Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday Night....

February is almost over!!! How did that happen? The days, they go by so fast.....

This morning, I am inspired. I have been in a nasty funk for the last two weeks; I can't explain it exactly, but that it left me annoyed and sometimes, even angry (not a typical state of mind for me). Something happened last night, when I decided to finally decorate the office room that has stagnated now for eight months...

The poop-brown walls still leave something cavernous to be desired; if I had my way, I'd paint this room a couple of shades of pink (I think it wants to be pink, somehow). It is, however, leaps and bounds better than it was.

Soon, I will begin to pack up this house, as the lease is ending and I am headed to points North for the summer, but before that happens, I wish to photograph it in detail. This house has many nooks and crannies that I have paid attention to and cultivated. I have very little understanding, however, of how to shoot interiors, so I am hoping someone comes along to help me.

This morning, I received my weekly mailing, and opened this only to realize it was exactly what I needed to read midway through my Sunday...

Clearly, I need to buy Henry Miller on Writing. Also, clearly, I have a bibliophiliac addiction....I need someone to come around who will supply me with books. I seriously could spend all my extra money on them. This book brings my ever-building Amazon shopping cart to twelve items, all absolutely integral to my present and future life.

Another gem provided by Mr. Miller in his book is the Daily Program:

"        MORNINGS:
          If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.
Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.
See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.
Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week."

 Taken from a traincar window in Jim Thorpe - Fall 2011

Last night, I spent the night in a very intense, introspective mood. I had been invited out by a couple of people, but felt a little under the weather, and so I stayed in. I dug out a white folder full of ephemera, dumped all the pieces onto a table, and went to work taping and arranging the pieces onto the walls of the office. I uploaded photos that had been sitting on my camera for months. I thought about what will come over the next few months, and all the changes that are already happening. Something switched from the frustration to acceptance, which I hope will begin to switch to joy sometime soon.

Sometimes, all we need is a night of time spent alone, with artwork, with music, with thoughts.

 Apple picking in the fall
 Ladybird, ladybird fly away home, 
Your house is on fire and your children are gone, 
All except one, 
And her name is Ann, 
And she hid under the baking pan.
 I want to sleep here: at the Mercer Museum
 Winter colours: mustard, white, burgundy; Maine, Winter 2011
 Rather like a natural ombre, no?
 I love the combination of ice, rocks and bare winter trees
 When I walk out here, I pretend that the beach belongs only to me (and whoever I am with!): it is a magical place and has been for as long as my family has been here
Ironstone, snow, ice

This week, we transition into March. March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb: spring begins, gardens are planted, the Sun returns. We may even feel some warmth by the end of this month! Soon comes spring break, then April will, no doubt, fly by. Then Mexico, then the end of school.........and then????


Beach House - A Walk in the Park

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Putting Myself Fully Into It

"I realized I could make my life into anything I wanted, that I could 

choose my reality. That was when I put myself fully into this, that I 

decided to just go and see what happened, nothing else mattered."

Yosemite HD from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.

This video is breathtaking. Many years ago now, at the humble age of nineteen, I went on a two-month-long road trip out west with my boyfriend at the time. We spent all summer camping and climbing around the western part of the United States. We stayed in almost every national park from New Mexico to Washington, and stayed more outside than inside the walls of cheap hotels. We stopped in Yosemite for a couple of days on our way to drive the PCH north to Oregon. I remember camping in a beautiful little campground with lots of families. The sky was such a bright, deep blue it hurt your eyes. There was wildly coloured, flourescent green moss that grew all over the trees.

I have had to admit, lately, that I am not a city person. Becoming comfortable with the fact that I am a privileged woman who has had amazing opportunities come her way, and has always lived in beautiful places, has taken some time. I thought that, at least, I would try out city living and probably really like it. But the truth is, I really, really don't. I think my choices have to be: suburbs, small town/city, or country. I really need the trees, the dirt, grass, flowers, birds, squirrels, and space.

Today I spent the day at my friend's mom's house in the suburbs, in a town called Radnor. (Interesting fact: Radnor High School is the high school that Grease is based on!) I am so lucky to have the wonderful friends here that I do: to be adopted by three such lovely people....I don't know what I would have done had I not become friends with them! I feel like they are my Philly family....Anyway: Radnor is soooo beautiful: one of those old, east-coast suburban towns where all the houses are different and the countryside is amazingly sculpted to look organic when you know that someone pored over city planning documents for years to just get it right. We spent all day lounging in the living room, lesson planning and watching hockey. It made me so happy to look out the window and see leaves on the ground and a grove of winter-y trees.

This is what makes me happy! Surroundings that are beautiful and tranquil.

On that same trip out west twelve years ago, my favorite spot of the whole trip was Olympic National Park. We camped and backpacked there. There were ancient forests and giant banana slugs. There were cairns all over the beaches, and we saw a sea lion just lounging on the beach! We made campfires in washed up, giant logs, and played with tiny, red-orange crabs. We peered at anemones, and stared up at craggy, damp trees. We stood on the edge of a rushing river: its water bright, pure grey with the dust of rocks broken by the glaciers settled in the mountains above. The gravel-y ground was dark black, volcanic stone. The day was so damp, in that cool rainforest, that, just above our heads floated small tufts of cloud. The scene was deep green with trees, black with sand, grey with water, white with clouds. It was, still, the most beautiful place I have ever been. I will never forget it.

Change is afoot.....I have about two weeks to make it happen.

I have decided to make this my motto for a time "Putting Myself Fully Into It"

Side note: last week sometime, one of my students said: "Miss? Do you know what we used to think about you?" I said, "No....what was it?"He said, "That you are a mermaid!". I said, "A mermaid? Why would you think that?". "Well," he said, "you know! You always talk about the ocean and stuff and you have all this weird stuff around, and so we just thought you were a mermaid. But now we know you are just a teacher!"

So part of Putting Myself Fully Into It is to remember that magic happens. Sometimes the path that is before you can change in the blink of an eye, if you have the sense of responsibility to do what needs to be done to make the path reach the end. If you have the sense of belief that good things DO happen, if you think that you deserve happiness and that all the other things will just fall into place.

Putting Myself Fully Into It is remembering that, to some people, the people that really matter, the people whose lives I am truly dedicated to, I am a mermaid. A magical lady who lives in the ocean, with beautiful songs to sing to many, many, different kinds of people.

And so....there you are.

This is important for me to remember......

This is my current theme song....a song to carry me through