Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Friday

A tiny taste of snow last night.

A winter storm warning in effect for tomorrow night.

This has definitely been the weirdest fall, weather-wise, in my memory.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

It's a big one this year.

Thank you to Lunaea Weatherstone for her amazing online tarot.

Collage by Lunaea Weatherstone
Guardian of Fire

There is a universal fire that burns in everything,

in the hearts of all beings, made of starfire itself.

To guard that lifeforce within you is a sacred task.

To cherish its flame is to tend the inner temple fire.

One word for this fire is hope.

You may have been faced with challenges lately that threaten this fire,

or perhaps those near you are feeling their own hope wavering.

Hold your hands over your heart, and feel the glow...

then radiate it outward to those in need.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Friday



Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Friday

It has been a heck of a week.
Here's to the weekend.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Friday

A beautiful bowl made by my sister


Goofy squash from my garden


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Autumn Mornings, Too

I don't know if it's true, but it feels like this was the rainiest September ever. I was so happy to see sunlight this morning when I walked into the kitchen.

Autumn is just beginning here, but even still, the light is changing.

With that certain slant of light, as Autumn begins, the sun makes its way through the kitchen window and casts magical shadows along its path. This morning, I had to stop, before frying up eggs for the 11yo's breakfast, to take some photographs of how the sun was dancing with my kitchen still life of gold frame and dried coriander.

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
'Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

I had a long and heated argument with an English professor at college about this Emily Dickinson poem. I insisted that he was incorrectly, or at least unnecessarily, interpreting its message as negative. I argued that the awe we feel in nature, while humbling, reaffirms our sense of belonging, of being alive. I was so passionate that he not only gave me an A in the class, he begged me to switch my major to English. It wasn't my poetry expertise talking, though. I just know that feeling when you're in the woods on an autumn or winter afternoon as it's starting to get dark and streams of sunlight make their way through the trees and find you.

May the sunlight find you today.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thinking of Hearts

My friend, Umā, was heading to New Mexico on a big adventure.

I met her on the internet a few years ago only to discover she lives near me (we haven't met in real life yet). As I followed along on her blog as she prepared for her trip, I was kind of jealous. Lucky enough myself to have had a wonderful cross country journey this past summer with my two daughters, I still wanted more.

Facing mornings here with struggles to get sleepy girls to school, and afternoon games of the fox, the chicken, and the grain figuring out how to get the girls where they need to be while I'm teaching after school art classes, the call of the open road is too loud to ignore. I pacified that hunger for adventure with the promise that Umā would be sharing her journey with us. She is a thoughtful writer and a wonderful photographer, and while I enjoy seeing her pictures of our shared hills and valleys, I couldn't wait to see what caught her eye in New Mexico.

She and her partner drove out to New Mexico, but after he left to return home to Massachusetts for eight months of living apart, Umā decided that where she belongs is back home with him.

Selfishly, I was disappointed to hear this.

It's embarrassing to admit it. Of course, I wanted that adventure and experience for her. But I also wanted the eye candy for myself and the chance to imagine myself on my own in New Mexico, that distraction from the numbing routines I find myself living. Not only am I living them, but I am the one in charge of making sure my daughters live them. Yuck, right?

We all try to figure out our paths. Going to New Mexico to study for eight months seemed like the answer to Umā until she was there alone. Now it feels to her like the answer is to return home. My path is unclear to me now because so much of my life is filled with the dailiness of living: the key doesn't turn in the ignition (I didn't mean this as a metaphor, but it certainly works as one!); the 11yo broke her glasses, and her spare pair (another metaphor!); the 8yo suddenly hates school; teaching art doesn't earn me enough money to support my family; and on and on into the night.

Looking for some clarity in my own life, I guess I was drawn by Umā's definitive big step of heading west. With her changing her mind, I am thinking a lot about the methods we all use to make choices. Unbound confine. And really, it all makes a life.

I wish Umā an easy and speedy journey home to J.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

For Trace

a portrait of the woman as a young artist

My friend, Trace, has written a lovely post about Mount Pollux, with a gorgeous photograph of the two trees.

Because most of the photographs I took there focused on one tree, I always remember the hill as having just one tree, right in the middle.

A long time ago, when I fancied myself a photographer, I did a series of self portraits posing with other people. My favorite person to work with was my friend, Nikki. She was always up for anything, including naked tree climbing. We had some wild times on Mount Pollux, but I did not know that other people played there, it was always just the magic hill behind her house.

Like Trace, October is my favorite month. I've got a big birthday coming up at the end of it.

And yes, I'm very old.

I look at these photographs and reconnect with my younger self.