Friday, July 06, 2007

too many things to blog about so this is what you get instead.

"The lake."

Early morning with Louis.

Foggy morning.


Louis, the water-dog, in his element.

The past 5 days have been relaxing to say the least. We camped out on my mom's lake lot and the photo in the last post is one that I took upon waking and stumbling out of the tent. It stayed foggy most of the day and so, aside from a long hike in the nearby state forest, I spent the day reading next to the fire.

Louis and Anu played hard, swam hard, and slept hard. I thought that bringing both the dogs might end up being a lot of trouble, but they couldn't have been happier. I alternated between reading, swimming, lounging in the hammock, sketching, cooking, and taking short walks with V. and the dogs.

I spent a lot of time listening to the call of loons. And thinking.

If I had a computer and internet out in the woods I might have spent the entire time blogging all of those deep thoughts I was having. But I've come to realize that there is something to be said for temporary silence. I brought nothing with me that was thesis or work related (I wanted to, but didn't let myself!). Maybe it was the hammock or the soft breeze from the lake or a combination of a lot of things, I don't know--whatever it was, I did a lot of thinking. The funny this is that now that I'm back I'm not even sure what half of those thoughts were. But what I do know is that the second I got home I finally took action on some things that I have been thinking and thinking about for months now.

But there's too much to write about all at once.

( I'll begin by saying that) I started work on the front yard. This is important because I've been obsessed with finding a home of our own for so long now that I have been starting to drift out towards a placeless limbo. These past weeks I have been working on my thesis which revolves around the notion of how, as individuals, we are continuously redefining our "sense of place." But lately I have been feeling my own sense of place slip from my grasp. I have been neither here nor there. I have been searching for "something else" rather than making any attempt to be present in my own life.

It's also important to note that I only started work on the front yard because the landlord came over yesterday and asked if he could hire me for the job. The perennial gardens have been neglected for a loooong time and getting them back in shape is no small task. As renters, we weren't willing (or able) to spend our own money (or thankless time) on the project. But hey... money motivates, ey? And if he was willing to foot the bill, I was more than willing to do the work.

And so yesterday I, quite literally, dug in. Once I got started, I couldn't stop. I pulled weeds and raked and got seriously dirty. At one point, while in the middle of an especially thick patch of weeds, I found myself sitting on the ground totally absorbed in the moment. I was pulling at a tough lace-work of roots and, for the first time in a very long while, I too felt rooted. V. and I haven't given up on looking for a place of our own, but I think that, on a very deep and subconscious level, in the process of connecting with this little piece of the earth that we live on, I made the decision that we will be here for just a little bit longer--and that, no matter where I am, I feel a great need to invest myself into the place (whatever place) I call home.

I want to be present in my life. I've been spending so much time and energy trying to visualize what I want my life to look like in the future that I haven't been able to appreciate the way it is right now. The rest, I do not doubt, will fall into place soon enough. For now, gardening is my meditation. Dirt helps to keep me grounded. I need to feel roots, however temporary.


laundrygirl said...

Breathtaking photos!
That last paragraph was amazing. I can really relate to what you have said... I'm glad it was such an amazing retreat.

deirdre said...

The pictures are so soothing, even by themselves. How wonderful and relaxing it must have been to actually be there.

I hope you'll post pictures of the yard when you're done. It sounds like a good way to center yourself in this house.

kj said...

you are a terrific photographer, jessie. i hope you share more of this.

wings and roots--you are an embodiment of that these days, jessie, and it teaches and soothes your friends in the process.

you are a very good person, you know!!!

Tammy said...

I'm glad the pups added to your relaxation. The pics were wonderful!

Home is where the heart is.


Laura B. said...

I'm happy you got some rest, Jessie. The lake lot is gorgeous---

leah said...

beautiful pictures, beautiful post. i know just what you mean about getting grounded and loving what you have now. xoxox

Anonymous said...

i thought of you several times over the week and was hoping that you were having a relaxing time. i can't believe how fast louis has grown!!! i look forward to catching up with you in more detail soon...xoxo...

Madelyn said...

somehow that second photo just filled me
up completely with joy and peace -
i love lakes - swimming - the soft fresh
water and i adore campfires -
i completely relate about living in the present
and creating from a perspective of "presence"
- often lately I find i am creating so
much - writing - photography -
that i am not really LIVING - (i know this isn't
making sense)
which sort of brings me back to your lake
trip - the peace and quiet - just to be still -
i loved loved loved these photo's and your