I’ve been grateful for so very many things lately. Parting from my job is hard but also good and right for this time in my life. I’m making deals with myself about the rhythm of my days and exploring all the possibilities.
One of those is putting some art in there with the writing. Visual expression is so much a part of me too. I find real peace in following a process slowly and deliberately along its paths.
I know I need to read lots to be a writer. I also need to make art. I am afraid of becoming distracted from the act of writing by these other things, but I know they have a place in my days, too.
I’m looking forward to going into my office and closing the metaphorical door (and maybe the physical one), knowing that if I need to spend more time on the writing that day, that is the work I’m doing and it’s good and right.
I’ve learned how to carve out time to write – and to make art, for that matter – 26 years to finish my first book. Almost a decade to finish my Level One Certificates in Embroidery and Design at Gail Harker’s studio. But this is a new experience, dedicating time to the journey of the book and the publishing business. And setting aside some time, too, for reading, and art.
We’ve been hacking away at the yard, beating back a couple of years of neglect, defining each lovely plant, untangling, letting in the light. This has inspired me to bring renewed focus to some pieces of art in the yard.
There is my Buddha. I got him from my lovely family as a gift after I touched his head at a garden store and fell in love with the feel of it there in my palm, and with the joyful smile he was holding just for me. I love having joy in my back yard. He smiled for years on a stump in a struggling patch of salal. I guess his influence was beneficial, because suddenly he was gone beneath its rich glossy green. We found a spot on the hillside where we could see him from the house. He’s been there for a year or so, smiling still, but I felt his joy needed to be better reflected, better honored somehow. He needed to be sitting on something other than just the dirt. Now he is. It’s a small thing, but for now, that’s enough.
Then there is my kitty – another gift from my lovely family. He was perfect in a bed of spring bulbs and columbine for a few years, until a well-meaning relative asked if that was a gravestone for a beloved kitty. Hmmm. That wasn’t intentional. after that, it seemed imperative that he should sleep somewhere less tucked-away, in a spot less grave-like. As he spent time in a more exposed area, his color was leached out by time and weather. And now? I’m thinking it’s time for some paint. Something joyful, maybe. You’ll see updates as I have them.
We love our sun room, which allows us to winter over plants and to breakfast amidst the out of doors in comfort even in winter time, if we’ve a mind. It’s also a great place to write.
But there is this problematic ribbon wall around the base, what comes of pouring concrete in the rain, trying to get it all done before a weekend ends. Though plenty strong, it’s also been plenty embarrassing in the years since we built it. We’re planning art on it.
Today I dug out all the broken glass we’ve saved, wine and blue beverage bottles, tile old and new, broken mugs, interesting slabs of rock, and I started measuring out the spaces. We’ve three sides to cover. We’ll worry about one at a time.
I’m excited to get started. Maybe I’ll find it easier to carve out time now. But I’ll try not to get too distracted.