Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Update

I've been working on a piece for the blog about writing, only it seems like it's about smoking and I am not quite able to make the connection between paragraphs make any sense. I want to write more but am afraid what I might come out with. Like all those dreams where I am considering climbing into a deep dark place that I am not sure I will emerge from. Dabbling with words is mere folly but to really pull up what is inside one's self takes much greater time and focus. I guess I have the time, after all I am writing this. I could make the time. I make time for other things, walking, cooking, sewing, knitting. But the focus part feels like I might be stepping perilously off the edge of something. I am not sure why I assign a negative emotion to this, I could be stepping into soft wool or jello. Stepping off an edge does not have to imply there are rocks below. And maybe I will be changed, am I not already changed after 2 years of blogging. I think I am. It's just that my voice is still so small and I want to it to get louder, or deeper, or more succinct. The weird thing about the writing voice is that it's hard to hear for yourself, you just have to keep writing the words down and soon enough patterns and themes may develop. It's in the letting go of expectation when things really begin to develop. The trick is finding the space to let yourselff slip deeply into those dark soft places and hope you can emerge when you need to without much difficulty.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

And the Winner Is

So this is the chosen logo from the 6 concepts I presented last week to my Grounded Knowledge clients in Brooklyn. Am quite pleased with it and the next step is to apply color. My friend Susan who is a principle in the group and was my first best friend growing up in Smithers, sent me a very sweet note about how happy it made her that I was involved in the project. This goes double for me.

Sunday today and we have no plans beyond taking Pearl to the movies later on. I get a little itchy on these days without a fixed agenda. It's silly to have work this hard to relax but there it is. I am what I am.

Had a nice night out with my family last night on the occasion of my stepmothers 80th birthday. We have a Brady Bunch style family, 4 of hers, 4 of his. Needless to say we are a large group when we all get together. I was not sure how Molly would take to 80, but she was gracious and charming at the party. Her sons organized it all and it was really well done. The boys even sang her a song which was funny and touching. I cried twice, once because my dad got choked up while talking about my brother who is currently in rehab, an event that has been a long time coming, and once listening to Molly's best friend Birgit toast her. These are great women, sexy and vital even in their 70's and 80's but not without their frailties and personal tragedies. Family is an interesting web when you stand back and look at all the lives that intersect one another. We have separate and diverse situations but also share so many memories and experiences, some painful but mostly positive.

For many years I felt at odds with my family but as I get older and more comfortable in my own skin I appreciate and cherish them more. So I guess I am feeling pretty happy and connected to the human race today despite my lack of direction or list to follow. Sometimes just being in the moment with the people you love most is good enough goal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Big To Do

I have a to-do list in my head. Sometimes I write parts of it down in the notebook I carry around with me. Sometimes in January I make a chart in Excell and print it out and leave it in my briefcase with my job files. The list breaks down this way into categories; paying work, crafts, home improvement, home repair, garden, writing and personal. Paying work trumps everything. Crafts are seasonal. I don't knit in the summer and I limit the number of projects I have on the go at one time. I find it is easy to begin things but much harder to finish them. I have a mental back log of craft projects I would like to attempt which includes a tile top table, several quilts and knitted blankets. At the moment I am trying to find a vest to knit, I am collecting fabric to make a quilt for Mark's bed, I am re-covering my bar chairs. I am methodical in my approach. The only quilt I have ever made took me ten years to complete. It was worth it though, I sleep under it every night and I don't tire of looking at it. I wear the sweaters, scarves and hats I knit. I have started to make clothes again, cautiously. I made a dress this summer and I loved the process of it, I have never loved sewing before. There is no end to the things I would like to make. I do however have limited time in my day. Work trumps folly, mothering trumps gardening, cooking trumps reading, sleeping trumps reading. It's hard to fit it all in so I have to choose wisely, spend carefully. There is no sense buying hundreds of dollars worth of wool just to have it sit while I quilt. I could use that money to pay to get my chainsaw out of the repair shop or buy plywood to finish the garage ends. The chickens need a little shelter added to their coop, I can use scrap lumber for that and scraps of time but the bathroom I want to add in my guest room will take cold hard cash and more time. Then there is the garden. I want plants for the garden, fruit trees, bare root berry plants. Grapevines, succulents, peonies, and mulch, I need mulch. I want to build a path to my office from my house through the garden. Stepping stones, concrete, flagstone is a fantasy. Work trumps everything else and the days are getting shorter and Pearl needs help with her math homework and new dance shoes. There is no end to this big to-do I have rolling around in my head and I try to only take on that which I can reasonably get done. Did I mention the books I am writing. There are 3 at least, graphic novels perhaps, one about death, one about chickens and one about my last marriage, that ought to be tasty. With all this to-do rolling around in my head I am thinking of the perfect knitted long vest and work trumps every thing but it doesn't stop me from waking in the night and thinking about the alder trees in the back of my property and how I would like to take some pictures of them with the two and a quarter camera and sometimes I want to put words on them and make them a poem and sometimes I want to to knit them little collars and let the weather do what it will to the fiber. Work for money, trumps everything and that is okay because I like what I do and I am glad I have it to-do.

Friday, October 9, 2009

This Week In Design

Here are a few logos I designed this week for a non-profit client in Brooklyn, NY. Am happy to do this work as the client is my first best friend from childhood in Smithers, B.C. . I think number 2 may be the fave and I plan to make a lino cut of the image for the final. We'll see. I enjoy the process of designing logos, I enjoy sinking into it. making lists at first and then translating words into imagery. This first part, the big brain dump of the sketches and rough ideas, presenting to the client and hopefully they like what they have been given, in this case they have. Then it's onto the next step of refining the idea down to their essence. I am grateful to have this particular type of work to focus on at this moment in time.

Pearl was home sick from school this week so my work schedule was a little light but I did get a few things done. My job as mom took precedence which was fine and in a way the simplest and most real thing to do. I am grateful that when she needs me most I can easily be there for her. There were some deeper family concerns as well during the week, which I won't discuss now. Am feeling pretty emotional about it all, lots of feelings about the past that I had neatly compartmentalized which are now bubbling up. It's all good I hope, time will tell. It always does.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wood Burning

The thermometer I bought for my woodstove, and then left on a table where I ate lunch and is now returned to me is not living up to my expectations. I want to be in the Burn Zone but I can't get out of Underburn. And I wonder if this is significant, if I don't have it in me to really cook or if it's just the weather and this house, which seems to be naturally warm to me because of all that goes on in it. Anyway, it is only fall and there are cooler days to come, the leaves have not yet fallen and the decaying has not yet started, and there is heat in decay too. The sun is still warming the kitchen without any trouble. It just bothers me that I put so much hope and fifteen dollars into this small device that can only tell me I am under performing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Putting My Foot in It

I try to watch my mouth. I listen to what the universe tells me and I strive to practice compassion and humility but occasionally a long uninterrupted stretch of extremely virtuous and mindful behavior is shattered by a thoughtless misstep. Such a misstep happened this morning during a conversation with my daughters stepmother. Pearl has been sick and while I know she has been well cared for at her dad's I also know that at a certain point she needs my attention. Nothing against them at all because I know they do a good job. I carelessly suggested that Pearl needed to come home when I should have said she needs to be with her mom. Sadly my poor choice of words puts Pearl one more day away from spending time with me and it's all my fault.

Today's image is a puddle of gray water with Pearl off in the distance.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Luxury of Saturday

All I can say is it's Saturday. It's a sunny Saturday in the suburbs. The furnace is on because it's a tad cool in the mornings. No one is up yet except me and I love that. The day is a completely wide open clean slate. I have some plans, some notions of what I might like to do today, what I might like to see along the way but nothing is concrete and I am happy to let all my ideas go in favor of something better if it should arise. I can hear the clock in the kitchen ticking away, the dog grunts, there is a faint alarm beeping from a clock in the living room that we can't turn off completely. It's really faint, no louder than your own breathing but it's there. The fridge kicks on and in concert with the fan of the furnace it gives the house a nice humming sound, alive but not too lively. The ducts contract making sounds of metal sighing, soon I will get up and have some juice and make a coffee, and maybe read but beyond that I will just let the day unfold. Aaah, the luxury of Saturday.
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