Thursday, December 01, 2016


It has been so unbearably long since I last wrote, that our entire lives have changed. The kids have grown immeasurably and in enough ways that I can't even begin to list them here.

We no longer farm, or even pretend to, though I often miss that soft clucking and loud quacking that came with having a yard full of birds that would not be retained inside fences or coops. 

The little ones are no longer babies, but big kids with hopes and dreams and ideals, sadnesses and exploding happinesses.  The big ones are wrapping their minds around the adult world with all it's fallacies and pains, joys and love.  Colin and I are navigating the world that seems to have "just happened" in the flurry and flight of the last four years, catching our breath and wondering where the time has gone, and where we want to wake up four years from now. 

Decembers used to be snowy affairs, most years.  The last two, not so much.  Anyone with some science and understanding of natural affairs can see that while climate always contains variations, climate change is no longer a thing of the future, but a cloak wrapped around our everyday.  I'm looking at tall, wet, green grass in the yard, thinking our early October refusal to mow the lawn anymore was silly.  It didn't buy us any time, as we will have to mow back a monstruous green mess on the first dry dry day of spring next year.  We wear sweatshirts and wool socks, wool hats and no mittens, as the damp cool air seeps into our bones, but is never really cold enough for full on winter gear.

I spent the last few weeks before the presidential election in a dreamy state, having just returned from Norway, and being busy with coursework, my coloring book, and window work.  Today, I am in a very different place, with the glow of the fjords far behind me, and the reality of sick kids and crazy schedules meaning I am not flexible in the work world, and the coloring book taking so many edits it is driving me a little crazy. But the upside to all of that is this: I have learned that I must breathe my writing and my art.  It oozes out of me in tears and frustration if I don't.  I am trying to have faith that between Colin and myself the rough patch will close behind us, and my art will find a place in the world that also helps sustain our family.  I've learned that I only learn when things are a struggle, and that I just can't expect to survive in a world where I only have myself to rely on.  While I did look for mentors and help when trying to figure out baby steps in a business, what I realized what that the work itself was still too new to me, and too foreign, for me to do it all.  I admire those who can, but I can't.  I can do the business, and I can do the work.  I can do the art.  I can do the world of insecurity, even, which for me feels like a huge accomplishment because I usually ran at the first sign of discomfort in my life (outside of parenting).  But this time I allowed myself to sustain in discomfort.  But now.... I have to evaluate, and find what is working.  And discard what is not. 

The sky is gray, and the rain falls periodically today.  Despite years of unhappiness in my little valley, I have rather fallen in love with it as of late.  I know what to expect.  I feel the bones of the earth within my skin.  And while I don't adore it the way I had hoped to, I do love my little house and the feeling within my home that wraps itself around me when I walk in the door.  I wear my love of my home inside my shirt, next to my skin, like a warm gold necklace, hidden away under a sweater... it's there for me and my strength of self, not really for anyone else.  As the sun peaked through an hour ago, I ran out and put blankets on the line, the wet earth and green smells permeating the air, even on a December day.  Of course, it promptly rained fifteen minutes later. 

But now the sun is once again peeking through and the rain drops glisten on every twig and branch, every pine needle and cedar scale.  The privet branches are still decked in green and purple-tinged leaves, and the mossy rocks are a brilliant deep woods green.  Magic is too easy a description, awe isn't big enough a feeling. 

I hope to stop by here more often, dance through words a little.  It helps me to keep my head.  And to find a direction in the pattern of these words.  I am so much more whole when I allow myself expression, as if I give birth to each artwork, each chunk of writing, and by giving birth I am ever more myself.  Just like parenting.  Each person that came from my belly is so much themselves, so little me, so little my dream of them, and yet so much an expression of my joy.  I exist in a different plane of reality because they are here.  And my art is the same.  No longer holding it close, but tossing it into the wind to float into the lives of others makes it more real.  Less mine, more me. 

I guess I too have grown immeasurably and yet on a warm December day, I am wholly myself.  Off to wash more blankets and stir the turkey broth simmering on the stove, and to do my homework and some more art.  With gratitude for you all. 

1 comment:

Tomas Kalmar said...

Thank you for taking the care and the solitude to post this!