August 28th, 2006

the book writing gods came! and they have been great.
i feel so much calmer.
looking forward to a day off.

August 24th, 2006

i’d like to sit down and draw for a few hours and let all the weight of my thinking mind be still for a while. it feels like a burlap bag loaded with large rocks that sits perched on the top of my head. these rocks make sleeping unconfortable and i shift back and forth trying to get a better position. (this situation is made worse by a bed that was designed in the 1800′s, the kind with a mattress perched high atop a set of thin springs, making the slightest move like surfing rapids. my husband and I are taking turns on the couch so we can at least get a few hours of shuteye a night. i am still undecided which is better, the bed or the couch, they each present their own set of problems. couch=slope. bed=bounce. slope or bounce? bounce or slope? i spose the overactive brain doesn’t help the situation.)
but all of this is normal as I am finishing up the book manuscript. not having a real “home” currently (we don’t move into the house until October), i am trying to find the right place to work. nothing feels right. i put a cold piece of pizza into a plastic bag and throw it into my carry all. i now flit from cafe to library to park. i’m not going back (allowed back) to the apartment until i complete ten pages.
i need to just get down to it, but i’m fighting it today. like i so often do. every time this happens i think…”this time i won’t be able to do it.”
but i always do. it will all get done.
as always i have found the perfect quote for the occasion, (leave it to Corita to soothe my creative brain and let me know that i am exactly where i am supposed to be)…
“I have an idea for making something or i have a deadline…and i always have a kind of natural resistance to getting down to it. Somehow I feel that this kind of natural resistance is quite healthy–because all the information, sources and ideas need cooking before they can be served. So I go on living and I go on doing what might seem to be very uncreative things like shopping or cooking or washing the dishes or answering the phone or writing letters–and sometimes the data comes out and asserts itself into my consciousness, and i live with it for a while.” ~Corita Kent (from “Learning by heart”)
i now summon the bookwriting gods to come and help me. i’m not sure where the best place to contact you from is but i am planning right now to go eat my pizza on the grounds of Russel Sage.
just so you know.
and i’m wearing my green shirt with the white flowers.
and my red sneakers.
just so you know.
ten pages.
how ’bout now?

August 18th, 2006

sneaking in a moment to write, in a cafe that smells like burnt food with music that is too loud. but they do have wireless (albeit an extremely slow connection, i actually may not be able to post this).
i am writing to tell you about a few things,
about finding a little store on 3rd street, full of fun things, paper lanterns, wooden beads, 2 dollar scarves, hand felted puppets, and brightly coloured pillows. oh, and a cat named Casper who talks. the store with no name, (the sign out front says ‘liquor store’). i love it.
about how when you move to a new place and the home you thought you would have doesn’t turn out (and there are some legal issues with the place), and you feel homeless, (this combined with so many chaotic things happening at the same time you have a deadline for a book) and every other apartment you look at doesn’t feel right (or in some cases make you feel really disheartened), then….just wait. because if you wait long enough something better than anything you could imagine shows up when you least expect it. and maybe this was what was meant to happen the whole time (even though for a while you thought you might be being punished for something, though you couldn’t imagine what.) ….we bought a house, (more on that later when it all becomes official. the hard part is that we have to wait until october to move!)
about how I went shopping for dinner yesterday in little italy, in an ancient looking shop, the sign out front said “organic joe’s” which got my attention. a nice old italian man with a thick new york accent sold me organic tomato sauce, made with a recipe created by his great grandfather “joe”. I peeked into the back room which was a large old fashioned kitchen complete with the massive pot on the stove for used making large batches of the precious red stuff. what a find.
what I’m learning about this town is that from a culinary perspective I am having to find “sources” for different items which makes for a more interesting shopping experience (though certainly more work). produce from the farmers market on saturday, daily items from the health food store on 4th, italian items from little italy, random produce from a couple little fruit vendors on broadway. I do prefer buying things close to the source and local if possible. I have been overjoyed with the local corn here, (the best I’ve had in years, it is one of my favourite foods by far!)
if you have any tips on secret local culinary gems in this area (we are a 20 minute drive from the Berkshires!), please post them here.
oh yes, and a lovely movie that we watched last night called the road home. i want to watch it over and over. it includes scenes of cooking, weaving using an old loom, a girl with braids, paper windows with cut out designs, and a love story. all my favourite things.

August 12th, 2006

i sit on a marble curb in washington park, waiting for a wireless signal. i discovered one that comes in on the wind now and then. a stolen connection. but i have become tired of having to buy something everytime i want to check my email.
the sun is out, but i found a spot shaded by a big maple tree. i look down at my feet and study the debris closely , leaves, cardboard from a chocolate bar, clear plastic wrappers, cigarette butts, twigs, a piece of glass.
what if you could only make art out of what you found on the street? in a way i already do. i put the pieces together in my mind, combing textures, piling things on top of each other, contrasting colors.
i listen to the sounds of my new surroundings, (new thoughts about sound were inspired by an article by Pauline Oliveros that my husband quoted to me this morning over breakfast. She founded a movement called ‘deep listening’. and i make a note to see if i can audit her class.)
trees moving in the breeze, the distant hum of cars, the typing on my keyboard, the tick of a bike coasting quickly, birds. it has been a while since I’ve spent a summer in a city environment. i had forgotten the sounds.
my head is jumbled with all of the things i think i should be doing right now. work on the book projects. i will get to it soon. what i want to do is read about eva hesse, and the writings of john cage which i just ordered. or ride my bike to the woods. i hope the summer does not pass me by unnoticed. too much time spent doing, not enough being.
the jasmine tea sits cold in my purple mug.

August 1st, 2006

man, you guys are amazing! i think we can all use a cheering squad to help us get throught the rough patches.
i feel so much better this morning. (after sleep, which is indeed one of the necessary aspects of dealing with adversity as someone so aptly wrote.) I could sleep for months.
this morning i faced some fears and now emerge triumphant.
inhale, exhale.
what an amazing journey.
this town is incredible and full of life (complete with all the grittyness).
I can’t wait to write about the stories.
I want to repeat the quote written by Cam because I think it’s pefect for what I am experiencing. (thank you for this)
“We live on the edge of the miraculous every minute of our lives. The miracle is in us, and it blossoms forth the moment we lay ourselves open to it. The miracle of miracles is the stubbornness with which men refuse to open themselves up. Our whole life seems to be nothing more but a frantic effort to evade that which is constantly in our grasp.” ~Henry Miller
I am open.
I don’t think I have ever been this open before in my life.
I mean that.
(last night we contemplated sleeping in the car for a few weeks and I thought, “I could do that. And I would be okay.” i’ve come a long way from needing to control all of the little details.)

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