Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fin

300 posts and three years ago I started typing here. In my first post I wrote opening up even a tiny window to myself made me want to throw up; I feared it. I feared the leap. Thus I knew I had to begin. Now I have spent weeks feeling bad for neglecting pneuma, so very much a part of myself, but to limp along and post poorly would be disingenuous and unfair to the spirit of this blog. I would no more ignore a broken limb than pretend this blog has not reached its natural end.

Saying goodbye, not to you, for you will always be there, but to this chapter of myself is bittersweet. Lives and circumstances change, new lands are to be explored, new outlets are to be created, but not here, not right now. So, with an intense feeling of gratitude and an equally strong feeling of nausea, I am taking a deep breath and letting go. I've packed my bag to the brim with moons, poets, philosophers, photographs, and your encouragements, so the journey ahead will never find me lacking in inspiration or love. I need to be authentically myself, to create spontaneously and freely, to accept this ending so I may be forged by a new beginning. This much I have figured out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Comfort

Such an odd word; one of those words that sounds even more ridiculous when repeated. One of those words you think you know the meaning of until some annoyingly smug person asks for your definition. Then you blunder and come up with a brilliant response like,"um, uh, potatoes?"

Comfort is a terribly vague and individualized concept yet a very simple one. We usually associate comfort with passivity; a comfortable bed, a comforting bath, comfort food. The meaning is anything but passive however. Comfort is an active, immediate, sometimes revolutionary gift. Comfort is supportive, soothing, easing, calming, and transforming. Makes it seem comfort can only be applied as a salve to wound; a spiritual, emotional, or physical poultice of sorts.

I'm not so sure comfort is always born of pain. I had a comforting moment earlier today in the library. I was browsing, lost in my thoughts, when I picked up a book because I liked the cover and was struck with an idea for a story, one sentence plucked from the ether and suddenly I was present in a way I haven't been in a month or more. The sentence tumbled around in my brain in the voice of the character, a woman of indeterminate age, her soft drawl classic Savannah, Ga steeped in mid tones of menthol cool and bourbon warmth, and her hair the color of an autumnal sugar maple leaf glowing in late afternoon sunlight. I listened to her speaking to me, trying to remember exactly what she was saying,"...everyone dreams of having a personal story to tell. Most people live their lives in search of a preamble so enviable it makes one drunk on self importance faster than the bottom glass of prom punch. Unfortunately we all come to realize the most incredible stories of our lives are also the ones we are ashamed to tell."

And so, how comforting to be struck by inspiration again, when all else is whirlwind and flux, the gift of comfort can come from within, not to heal a wound, but to reassure my imagination will never fail me no matter the circumstances I find myself facing.

I've realized, in the looking back, if tears come to my eyes, it is not necessarily for having failed or feeling regret; this comforting tide of emotion is for having dared accomplish something so profound the very grain of my life was changed. I triumphed in some invisible manner; cutting my inner self on the bias so that life will fit me more beautifully than before.

There was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do- determined to save the only life you could save. Mary Oliver

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Return

The leaves here are beginning to turn; a hint of orange amongst the pines, a shock of red painting the elms, the gentle browning of stubborn oaks. The weeds, first to rise and first to turn, glow and shimmer in flaxen waves like bolts of gilded silk unfurled.

On my commute to work, I pass a lovely farm with horses that graze on rolling hills. The sun rising over the mountain illuminates only the soft tips of their ears by the time I arrive alongside this simple fence to sit in traffic. When the mornings are chilly, a mist blankets this busy stretch of county road, rendering the landscape otherworldly. From beneath the ghostly veil of fog crows suddenly take flight in silence; nursery rhymes and poetry written in black ink across the rosy sky.

Here I sit and wonder over how fortunate I am to experience these moments. Each tiny curling leaf, shifting ray of autumnal light, whisper of chill breeze and transient geese, each fragment of seasonal beauty I harvest all create within me a home. This home I can always return to no matter the new adventures I begin or the familiar places I leave behind. This collected home is me; my foundation of skipping stones, my frames of crisp leaves, my rafters of feathers and moonlight, my hearth kept warm by laughter and love.

All things on Earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.
Thomas Wolfe

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harvest Moon

Tonight, the full Harvest Moon, tucked away in crowded mental files, for the day I find I've lived my last and need to recall once again the beauty that was never mine. She belongs to no man and we are a sad lot for taking her for granted; especially one so lovely and precious. This moon changes you, forces you to pause and reflect, to go slowly through your intentions like stepping stones through a zen garden. This moon reveals things, uncovers them at their most awkward, painful, and spare. This is a moon of childbirth, lunatics, and dreams coming to fruition or lost under the tines.

The harvest moon serves to remind us the seeds we planted so long ago have come to bear for good or bad and we are each responsible for our own lot. My sincerest hope is the majority of your harvests bring you what you desire, bless you with bounty in all good things, and if they are lacking, may you find in your heart the seeds for next spring.

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. George Eliot

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rudimentary

I do not own a desk.
My work is built in the ether.
Spread across beds and couches.
On shabby cat clawed chairs.
Swept into tidy piles of dusty spiders.
Under sunlight, moonlight, lamp light.
Between cracks in the grout and mildew.
Inside machines and engines with rpm.
Beside lovers and friends and enemies.
Over asphalt and glass and gravel.
Below the grass and dirt and slate mountains.
Etched on subterranean rock with my thumbnail.
Stained on the dome of the sky in my blood.
Orbiting in the space between you and the universe.
Winged and free like hawks and butterflies.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Geometry Of Shelter

My virtual friend, the Lady, has honored me by reading my flash fiction story Litmus on her podcast, Call of the Lark. She did a wonderful job and I am humbled to be appreciated by her in this way. Thank you! Check out her podcast; she will be reading literature and poetry as well as taking submissions.

In her introduction, she spoke to my writing here in this space, and the pieces of ourselves we share with the world. Often we bloggers write to cast ourselves in the best light possible, but we also operate under the knowledge that life is not all pretty prose or well crafted pieces of art; life is the chaotic stimulus gestating these shared mementos. Sometimes it takes the hardships to produce a beautiful sentiment, a thoughtful gift, or a genuine reflection. Sometimes it takes joys to make us see how much hardship we unintentionally create.

This space, this small room called pneuma, is a window into my musings. I'm really here, passing by the window every so often, offering a glimpse inside. This space is a comfort to me, a fire-lit hearth room of sorts, where I can be myself, but not negative, not pressured, not anything for anyone but me. It is a shelter; a safe haven.

There are other shelters I seek refuge in; places I can be someone else. For example, in my stories, I can be anything or anyone. I can be any saturated color of emotion and paint for you a picture that would move you to tears or laughter, make you want to hang it on your wall or burn it to ashes. This shelter is the basement; inhabited by clicking claw creatures. These shadowy figures are the ephemeral ideas and emotions I brave the darkness to gather and craft into a story.

I am grateful for being able to share my home with you; both the cozy rooms as well as the dark corners. The doors here are never locked; make yourself at home.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Perspective

The banks of the creek are steep; a dearth of rain has exposed the deep roots of the great leaning elms and oaks to air they are unaccustomed to feeling. These trees remember now what it is like to be a sapling; struggling again for a hold, a grasp on their place in the world. Below them the creek flows, its thin waters crystal clear, the rains of autumn have yet to fill them with clay and silt. In these shallows, beside the mossy gnarled roots, we sought refuge from the heat of the day.

We waded into the water, the creek bed shimmering with tiny pebbles, shells, and smooth stones. Ahead of us, to the west, a small curve in the bank was tattooed with skinny finger prints, like a dozen children escaped in their pajamas and toddled here for a moonlit meeting. They left behind what to my eyes looked like drowning butterflies, iridescent and glimmering, beckoning me to touch. The raccoons had feasted on the mussels, each delicate shell left clean centimeters below the flowing surface; a simple meal for them, a moment of wonder for me.

My children and I sat for an hour there, catching breezes and chasing minnows with our toes. We collected many of the open mussel shells, their lovely shades of lavender and silver muted in our hands. At some point I became restless, thinking we needed to leave, we had been there for so long. But a simple question from my youngest stopped my rushing things immediately, "Why?"

All of my wanderings and dreaming and seeking the depths, and I still fall prey to my adult perception of time. I forget what it is like to be a child, when time had no value, no relativity other than spending all the time it takes to enjoy, explore, and learn. They know intuitively to spend the least of it worrying, not having fun, and forgetting the really important things. They reminded me to be a sapling again everyday, even every moment, and to appreciate the gift of being alive; struggling again for a hold, a grasp on my place in the world.

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Anaïs Nin

Monday, August 23, 2010

si[x]

When I received this lace weight wool I was enamored. I would have worn the skeins draped over my neck but for unavoidable tangles and inevitable heartache. Instead, I made a sculptural piece comprised of six varied circles, allowed to curl inward and reveal their hidden sides. This piece is bold, unique, beautiful, and inspiring. Reticence does not orbit here.

Boring bits:
Pattern: sev[en] circle by Kirsten Johnstone a.k.a assemblage
Needles: US #5 circs
Wool: Knit Picks Gloss Lace (held doubled) in 'mermaid'
Mods: aplenty...on ravelry.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Whispers

in black and white here
Few things come to us in whispers; condolences, apologies, and declarations of love come to mind. The mind, however, is not receptive to whispers; only the heart can hear them. So we must be unnaturally quiet and uncomfortably still to catch these wisps of intention. We must remove ourselves from the noisy chattering clamor of life in order to look within, open our hearts, and receive whatever messages the spirited winds bring us. Can you hear them? No?

You've gotten away, you've looked within, you've cleared your soul's shelves and you are ready! Ready to begin whatever it is you are to supposed to begin. But then you wait, and you grow impatient, and you don't understand why after all of this preparation you don't hear anything! You don't hear the answers you seek. You don't hear the directions you desire! Right about now all you hear are the screaming nerves of your half-asleep right butt cheek. You cannot hear anything for all of the noise your mind is making. The most difficult part of self discovery is mistaking getting away for getting out of your own way.

For a long time, my inner voice would loudly declare, "I really would love to be part of the group I admire on Flickr, but none of my photos are good enough."

Then one day, I stepped out from my own shadow, and I was invited to contribute to the archival moon & waiting. They chose to include one of my photos this week.

For a long time, my inner voice would loudly declare, "I love to write flash fiction, but mine are too angst and foul language ridden to be published."

Then one day I simply submitted a story. I created it and set it free. It has come back to me. On Saturday, August 21st, my story will be published on Metazen.

These are small accomplishments, sure, but for me they are huge. They are proof I listened when my heart heard the whisper, "it is time to stop living on wishes and start creating the life you want."

This is the beginning.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fox Socks

When my brother returned from Europe, he came bearing gifts. He has a rare and precious talent for gift giving; he picks out of the ether the exact thing you would have procured for yourself had you been there. In my case, a skein of sock yarn and a beautiful white stone from the cliffs of Etretat. Two of my favorite things; wool and cliffs overlooking the sea. These socks are a global affair. A man from America travels abroad, wanders into a shop in Holland, and picks out German wool made from Italian sheep. You all know by now I am addicted to knitting socks. I find it amusingly ironic he would buy my drug of choice (sock wool) in Amsterdam.

They also remind me of the colors of a fox. Fox is my middle name for those of you who didn't know. So here I am, Heather Fox, in fox colored socks. They are finished, super comfy, and my new favorite pair. Thank you, dear Michael, I love them and you!

Details on ravelry.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

7

Seven (7): wonders of the world, continents, dwarves, days of the week, deadly sins, virtues, planets (Pluto was wronged so I'm kicking out Neptune too), alchemical metals, bushido virtues, veils dance, layer dip, jeans, seas, sacraments, summits, archangels, chakras, pillars of wisdom, up, -11 slurpees, years this child has blessed my life.
Happy Birthday my beautiful girl!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Western Bread and Eastern Thought

While kneading dough on my counter I was pondering the reasons making bread calms and centers me. I have recipes for no-knead bread; no mess, no hassle, no time spent, but it is these very things that I find so fulfilling. I love how all of my senses are engaged. I have no cares heavier than the cool flour powdering the air as the dough forms beneath my palms. I have no fears the sight of the dough rising to its purpose cannot assuage. I am far from doubt as the aroma fills the house. I am peaceful and contented as the crust crackles and I savor the first delicious bite.

Lao Tzu wrote, we shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. I find my self empty, waiting to be filled, in the smallest of moments; the winding of wool on the swift, noticing the light shifting from eastern blue to western gold in the rooms I wander, and listening to the laughter of loved ones so lovely it makes me pause and miss them even at arm's length. This reverential simplicity, these fleeting wabi sabi moments, fill me with the meaningful feelings; patience, faith, love, humility, gratitude, trust, acceptance, leaving no room for suffering I do not need.

These simple acts have two things in common: transience and possibility. They are as fleeting as doves, perched upon the edge of becoming something else altogether; the yeast and flour sustaining bread, the wool a comforting garment, the light another day moving us closer, laughter reminding us life is finite. But as beautiful as these thoughts are, nothing is definite; the bread could burn, the wool knot and fray, the storm keep the light from us for days, the laughter turning to a sob. Thich Nhat Hanh said, "People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar."

I must strive to approach life as a collection of these simple moments and allow myself to be emptied over and over, to let go of my fears, to be brave in the darkness and fill myself with light. I must illuminate my own path. My dough has risen now; another simple moment has moved before us and I am grateful you paused to share it with me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ad Finem Socks


Two Halloweens ago, I knit my Headless Hessian socks. Still a fave pair. Last Halloween I had intended to knit a witchy striped pair of knee socks. Intended. Still intending. Will definitely (maybe) get to them. This year? I started a nice respectable pair of grey socks and somehow by the end was adding in selbu skulls in a fit of pure whimsy if whimsy were dark and threatening of course. So, I am early for Halloween and the ever popular blog-fodder National Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept. 19th. Go figure.
Details on ravelry. Aargh.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shop Update

Pneuma shop updated! You are all invited to stop by. I've thrown in a couple knitting images for all of my wool minded pals and a few from the beautiful places I've visited recently.

The above image is one of my favorites since it is of my favorite girl wearing my favorite guy's favorite shoes in her second favorite color. Uncle Michael should be proud. We are all proud of this girl, this smart, beautiful, graceful girl, who wants me to mention this is her new bike as well in her first favorite color.

She has made it her mission to read and memorize all the poems in my collection of Shel Silverstein. I did the same as a child. Which one was your favorite? The moving Where the Sidewalk Ends? Or perhaps the uncomfortably inevitable Boa Constrictor? I love them all.

Listen to the musn'ts child. Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves...then listen close to me.
Anything can happen child. Anything can be.
Shel Silverstein
ETA: I'm in the feature again on the POE blog! Thanks guys!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Study in Record Breaking Procrastination

There comes a time when even the most productive knitter has to accept she or he is not immune to SSS. I was hit hard. Blindsided by what I thought would never happen to me; second sock syndrome. Now I know it is real and it is nearly fatal. But I survived and anyone who can overcome self imposed obstacles to fulfillment deserves to celebrate. Grab a partner and throw yourselves into an impromptu Flamenco on the kitchen chairs while singing about the color purple at the top of your lungs. Trust me, frivolity and dancing cure anything. I wonder if in thirty years she will grab her children and ask them to dance on chairs. I hope so.

Boring Bits:
Wool: Pigeonroof Studios Original Sock in cassis gifted from the incomparable and lovely Larkin.
Needles: US# 1 DPN

Please send me your last pair of shoes,
worn out with dancing as you mentioned in your letter,
so that I might have something to press against my heart.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

,

Monday, June 21, 2010

It Is Light

Another solstice; so many now I've remarked upon, set store on, imaginary marks flourished in an archived digital calendar. All of this science to mark a date as important when this planet and this sun have been celestially waltzing for an eternity. But we need to make our marks; our personal scratches in the sand. We want something tangible to show for having been here; for having lived. All of our hurts, joys, doubt, compassion, and even anger, beg to be traded for something of value. But what is this mysterious something, this value, this qualifying factor? Is it even real?

I've been asked this question many times from many different people the past few weeks. Is it real? How do you answer a question like that? Is this rock in my hand real? Yes. Why? Because I see it. But say you are blind. Now is that rock real? Yes. Why? Because I feel it. I can tell you how heavy this rock is. I can tell you how cool it is, yet how quickly it radiates my heat back to me. I can tell you a hundred tiny details if I try, all because I feel it and I believe it.

The solstice sun. I feel it and I believe it. I don't need to prove it or describe it or even understand it. I simply need to feel its warmth through the cold glass and let my being radiate that warmth back to everyone I meet. That is real enough for me.

Love is not consolation. It is light.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, June 14, 2010

Southern Gothic

There are sounds that move me. Instantly put me in a calm place, an open place; a place that is home. The laughter of my children, the sound of a loved one's voice, the deafening rumble and ear splitting wail of the dozens of trains moving through my town each day, to name a few. On occasion I have the good fortune of being right at the tracks as they pass and let me say that each and every time that has happened, the engineers always wave. That makes me believe in people. They fly by at forty miles per hour, sometimes more, through hundreds of the small rural towns like mine and with one gesture, one taken for granted gesture, they say, "Hey! I see you there! And just in case I don't see you next time, fare thee well." We should all be so aware of the world around us, no matter how small or how vast. We are all connected.

Photo Grunt featured another of my photos! Thank you yet again! I have posted a new album on Picasa, a Sunday Stroll through my town. Yesterday was Tennessee Williams hot; 95 degrees and as humid as a wet blanket, but there was relief to be found in the cool green waters of the creek, the dense shady woods, and the inviting front porches. Ah, yes, and the breeze from the passing trains.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

For the Birds

Early this spring I discovered a visitor in my backyard. A pigeon, brightly plumed, who followed me around like a lost puppy as I filled the feeders. He decided to stay on as a regular. Lucky for him the cardinals are finicky diners and toss down three perfectly good seeds for every one they deign to eat. He was friendly and even though he was four times larger than the other regulars, everyone seemed to like him and the congregation went about their days happily singing and snacking. But then a curious thing happened. On Friday, during a particularly trying moment, I looked out the window to the sky, as is my habit, and there was my pigeon on the fence with another pigeon at his side. A white pigeon with black stripes. No fooling. They have returned together each morning and afternoon since.

White pigeons are a result of a recessive gene anomaly that breeders force...similar to the mad science of puggles and ruffled tulips. White doves are typically sacrificed or, in less bloody terms, released during rites of passage ceremonies. The context of events defines the symbolism of white birds, but most commonly, they represent love, the soul, peace, forgiveness, and deliverance. But what to make of a white pigeon with black stripes? The dark and the light, the known and the hidden, the right and the wrong, all on the back of one bird; the entire weight of the world held up by a feather.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thirteen Moons

Last night the moon was gold. It is known as the Full Flower Moon. Did you see it? It has been thirteen moons since I shared my love of them, remember? I quoted Rilke in that post; how I love to read Rilke. I thought of him earlier in the evening at a party while watching my children splash and play with friends in the pool. The night was warm but not uncomfortable and the company was full of laughter and good cheer. The cicadas sent out their last shrill chirps of the night as twilight stole the heat from dried sap branches of towering pine and elm. A child asked what the noise was. They all stopped eating their chocolate cake and turned wet heads and pale shivering shoulders to the trees and listened.

"A shrieking bird," the know it all exclaimed. They all nodded; satisfied she always has the answer. But then a smaller voice spoke up, the smallest in the group, and it protested.

My son said, "No, it is a cicada and he is singing a love song."

"Ugh! That's a terrible song!"

"Not if you're a girl cicada."

I hope your summer is full of laughter, friends, and terrible love songs.
Everything is blooming most recklessly;
if it were voices instead of colors,
there would be an unbelievable shrieking
into the heart of the night.
Rainer Marie Rilke

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Discovery and Reflection

It all began with a discovery; a moment of, "Look! See what I found? A friend to keep for my own." And we delighted in the discovery, in the tickling sensations and tiny tidal movements that to small uncalloused hands feel like hope and promise. But we also had to learn that some creatures are not meant to be ours, no matter how much we want them to be. We had to learn to let go. We had to learn the most contradictory of terms in one act; reason and faith.

"The caterpillar will transform into a butterfly," observes the astute six year old.

"But I don't want it to be a transformer," argued the four year old, "it's not a robot! You are wrong!"

During the escalating argument between reason and faith the caterpillar was forgotten. The dramatic gestures and shaking fists of certainty forced us back to the point of discovery; the poor thing held on as long as it could through the storm it had unwittingly caused, but lost its grip. The caterpillar, the source of such heights of wonder and passion, began to free fall towards the pavement. I caught it with inches to spare and we all let out a gasp. The same gasp we all let out when we discovered the bug.

While my children cheered that I saved the caterpillar, they also realized that nothing had changed yet everything had changed. The caterpillar was still destined to be reborn and we were still left to deal with struggling to understand how that could be and how we could accept such a seeming impossibility with the tools, reason and faith, that caused us to lose sight of what mattered in the first place.

Einstein said the process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder. Yes, I agree, and that process journeys us in perpetual circles. If we are not too dizzy we can reflect on the situation. When we keep our hearts open and our minds free, sometimes when we are lucky, we see ourselves reflected back in the eyes of the discovery. And the wonder begins anew.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Works In Progress


I meant to post this a few days ago but life, well, you know how that goes. We are deep into soccer play-offs, end of year programs, last minute reminders, and little calendar squares that are too small to fit in each day's notes. Plus everything seems to be shifting a bit, like suddenly the universe has begun to list to one side sending us all scrambling to make sense of things. Even my knitting is being affected. It waits patiently for me to come around again; a woolly little Sancho Panza bearing my flag as I tilt at yet another windmill in my path. Ah! But do not worry, unlike Quixote, I have hope. The projects I have begun will eventually be the complete and in them I will find great comfort. I'll just have to wait until the heat passes. Summer? On behalf of all the southern knitters out there, please be short. Thanks.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Three Truths of Four

1) When you are four, the most prized independent milestone is being allowed to make your own snack. Insist you can do it "all by myself".

2) Joy is vigorously playing in nothing but socks in the backyard for at least a quarter hour before your mother discovers your underpants hanging on the doorknob and freaks out. She demands you put on your manties which seriously infringes on your belief in personal freedom.

3) Comment loudly (over the rude shushing noises all the adults are suddenly making) about how unbelievably bald/fat/old your neighbor is while he weeds his lawn ten feet away. You're supposed to be observant, right? I mean, you have spent four years answering questions like "what does a cow say?" to applause and accolades. Why censor your brilliance now?

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Median to Deep Thoughts

There exists in each of us a capacity, a cistern deep and dormant, where the excesses are stored. The droplets of doubt, the rivers of resistance, the floods of unspoken truths, ebb and flow in silent tides here. This is the place we go only when we have to; when we search for an answer no other can give even if they are why we ask. The answers are there within us, we all know this, but the questions are what interest me now.

Why is it I prefer black and white photos yet rarely create them myself? Why is it the color turquoise makes me sad and joyful simultaneously? Why do I dream so vividly I wake up and can't go back to sleep for hours? Why do the strawberries in the stores look like they've been mugged and left for dead this season? Why am I surprised each May by the inane amount of special activities to celebrate the end of the school year? And, most importantly, why can't I find a sundress that doesn't make me look like I cut three holes in an old pillow case and called it a day?

While I ponder these deep thoughts, why don't you go check on what the uber-cute Jenny has made for her spring/summer Wikstenmade line. More power to the female indie designers (and she knits, too!).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

All You Need Is Love (or a big box of yarn)

Who is now singing do-do-do-do-doo? You're welcome for that. You could do worse than having John and Paul stuck in your head.

But you know what is better than the blokes singing about love? Receiving a surprise box full of it! The Lady was on the same wavelength with me apparently and packaged up a dozen or more skeins of sock yarn, decorated it with Chagall, Toulouse-Lautrec, and shiny shamrock stickers and sent it to me before I even posted about my shameful lack of wool. Karma? Cosmic connections? Knitterly intuition? You make me a believer Larkin!

Thank you, my generous and caring friend. Your gift moves me more than you know and you're right, the purple does call my name.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shop Update

For those who have been sending me emails wondering if I've dropped off the planet and if I will ever list new photos...my shop has a few new ones as of today. Thanks for checking up on me virtual friends, you guys rock!

ETA: Hey! Look what happens when I update... PhotoGrunt featured me. Check out his awesome talent and eye candy collections. Thanks, Steve!



And...(!)... I've been featured on this Etsy treasury...Go, clickety click for me, and maybe I'll make the front page.

Friday, April 23, 2010

One More Time... With Intention


Duck
Knitting. I haven't been knitting. The tea leaves cardigan sat untouched in a grey lump for three weeks. Two days ago I couldn't handle the pathetic look of it and tucked the whole, needles and all, into my closet for fall. Hopefully. Maybe. We'll see. While in the closet I checked out my sock yarn. OK, there are a few of you that need to sit down before you read the next line...go ahead, I'll wait.

Duck

I only have three hanks of sock yarn. Three. Black, orange, and auburn. I know! Unbelievable, right? It is disconcerting not to be drowning in sock yarn. My hands are shaky. I need to replenish my stash. I've started a new pair and was thinking while casting on about the number of stitches it takes to complete my socks. My estimate, based on the stitches per inch, per row, and inches total to knit brings the count to around 30,000. Each of those thirty thousand stitches will be knit with intention... a woolly zen path if you will. What do I intend? Clarity, Calm, and Confidence.

Goose

What's your current favorite sock yarn?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reminders

The smell of funnel cakes makes me want to vomit. Despite this enduring trait, I volunteered for the elementary school carnival. By the time my shift rolled around, there wasn't much business. At 5pm on a Saturday there were a few hundred cotton candy laced children, hordes of dazed and somewhat pained looking adults, and my favorite social group to observe, the roving gangs of teenagers. I love how they lean on things, all sharp elbows and skinny black jeans, as if the weight of their own import is simply too much bear upright. I took pictures of them up close like Nat'l Geographic. And they didn't even notice. I used to be unaffected and cool like that...twenty plus years ago. Dude? I saw the band on your new 'vintage' t-shirt live when they still toured in a bondo colored VW van.
Okay, so this child? Unfortunately, he's not mine. But for about fifteen delightful minutes, he entertained me. He was attempting the paddle ball for the first time and the pure joy on his face reminded me the new shouldn't be feared, the old shouldn't be forgotten, and the in-between should be lived to the fullest, until the import of your own happiness is simply too much to bear upright.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Less I Know

3:30
When you get something you've wanted for a very long time does it lose the mystique? Or does it make you feel as if you had cheated yourself previously without even realizing it? When awareness does come, do you feel like you see everything differently, even something as simple as the sunlight in your kitchen? Or the different colors in your own eyes? Or the way your children smile sincerely after they laugh; unguarded and true?

I draw with words, scribble lines with language, smudge and blur meanings with adjectives, the secret inspirations hidden beside semicolons; the words after them are always the most honest. Now, with new camera in hand, I realize the more I receive the less I know. The stories in me are more than words; they are the integral parts of me. The photos I am learning to create are more than captured moments; they are my life broken down into readable files. This playing at focus and light and patience, has set me on a journey I hadn't been aware of before; I'll bring you with me wherever I go to see whatever I see. Last year I wrote in this space about change. This year year let's write of discovery.

6:19
A photograph is a secret about a secret.
The more it tells you the less you know.
Diane Arbus

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunshine

Spring has arrived and we are soaking up the sun while we can before April brings rain and the threat of tornadic weather. I really despise the word tornadic. I doubt it is even a real word. A weatherman in St. Louis used to say it and things like, "good times". I am convinced he never wore pants behind the anchor desk.

Anyway, this girl, my hot weather baby, my golden-tressed princess, she is my sunshine. I remember my OB looking at her and shaking his head while commenting his wife would spend everything to have hair this color. I wonder if it will stay this color as she grows up. I wonder many things about my children's future selves. Will they be happy? I hope so. There are so many variables, ten thousand things that have to go right in a person's life to outweigh the ten thousand that weren't quite right. My wish is I am able to be a part of many of those joys and to be a comfort through many of those sorrows.

Note to my future self: Remember these days? These were the days you realized your heart had more rooms in it than you ever imagined. Promise me they are still occupied and the doors have never been locked. Tell me about your ten thousand joys.

Friday, March 19, 2010

High Point

This is one of the high points of my foothill, the distant ridge is the next city over. When I stand here I can see clearly for miles in every direction, even as far as the peaks of Red Mountain thirty miles away. This is my thinking spot, covered in waist-high dry grass this time of year, reminiscent of an Andrew Wyeth painting. I love how even at such heights, the perspective is flat, as if I could simply step from my ridge to the next, the immeasurable chasm in between only a sketched line in the sky like a crack in the pavement.

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. Rilke

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Mysterious Lamp Post

My father pulled in the drive with a surprise- my old armoire. My childhood bedroom was in the attic, a heavily dormered room with no closets that was freezing in the winter and an inferno in summer. Like so many things remembered, I would have sworn the wardrobe was larger; in my memory, it loomed and beckoned. I spent many hours tucked inside hidden amongst my clothes and dolls dreaming of the could be's and the what if's and the when I grow up's.
I couldn't help but venture back in, not expecting to find anything other than dust, but some spaces never lose their magic. Though I had to duck my head this time, I found what I was looking for; the mysterious lamp post in the middle of a dark and snowy wood. I drew a picture of it for you, in case you are too old and cynical to see such things for themselves anymore.