Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Hobbit Castle.

It is a rainy day at our new home on the edge of the universe. I am writing from the loft of the Hobbit Castle (the name appropriately given to this place by the creative and wise Connie). I am surrounded by sleeping dogs and husband, a purring cat at my feet. We moved this past weekend and are finally finding our way towards feeling rested. It was a big move. We have a lot of stuff. I mean, a seriously LOT of stuff. And, anyway, it wasn't just our house we were moving, it was the studio, too. That, my friends, is a lot of moving!

This post isn't turning out nearly as poetic as I was hoping for, but I will say that we love it out here. I'm quite positive that I have never seen my animals so happy--all 5 of them! We've been having problems with the well and even though we've been without running water for the past 3 days, I STILL love it out here! Did I mention that we don't have propane for the stove yet either? It's a bit rustic out here at this point...but we DO have electricity! I admit, I love rustic. It makes me feel grounded. It makes me feel connected.

Seriously, I am beside myself with happiness. A calm, comforted, deep breathing sort of happiness.

The rain slides down the big, slanted windows in the living room. A blue heron stands hunkered down in the middle of the pond. Last night we listened to the howling and yipping of coyotes. There are more stars out here then we know what to do with.

I don't know why I was away from this kind of life for so long, but I will say that it feels really, really, deeply good to be back.

And now...I am off to brew a pot of coffee and walk through the rain over to the studio with all of my wet dogs. There is still so much unpacking left to do...and yet I am enjoying every step of it. I am exactly where I am meant to be. And that is a very, very good feeling.

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.” ~Henry David Thoreau.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wanna be my fan?

Join me on Facebook! I've finally created a Stray Dog Arts page. Hurray!
Of course, everything is better when it includes friends!

Stray Dog Arts on Facebook

Sunday, July 12, 2009

red beans. white bowl.

At the moment I am eating a bowl of red kidney beans with a spicy tomato sauce and Indian spices. I have a cup of French press coffee by my side that I have yet to taste. I got home earlier today from a short camping trip with my dad, siblings and family.

I keep writing sentences and then deleting them. I am trying to get at the essence of now, but the only thing that seems to be able to contain it is this steaming, bowl of bright red beans.

Vinny headed out to "the farm" with a load of stuff. I hung back at home with 2 extremely tired dogs and the intention of getting some painting done. Instead, I've spent the past couple hours unloading kitchen shelves, washing fine china, and preparing to move. I think it's starting to finally sink in. Although we've been slowly packing and moving stuff for the past few weeks, it finally dawned on me today that we are, in fact, really moving. We rented a truck and will haul the majority of our stuff, including the furniture this coming Sunday. One week!

Here my last post is all about optimism and yet, over and over, I keep noticing an irritating feeling of apprehension dull my excitement every once in awhile. I think of all the people I've heard say that they don't want to get excited about one thing or another until it actually happens. They hold back, using this delayed sense of excitement as a buffer, a safety precaution to ward off possible disappointment. They tell themselves not to get excited until it has become a tangible reality--and, even then, they sometimes hold back. I never understood that. It seemed a little bit absurd to me to pass up on any sort of opportunity that presents even the smallest morsel of hope or happiness. Why not get excited about the possibility of something good happening?

But now I understand. I guess getting hurt will sometimes do that to a person. I hate to admit that there is a little part of me that is afraid of dreaming too big or, sometimes, even at all. There's a wee little lingering part of me that is afraid that someone will pull the floor out from under me again. Afraid that I will set myself up for stupid failure.

And yet I am grateful for the awareness of this fear. It is, after all, a vague feeling. It is a feeling that is always accompanied by a sense of hopelessness. I have been truly feeling like this move is an opportunity for me to change some bad habits, explore new opportunities, and to finally follow through on some lingering desires. When I get into the center of those thoughts, all of my doubts just disappears. Quickly, magically, immidiately. POOF! Everything is possible. There is no need to give up. There is hope...yes, even for me.

This weekend, while my family was all out hiking, I laid in the tent alone and cried. Big, fat cleansing tears. I realized how absolutely exhausted I was. I remembered how powerful I am, how powerful every single one of us is...if we chose to believe that. I thought about how small exhaustion makes me feel. How powerless I am when it takes hold of me. These days I am learning how to bring my life back to center. I have a lot to learn, but one thing I know for sure is that to continue to work at the pace I have been is insane.

Lately, I often imagine myself walking through the vineyard with all three dogs running along side me. That feels sane. I imagine myself going for afternoon hikes in the woods and letting my mind wander. That, too, feels sane. And I think about how I will manage my time between computer work, painting, and meeting with people in the city. In the haphazard current of these thoughts I am beginning to understand that there is only one way to change anything and that is to


Yadda, yadda, yadda...I read about letting go over and over and over. It makes perfect sense. Right? Of course it theory.

It seems that I'm taking the long way around...writing myself to some sort of deeper understanding about all the mixed thoughts that bumble or blaze through my head during the course of a day.

Here's the deal....
I have to let go of the feeling of apprehension that something is going to go wrong and that I am going to feel stupid, naive and let down because of it.
I have to let go of the belief that I am always going to have to work hard to get by.
I have to let go of the idea that I am lacking some magical quality that other successful people possess.
I have to let go of the fear of "not enough"(especially when it comes to time and money).

I mean, I really seriously, deeply need to let go of these things. Belief in myself and the universe has been tested pretty thoroughly on a few occasions these past couple years. Once when I parted ways with my dreams of teaching university level writing and again when I walked away from last winter's partnership and studio space. Both were, in their own ways, necessary experiences. Both taught me the necessity of being true to myself. And yet, in those moments before letting go, there was a very important ingredient missing. I can't quite put my finger on what that ingredient was, but it had something to do with alignment. The most worthwhile part is that I literally feel myself growing from these experiences--like the thick-stemmed tomato plants I planted in our new garden last week--I feel myself growing from the inside out and the outside in.

Anyway...this is just me rambling, trying to capture this time of in-between. When I relax I realize how much I miss writing, how much I miss this blog, how much I miss those little moments of connecting with the thoughts that run through my brain.

The kitchen was the first room I unpacked when we moved into this house. I remember that first morning. We were so exhausted and yet the sun was so beautifully bright. My world sparkled. The ivy covering the windows glowed an emerald green. I made 2 cappuccinos--one for me and one for my husband--and they were the most beautiful cappuccinos either of us have ever had. These days, that same kitchen is dimmed by dust. Ivy has not graced the windows since it was torn down by the painters last summer.

And so...I am happy to be washing the comfortable cups and saucers brought from Italy by Vinny's grandma. Now that I've given them some attention, I like the way the ice cream bowls handed down from my mom have regained their glassy sparkle. It makes me feel good to carefully fill a sink of soapy water with fine bone china and then, one by one, rinse them and set them on a white towel to dry in preparation for something new. I thrive on new. And yet I hold dear those old things that make me who I am.

Red beans in a white bowl. A cup of coffee. A sleeping suckling dog. Funny how such simple things possess everything I need. Funny how often I need to remind myself that everything is as possible as I allow it to be.