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The Spaces In-Between

9 Jun

Many years ago I bought a ceramic plaque for my sister.  It was whimsical–had a figure dancing on a mountainside and the inscription read something like “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”  This thought was with me when I awoke this a.m.  But not quite this thought–more like “the magic happens in the in- between.”  In that place some have called “the gap.”  As in the moment between inhale and exhale.  That place where thoughts vanish.  Where all is well.  Where time doesn’t exist–is not measured by seconds–but is measured by some mysterious sense of empty space.

As I was washing out scarves from yesterday’s printing, this was on my mind.  This idea of the space in-between–and in this washing out process, the drying, the ironing, my vision shifted.  Usually I’m studying the impression of leaves–did they print?  how well? outstanding characteristics?  If you are a recorder of leaves, you know the drill, right?

But this morning my focus had shifted.  I was not so interested in the leaf shapes as in the spaces in-between the leaves.  The unplanned places.  The myriad areas that evolved on their own.  I guess some refer to this as “negative space?”  I’m not sure.But for me these spaces in-between are like portals into another realm.  They are not literal the way leaf prints can be.  Their form is unexpected, unstructured, amorphous.  And yet full of such richness and magic.

I was still contemplating this as I gazed out the kitchen windows at the woods across the road.  Without my glasses and by softly altering my gaze, the same thing happened.  The tree leaves formed delineated areas of green, but for me the mystery was in the shadows.IMG_3701  Studying eco prints, I see the same pattern–and find I’m actually having to make an effort to see the leaf prints rather than the space in between.

 

 

Walking through the house, my eye focuses on the floor rug.  Not at the dominant pattern but at the spaces in-between.  In a bit I have to get in my car.  Drive in traffic.  Unless this visual filter falls by the wayside, it should be an interesting ride.

 

 

 

Moving Forward

9 Apr

I almost said “progress” but changed my mind. Negative association with the word. Progress. We’re told that so much about 21st century life is “progress” and I usually wonder, “REALLY?”

Juno is moving forward. Coming out of her terror. Still a long way to go. These pictures almost capture her fear and skittishness. They almost capture the chronic fight or flight mode that’s running her engine. And they do show me that in 6-going-on-7 days, she’s made some major shifts. And so has Hopi, who was not at all happy, initially, to share me and here and toys.

Two days ago. She boxed herself into a corner. Very, very slowly she withstood touch.

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And this morning–really rowdy before breakfast. Insistent that I listen and feed. Now. Standing her ground.waiting for breakfast

and later:

two playing

So. There is comfort here for all of us. For Hope because she is beginning to realize that she is not being up-staged. For Juno who is beginning to believe that “maybe” she can BEGIN to trust. For me, because there is a lot about this experience that is less than optimal. Juno is not house trained. She won’t or at least doesn’t go to paper. She cannot go outside yet. Fill in the blanks. But I’m seeing the progress when I review these pics…

and here…FINALLY…and wow, what a trip

moon cloth

And this, I just noticed, is Post 99.

These Things–and a bit of cloth

6 Apr

Four days ago I agreed to foster a dog just released from a puppy mill. Today, four long days later, I’ll tell you it’s not a pretty picture. Juno. She is one and a half. She has NEVER been outside of a plastic crate. She knows nothing about outside. Or inside. Or anything else.

I’m not going into why I decided to foster–but I am examining my motivation closely. All that matters right now is that I’m in this situations, right now right here, with a very wounded, frightened, anxious scared creature. Until last night, she paced. Constantly. Non-stop. Back and forth. Room to room. Skittish as a deer. When we would meet, her feet would spin out on the hardwood. A blur of panicked flight or fight trying to about face and get away. Keeping my back to her helped. Crawling on the floor around her helped a little. She seems desperate to trust and starved for love. Wants it. But just can’t believe it’s possible. Lunges at my hand, a blur of a tongue kiss, and then she’s gone. Hit and run bonding on her part. And it’s all going to happen on her time table. Here she is. This is the view I get most often:
usual view

Hope and I were in the garden this morning. I cannot let Juno out just yet. The world is too big. Too scary for her. Too overwhelming. But she missed us. Barked when we came in. Sitting on the floor, I asked her to come. Hope makes that hard for her to do.hope and juno

But Juno came a bit closer. Quick kiss. Then gone. front Last night while I was flat on the floor trying to convince her I was just a bigger version of herself, she came closer. Not close enough to pet, but closer. She sat. Her eyes started drooping. They closed. And flew open again in alarm. She has not slept. But now, look. This is a miracle:
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I’ve got to be very quiet. The slightest noise causes her to recoil. Jump. Become vigilant. The crates belong to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. They’ll be returned at some point. But right now they’re trying to remind me of something. Something like “fencing in or fencing out?” I’m not sure. And this is the view from the room where I sit right now.

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The garden sits up on a hill behind this house. Every week, Dirt Devas come and work in it with me. They bring things. Wonderful energy. Joy. Food scraps for the compost. Horse manure–bags and bags. Raspberry starts:
golden raspberry

Bamboo:
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During the week–I putter–anticipate needs like this low “Hope Fence” to protect the herb patch– tend the seedlings. Water. Watch.
hope fence
But on the weekend I need to be prepared because the Dirt Devas want to work–and they work hard. Yesterday holes were dug for tomatoes. Deep holes. Dirt mixed with well-aged manure. My next door neighbor loaned us “water walls.” Plastic sleeves that have channels which can be filled with water–passive solar. He said we can set out the tomatoes now–it’s very early–but he swears he grew tomtoes in January–in Illinois–using these water walls.water walls
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A structure for training sweet potatoes
sweetpotato

and new starts of Swiss Chard.
chard

The rest of the pictures here are to remind me of what the garden looked like in April 2014. And to remind me that cabbage, lettuce and broccoli can survive 18 degree surprises.cabbage and broccoli

the hugelkultur bed:
lettuces and radicchio

preparation for the winter squash bed

winter squash

turnips planted 3rd Saturday in March. Waning moon. Frigid cold snap followed.

turnips

last year’s woad,

woad

this year’s red bud,

redbud

and mullein.

mullein

But cloth? I almost forgot. The moon cloth has morphed again.
moon
And a lighter one, romping in the light of the moon.

intosp

Neither any where near finished. Hardly begun. Because right now…just for now… just until… there are other things . . . .

Taiji Cove Cloth–complete reversal

31 Jan

It wasn’t working.  Was that it?  Or was it that I couldn’t work from that place?   I said the portal was there.  An escape hatch.   An ingress to a gentler realm.  And I thought about the cloth’s direction a lot. But every stitch in cloth seemed to be reinforcing a horrible situation–and I realized I had to dwell in the land of “what could be” rather than reinforcing “what is” in this particular case.  So that’s where we are.  A new world for dolphins. A safe, free world

There will be a lot more kantha, and there will probably be a hand.  But Delphinius, the Dolphin constellation is intact and I’m  much more comfortable in my own skin.  The cloth is holding memory of what was there.  The anger.  The rage.  Despair.  The horror, even.  And I think that’s good.  That cloth holds memory.  But there’s more room now for hope and change to enter.  To move forward.  To replace the old paradigm with a new vision.

new taiji cove

There was a comment on my last post. I don’t have tv. But there’s a program–“Katie” as in Katie Couric. And this week one program was dedicated to “The Taiji Cove Controversy.” I was able to watch it via internet and highly recommend it–it was encouraging. Uplifting, even, because the world IS paying attention. And the people interviewed feel we’re right at that tipping point where enough public outrage is going to swing the balance in favor of the dolphins. You may have to sit through a 15 second bladder control commercial–but it’s worth the wait. http://katiecouric.com/videos/the-taiji-dolphin-controversy

We heard that this was a cultural tradition. And I was thinking in terms of centuries of exploitation. But no. 1969. That’s when it started. And it REALLY started in order to capture dolphins to sell to sea-world type places.

And it was a week of two snow days and two late-start days. A cold week. And here in NC, a black-ice week. My driveway goes uphill. I can stand at the top and move to the bottom w/o taking a step. But it was a good week. Days to observe busy little hands and eyes fascinated with captured bubbles in glass. I have several of these. Two were my mothers–they look like candies trapped for all eternity in a world of glass. But this one–this gold globe, this is his favorite. He can talk about it for hours. The beauty of it when the sunlight shines through. A personal solar system.

solar system

From “aaargh” to Winter Solstice and beyond

19 Dec

Aaarrrgh.  That’s where I’ve been with my computer problems.  Stuck in “the land of aaaargh.”  Yesterday this little machine was cleaned up, restored to factory settings–not by me obviously.  Good?  Yeah, but…everything I had previously installed–Norton, Picassa, Office, Sony stuff for camera–all of that had to be reloaded–by me.  Not a big deal for someone with patience, or even for someone with a bit of techno savvy–someone who keeps track of stuff like “product keys” and passwords–but that would NOT be me.  I get nuts.  Heart beats faster.  Feel tension in my forehead.  My scalp gets too small for my skull.    And constantly I hear the questions I’ve been asked lately–like “why do you have so many computer problems?”  If I only knew . . . . But there, I’ve said it–the “land of aaaargh” is where I’ve been. This is so NOT what I wanted to be posting today. I’m moving on.

But first, just to show that the lights are on and everything appears o.k.–a record–this is what “the land of aaargh” looks like.  Seems innocuous enough.computer glitch

Big shifts in my environment–cloth work environment. Jude has discontinued her on-line teaching presence. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. But it is. A BIG deal. I’m finishing up several pieces that were started during my apprenticeship and then, who knows. So as I’m looking at this cloth, this cloth that started as a plea to the universe to protect grandson. And slowly morphed into a tribute/acknowledgment of the upcoming winter solstice, the fulcrum point between seasons of life. Going deeper. Then surfacing. Dying into. Blooming out of. And now, it’s a placeholder. Marking time and space between different worlds–different dimensions. The mysteries of things we may sense but cannot see. The notion of parallel universes is stitched into this fabric. The idea that for every choice, the choice not taken also exists. The figure–grandson soaring–now feels more like spirit holding things together. Embracing all the various components as One thing. THE thing.wintersolstice13

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