savoring time…

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures- Thornton Wilder

Ah, well, my coffee cup is empty, yet still warm…the woodstove is roaring and the house is quiet in this early morning. I have not written lately– too many things in the way.  Never a moment to sit down and collect my thoughts…and put them into some type of coherent order that is decipherable by another!

The thing that has captured me lately is the good times.  As you know, this ‘turning 50’ thing has really made me shift my thinking.  No longer do i see myself as immortal, or having unlimited time.  No longer do i use the phrase ‘someday’.  No longer do i put things off…well, some things i put off, but not important stuff :).  It may seem morbid, but it has made me live with much more intention.   i was looking back to earlier days in my life, when life seemed carefree …and somehow easier.  But at that moment in time, that carefree time, when my kids were small and i was juggling grad school plus a 2 hour commute each way and a full time job, i don’t remember thinking, “ah, these are the good times!”  The times were good, and i wonder if i realized that.  I think i was just trying to get thru the days, and counting credit hours until my masters was finished.

I want to recognize the best instants when they are happening.  I think some call this ‘living in the moment’.  I don’t want to mark time, or waste time, i want to savor it.  I want to breathe in each moment and recognize it for good, bad or ugly, but i don’t want to miss it in my preoccupation with tomorrow.

home again…

i have been out of reach for a few weeks- my laptop’s battery and charger both died in the same 24 hour period and i was without a computer…omg. it was like being without my car, or away from home for an extended length of time.  I was kyping Michaela’s laptop when i could, but it felt awkward, like i was a guest in someone’s home, and I couldn’t relax, couldn’t write… thank god my charger came in the mail today, and I am home again on my Mac.

So i have been taking an online class this month, its called Emerge.  I registered for it months ago, when i realized i was turning 50 this year.  Its about navigating a transition in your creative life.  Every day there are assignments to do that challenge you.  One day there was one about breathing, another day there was one that assigned you the task to take 3 photos – one of something beautiful, one of something wild and one of something changing.  There is discussion with the other members of the class.  Amazing strong women…   Transition takes many forms.  There are those who are going thru a divorce, or an empty nest, a child being born, buying a home, starting a business, ending a business.

Today our assignment is LISTS.  We are to make 3 lists:

Obsessions and preoccupations:

  • books
  • old letters and postage,
  • handwriting,
  • fonts,
  • maps,
  • voyages,
  • beautiful handblown glass- clear with color running thru it,
  • beads,
  • layers and layers of things showing history,
  • time travel,
  • artifacts,
  • untold stories,
  • keys,
  • true love,
  • portholes,
  • old houses,
  • anything with a story

What I know:
i know how to

  • handle a crisis,
  • friend someone,
  • listen,
  • look thru someone,
  • make a master schedule,
  • throw a pot,
  • fire a kiln,
  • clean the fridge,
  • raise a child,
  • be flexible,
  • let go of someone,
  • make bread and chocolate chip cookies,
  • live on a $1 for a month,
  • change a fuel pump,
  • spin yarn from wool,
  • build a webpage

What I don’t know:
I don’t know how to

  • split firewood,
  • make it rain,
  • grow a garden,
  • eat less,
  • build a deck,
  • program a universal remote or hook up stereo speakers,
  • make cotton candy,
  • write a book,
  • put the ‘tab’ key-top back on my keyboard,
  • make you hurt less.

My lists surprised me… well, part of it- i knew my obsessions 🙂  But the ‘what i know’ and ‘what i don’t know’… those were interesting.  I felt that the things i didn’t know were inadequacies in me (even tho that I would say to someone else that these are ‘opportunities to learn’)

What are your lists? I would love to hear about them!

 

 

pat…quiet… cocoon

cocoon, a place where a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly, where the magic takes place that allows a fully grown beautiful butterfly to emerge from a dusty husk…

i have magnetic poetry all over my fridge, words scattered hither and yon.  i love words.

Are you familiar with magnetic poetry?

www.magneticpoetry.com

Its words, each on magnets.  One buys a small case full of words- nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and of course, the conjunctions, pronouns, possessive pronouns etc.  There is a basic set and then additional sets that are specific to certain subjects.  I have additional custom magnets with my daughters’ names, my husband’s name and my name.

Yesterday a couple magnets were lying on the floor in front of the fridge and i reached down to pick them up and replace them on the front of the fridge.  When i looked at the words in the palm of my hand, there i saw “pat” “quiet” and “cocoon”

a message perhaps?  certainly an idea that spending some time in a quiet cocoon could be beneficial…

and i am off to find my quiet cocoon…lookin for some magic on this rainy day…

taking time to play

I have been making pots, and picking wool and soooo enjoying the sunshine!  You know, when its so warm that when you lay back in the sun and close your eyes, you can see the brightness on the inside of your eyelids…ahhhh! been waiting for that!

Yesterday i was putting handles on mugs and pitchers in the studio- hands happily in clay.  Journi had come with me- she is loving the warm weather too.  She had walked out of the studio and i didn’t hear her, so i ventured outside to look for her.  She had found some pans that i use at the edge of the roof to catch rainwater and was pouring water from one to the other.  She was so intent on her task that she didn’t hear me.  Pouring the water from one pot to another would make her giggle, and then she would take a second and just swish her hand in the water…and giggle some more- mutter to herself and then pour water from that pan to another and swish again.  What a good time she was having! 🙂

I paused to watch her, marveling at how entertained she was- but also reflecting that this was one of the first times, at her age, that she had been able to explore her surroundings and make her own discoveries.  It has been winter until just recently, and snowy.  She has needed supervision and a hand to hold in the slippery conditions.  But on this day, she could walk around a bit on her own…that made all the difference.

what do you love about the medium you work in? is it a tactile thing? a visual thing? is it how the words sound? what makes you giggle with delight about creating?

take time to play today…walk around a bit…make some discoveries on your own…

on the edge of knowing…

my grand daughter is talking…2 and 3 word sentences and it is miraculous to listen to her.  But sometimes she says a word that i don’t understand, and she says it over and over and over…sometimes jumping up and down to make her point…and i feel so dense when i don’t get it.  I feel like I should know what she is saying, i can almost make it out…i have heard this phrase before, i am sure…This morning it was “ego, ego, ego, ego…ego!! sek ego…sek, sek, sek…ego, ego…”  This is accompanied by looking at me with expectation and repeating herself…until the expectation becomes less, and she starts to decide i might never get it…

i feel like that creatively sometimes too,

that my creative voice is saying something in the corner of my mind – that i am on the edge of knowing what it is, but i can’t get it…if i can just listen a little harder to what my creative voice is saying, it will unlock a beautiful project, piece of work, or maybe a whole new way of viewing what i do…and it is there over and over…and i don’t know what it means.

with Journi, if I can have the foresight to ask her to ‘show me what you are saying’, sometimes that will jog my brain and I will get it.  This morning, when i asked her to show me, she pointed at my computer and said “tweet, tweet, tweet…sek ego!”  AH HA! Check on the eagles! If you are not familiar, there is an “eagle cam” focused on an eagle nest in Decorah, IA and together we check the baby eagles each day to see how they are growing up. Google it, if you like! 🙂

asking my creative voice to “show me what you are saying” can be a way to ‘hear’ that voice more clearly.  Give your creative voice a pencil and paper, a sketchbook, an instrument, a journal, a paintbrush…something to show you what they are saying!  And stick with it long enough to hear- don’t say, “what did you say??” and turn away…actually ask and then listen to the answer.

when you are on the edge of knowing…sometimes you have to wait a bit for the answer…

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