Today found us flying home. It was hard to leave the gorgeous weather and wonderful people. It's lovely to be snuggled up at home though watching Hocus Pocus a few days later than planned with my sweet boy.
Here's an extra shot of some fabulous texture I couldn't pass up.
(This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) -- a shot a day for the month of November. You should join me: it's a lesson in stopping and looking, improving your photography skills, and appreciating the beauty and light around you. )
November 2nd found us still in Santa Cruz visiting dear friends and family.
Karen Walrond (chookooloonks) has declared it National Photo Posting Month. I'm wanting to add regular blogging to my art practice. Apparently I work best with a clearly defined objective and most importantly a deadline or an end. I can't commit to posting daily forever more but I can commit to posting a photo daily for November. So it will be. I'm posting two photos today since I didn't post yesterday.
(This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) -- a shot a day for the month of November. You should join me: it's a lesson in stopping and looking, improving your photography skills, and appreciating the beauty and light around you.)
The weekend that is. A slow wide open two days. Jewels on the horizon those days are. I have plans for a leisurely daytrip to a favorite town,with stops in an art store, a beautiful yarn store, a delicious lunch, ideas for making a journal for an upcoming trip a la Mary Ann, and if I'm lucky, a bit of painting. I'm already hearing the whispers of the next weekend too. 4 luxurious days stretching out before me. 4 days of music, reading, making with a dash of travel prep thrown in for excitement.
Today I share a few bits of beauty and magic. A poem, a room full of rain, and an orchestral flash mob.
I Go Back To The House For A Book
I turn around on the gravel and go back to the house for a book, something to read at the doctor's office, and while I am inside, running the finger of inquisition along a shelf, another me that did not bother to go back to the house for a book heads out on his own, rolls down the driveway, and swings left toward town, a ghost in his ghost car, another knot in the string of time, a good three minutes ahead of me — a spacing that will now continue for the rest of my life.
Isnt' that just delicious? "...another knot in the string of time..." What a line. The imagery, ghost selves, echoes of your intentions out there in world. Ahhh! I love the way Billy Collins mind works.
Now the rain. If was on the east coast I'd be standing in line this weekend to see this installation at MoMA
I've been dreaming of hand written letters lately. Of writing them and receiving them. When I was in high school, I had a vast collection of stationary. I'd moved several times, leaving behind friends with each new beginning. There wasn't email or texting then. No Instagram or facebook. There was only long distance telephone calls and letters. I rarely had money so I wrote letters. Thick, juicy, news filled letters. Sealed with deep red sealing wax and a brass fleur des lis or a smiley face. I loved the sizzle of the wax as it melted and dripped onto the envelope. I kept it up into college and grad school. Again, I was usually broke and very often didn't even have a phone. Letters were the only way to stay in touch. So now I relish each opportunity to send a note to someone.
One of my favorite traditions of the holiday season is sending and receiving Christmas cards. I treasure each one in which the sender has taken a moment to pen a short note. Last year we let the busyness of life push out the card writing and I've mourned the loss all year. This year will be different. I'm writing out the card list now. We'll print some cards of our own design (see yesterday's post) and use the unopened cards from last year. But I won't stop there. This year, I'm going to leave love letters and sweet notes around the city. Little gems for strangers to find. Something like these treasures hula seventy and her tribe left around Portland. Wouldn't you have loved to find one of those? A friend left me the note at the top of this post years ago. She'd left them all over the campus of Artfest that year. I found another on a restroom mirror before I knew it was her leaving them. I left that one for other's to find and I remember reading more than one blog where the writer had found one and gushed over the sweetness of it.
Watch this Ted talk on the power of love letters by Hannah Brencher. Kindness is powerful stuff. It can save lives even if it's a stranger doing the writing.
For more on guerilla kindness follow Kindnessgirl or read this post by Keri Smith. If you haven't read this delicious post of French love letters by Corey of Tongue in Cheek go there now. You won't be sorry.
Would you like a hand written card sent your way? If you're not already on my holiday card list and would like to be, drop me an email. I'd love to send you a little note of your own.
"If we have goals and dreams and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets, the point is to not hate ourselves for having them… We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create, and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly — it reminds us that we know we can do better.” ~Kathryn Shulz
I'm reading Brene Brown's new book Daring Greatly these days. With this book Brene is looking at the role of vulnerability in living a whole hearted life. I couldn't wait for this book after hearing Brene speak at the World Domination Summit this year. That experience is something I still have to write about and I will as it continues to echo through my life. Back to Brene. Brene's premise is that to live a rich full life, we have to be willing to be vulnerable, to step out of our comfort zone, to be exposed as the socially awkward uncool person we believe we are, in order to make the authentic connections, to really engage in a full life, to dare greatly. I'll be joining her read along as I find her books makes me squirm and I think being in community while reading will ironically help me feel less vulnerable.
You've likely already seen her Ted talk on vulnerability. If not, stop reading and go watch it now. As I was just beginning Daring Greatly, I happened upon this Ted talk by Kathryn Schulz speaking of regrets.
I've been pondering regret and I've concluded perhaps it is the sibling of shame and the occasional unavoidable byproduct of stepping into vulnerability to live a courageous life. Since hearing Brene speak, I've consciously tried to lean into vulnerability, asking the artist painting in the cafe about the vintage brush and ink pot she's using, discussing with the wood carver where he sources the wood he uses for his beautiful creations, smiling at the people I don't know but who I pass daily in my building, having a conversation with my seat mate on the train instead of reading my email, saying yes to opportunities I would normally shy away from, having the really difficulty conversation with someone I love. There have been awkward moments, small regrets, but in reality they have been few. On the whole, my life has been enriched. I feel the discomfort melting just a touch, a welcome change. What I didn't expect though is this feeling of my life being a rich banquet, just waiting for me to step forward, an adventure I can engage in fully and my fear of the imagined catastrophe is beginning to fade.
Being a beginner sucks. I really dislike not knowing how to execute the image I see in my head. Some days I'm more patient with this then others. Today is an impatient day. I lack the technical skills to do what I want to do. It's part of the process. Thankfully I know now that if I keep practicing and learning, I will develop the skills to do what I want to do. This concept has always made perfect sense to me when I wanted to learn something physical. I have only recently come to understand that it's true for learning a creative skill as well. For a very long time, I believed the art I appreciated from others was born of talent. I didn't understand it was actually hard work and learning. Practice and studying. Knowing means I don't have to give up. It only helps a little bit with feeling frustrated and demoralized.