. As invitingly cool and refreshing as a dip in the lake in a spot I'd never before had access to from shore seemed - I couldn't get in like the others because I was afraid once in the water I wouldn't have enough arm strength to swim and would not be able to get myself up the boatside ladder back inside. I feared not being able to rely upon my body, being a nuisance and burden to my friends, and appearing to be a complete fool. One of my friends, trying to encourage me to take a dip, said they'd pull or push me up if need be, but I couldn't make myself take the plunge/trust someone else's presence at the crucial moment/risk needing assistance. And so, while present I wasn't fully participating and I missed the best part of the day's experience, perched right there, observing only. And, oh how my hot, itchy skin longed to be skimmed with the cool, refreshing water! Almost as intensely as my body thrummed with yearning to dance to the music of the live band at a birthday celebration among friends a couple of nights before...

I often wish I had the habit of constantly carrying my camera whenever I go out the door like so many of my photographer friends seem to do. Yesterday I saw an image I'd love to share with you outside that speaks to me of fear so clearly. Here in California dozens of vultures at a time circling overhead in the sky is a common sight. They're HUGE and dark and ugly predators and appear so hypnotically serene and graceful unless you know what they truly are. (I'd never seen them before in the midwest, nor on the opposite coast) They seem to come from nowhere and I often wonder when I see them on air if they're poised over some road-kill or stalking some weak outdoor pet.

Thoughts triggered by other blog writers of late regarding fear and creativity and dreams/desires have been, like prey to vultures, my creative ideas and inspirations will perish like road-kill and be picked apart by vultures of disapproval, lack of understanding/enthusiasm from observers/witnesses and results won't be pleasing. Following those though it has occurred to me that all of those thoughts like my tendency to perfectionism are about control and something I have absolutely no control over. I repeat - I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL! What a freeing concept!

Honestly, some of the things I love best in life and the world around me are things I can't even IMAGINE controlling:
>seeing 'shooting stars' across the dark night sky

>deer and other wildlife that occassionally come wandering close enough to see every detail of their coats

>color and light of remarkable sunrises and sunsets

>just one time each being at the right place and time to witness the short-lived flourescent plumage of a male indigo bunting during the height of its mating period and a bald eagle 'resting' atop a nearby oak

>the glittery sparkle just after first morning light upon the foilage this side of the lake out back

>unexpected and earth moving desire stirred within me for another

>tears that come unbidden upon the reading or hearing of a tale of great sacrifice or generosity for another

Whether I creatively write, quilt, cook, or decorate my home fear can and has been disabling. I am concerned about if I'll be understood and please a reader, diner, visitor, recipient or viewer. Truth is, I have NO CONTROL over any of that. A reader/diner/viewer may have had a disappointing day, be too short on time to consider, have a bad taste in their mouth or a headache - any of which will affect their perception and acceptance of my creative effort in a way unrelated to what I've done.

What we cannot control is as much an opportunity for faith/trust/confidence as it is for fear. A wise older woman once told me that negative characteristics are just the 'flip-side' of good, strong ones. A stubborn child or man, for instance, is just exhibiting the 'flip-side' of determination. It won't ever kill me to not have what I write, quilt, cook or how I decorate loved, admired or appreciated and it's been said what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger. There really is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bad Trip

I've been on a trip the last several days, a bad trip, not hallucinagenically induced by any means, but a bad trip just the same. Sorry, well not really sorry, perhaps more like blessedly for everyone else, there are no photos or picture postcard momentos of this journey to and from the 'twin cities' of Woe's Me and Self Pity, Misery/USA. (In my head sounds like someplace in Missouri so don't blame me entirely for getting off the bus at that desolate stop in the dark) Thanks for your indulgence in my subsequent moan - at the end of it is a really nice and refreshing reference to something TOTALLY different.

I was raised in the old school tradition of and subscribe to the adage, "if you haven't anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", thus the infrequency of blog writing save for the admittedly (and so titled) Cheap Blog about a celebrity wedding - a notch, just barely, but a notch above commentary on the recent rash of celebrity passings.

The extraordinary and prolonged mercilessly high daytime temps have been so oppressive. Even holed up in my 'cave' with the swamp cooler running daily from early morning until past sunset, I've felt drained by early mid-afternoon and crave a nap, often finding myself indulging in one whether or not I choose to. And even with the cooler pumping I've noted internal temps in the cave exceeding my comfort level. My scalp gets itchy from perspiration and anyplace where skin touches other skin is mucky feeling. My irritability level is so enhanced that were I to attempt a self portrait it would be of someone resembling a cactus, a porcupine or a barbed wire wrapped mummy. I thought I may have just been being hyper-sensitive having joked over the phone with Dearest Darlin' the other day that I could probably 'grill' food on his gas grill without even turning on the gas until a local news story on last night's late report showed someone who'd actually 'baked' cookies on his dashboard. (the public service aspect of this little feature was to remind folks not to leave children or pets in their cars. DUH! )

I've been feeling bored and lonely, confronting my reality of being unemployed with no prospects and my bank account dwindling to an impossibly low balance with bills still coming in my mail box and feeling both financially and emotionally broke and bordering on depressed. Thus, I've become jealous as friends post on their Facebook status activities I'd love to participate in - ventures to town for entertainment, dinner out, karaoke at local watering holes, birthday pool parties and such.

The other day, last Thursday, was the second anniversary of the date my divorce was stamped and filed by the court. Last year, I 'forced' myself to 'celebrate' it, asking women at work to join me for margaritas after work. This year I suggested to a couple 'friends' they come by for drinks - one suggested we make it part of an already planned girls night out the following week, the other was 'busy'...I was, am, miffed, and hurt. Nobody knows what a hard time I have just saying the words 'I'm divorced'...picture the scene if you recall where Henry Winkler who played Fonzie in the old TV seried Happy Days had to say he was 'wrong'.

Book club is this coming Sunday, my month to hostess and my choice of book (Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett) and a club member and friend generously offered their boat for holding our get together and it seemed a good idea at the time but I'm feeling inadequacy because I know I can't pay to fuel the boat for the day or for the rum I'd intended to make cocktails with to serve. (thankfully, one of the gals doesn't like seafood of any kind and instead of the shrimp/pasta salad I'd have liked and planned to serve, I'll substitute chicken I have in the freezer)

A few hundred miles south, a sattellite version of quilt market/festival is happening and I'd hoped since early in the year I'd be there. A good quilt show/festival is like 'church' for inspiration to my creativity and a Thanksgiving Holiday all rolled into one and I'm craving it SOOOOOOOOOOOO intensely. Makes me ill not to be able to even consider being there.

So, imagine my delight today when a blog I 'follow' actually put a genuine smile on my face! I bet it would yours too. See Journal Love here-

And, thanks Connie for being a bright spot for me this Monday. {{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}