A Trail of Reminders

3 Dec

A photo trail. Of the hours. And days. And the little moments in between–that “gap” place that’s free of thought, emotion, “charge.” The space in between breaths where nothing and everything abides. So here. To remember the basement time. The basement time and the tasks that don’t change, regardless of externals. Like picking up boy-child from school– and gently monitoring the things that get done after school.  The snacks.  The homework.  The shared-events-of-the-day time. Precious, priceless grounding time.


And there have been cloths. Three actually, but two I forgot to document. They are downtown at Woolworth Walk. One was new–part of the Super Moon and Critter series. A panda eating bamboo. The image came at night, after I shut the light off, and I fell asleep saying “super moon with panda.” Was it that night or the next? I’m not sure. But I woke in the night and saw, plain as day, a black bear cub peering in the window. Looking with animated curiosity at me. At my sister. As we slept. Looking through this window which is 5 feet off the floor. One of four that provides minimal but essential light to our living space:

Bear cub looking through this window where during the light of day the underside of rhododendron provides more magic and support than I can explain. I feel that I’m underground–I am underground–but looking at this tree-shurb from such a novel vantage point, I become part of it–part of its root system. Nurturing and receiving sustenance simultaneously. I think about the Hopis. Their mythology. Coming out of the earth.

Fewer images of this journey than I thought–and the awareness that I need to keep my camera closer. But I still have time to rectify that. So here:

Thanksgiving’s pumpkin pie. Shared with daughter and her family…a pie that received kudos galore. And did I share that it was a 3 ingredient pie? Condensed milk, 2 eggs and Libby’s pie mix? Nope. But I laughed when I heard the compliments. Because, while I was making the pie, daughter called to say how much she was enjoying preparing the feast-that-followed. And as we spoke, I shared that, as she knew, cooking was just not my thing. I wish it was. I told her that. I told her that part of me would love to be the very rotund granny with a bun, ample bosom and tummy wrapped in a white apron, humming in the kitchen as I prepared one delightful dish after another. But that isn’t who I am. I eat out of necessity. Eat to live rather than the other way around. But still that romanticized “provider of sustenance” exists.

The pie:

And here’s what I forgot to say–that while we were talking–daughter and I–I poured the entire contents of a 12 oz condensed milk can into the batter. Yes, I wondered why there was quite a bit of batter left over that wouldn’t fit into the pie shell. And later, after the “why of it all” plagued me enough, I pulled the pumpkin pie can out of the garbage and read the directions. 5 oz. of milk. Not 12. But I cooked it anyway and am here to attest that it was just as good, if not better perhaps, than any pumpkin pie I even made from scratch.


The dogs are having a period of adjustment.  Underfoot.  Confined more than usual.  They are both males and there are territorial issues developing.  Moments of low, serious guttural growling that needs to be diffused immediately.





IMG_1375 (3)

And Hope, seemingly oblivious to the changes around here– happy to eat and sleep and explore.
Hope. Esperanza.



Sky this morning, sweet pink underbelly


and a cloth–Midnight Sun with Polar Bear–this is what’s showing up now. Somehow these animal cloths are easier. Require much less mental activity, and that feels just oh so good.


So it will be twelve days from now when the upstairs will be ready enough. And we will emerge from this kiva-of-sorts.

6 Responses to “A Trail of Reminders”

  1. Mo Crow December 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    so good to read about your underground world & Hooray! you will celebrate the solstice & xmas in the new rooms! Love the new stitching that polar eye is magic & sounds like you are almost as good a cook as me, Oh Ha! The the one and only time I tried to make my mother’s fabulous pumpkin pie from scratch I forgot to put in the spoonful of molasses but figured I could take it out of the hot oven and spoon it in 10 minutes after it had started to bake…. it was a disaster… who would have thought one little pie pan full of runny uncooked pumpkin pie mixture could splatter all over the whole kitchen! the time I added a teaspoon of cloves to the curry because it began with c and I didn’t have any cumin is another story!


  2. grace December 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    Emerge. you are coming to Emergence…….

    I love your words about living with the underbelly of the Rhododendron, the view you give us of this…it struck into me deeply, as a child so much of my life was spent under such
    plant/bush/tree/shrubs, amidst their low branches that came up from the earth…i can feel it, smell it. It is a very intimate view you have. And was the bear Real?, or dream Real?
    i can’t tell?????
    The pie well halaluyah or however it’s spelled
    Dogs. i empathize…the need to mark personal space and who would have ever guessed
    the dear Hope would have so much equanimity, Bless Her.
    I will hope you are up in time for Solstice…at least for a small bright burning….
    Big Love,….


  3. deleted December 4, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    I will be so glad when you’ve out of your kiva – I miss you!!!!!


  4. Dana December 4, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    The kiva! What a great image! What a literally grounding way to think of your basement sojourn. Living down among the roots of things really celebrates winter and your various bears may be dreaming of you in hibernation.


  5. jude December 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    i love the cloth


  6. Marti December 6, 2014 at 6:14 am #

    Patricia, as I re-read all of your posts since your move, what holds steady is how you have made a home, no matter the circumstances, no matter the space, no matter the difficulty. It is my deepest hope that you will be where you want to be in your home by the Winter Solstice. You have made the best of a hard situation by doing what needed and needs doing and through it all you have made cloth and pumpkin pie! I think of the many gifts of the season, and the most meaningful and loving are those that share a bit of ourselves with others…you have done that by taking time to let us live with you in this space . Basement, bears in trees, dogs, grandson, sister, pumpkin pie, underground, soon upside, it all spells Home and thank you for inviting us in..


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