Time Created

………………..to create.

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Last night I woke at four. In my sleeplessness I held several dinner parties, long over due. I left no one out. My dear cousins were all together,  I cooked a vegetable dish, a whole salmon and peach cobbler. It was early on a Sunday, the weather was warm so we ate outside. At the last minute I invited the nieces, nephews and their little flock of babies. Even the dogs came and I was reminded of a Rosamunde Pilcher novel. They left early evening and I sat with a glass of wine by the river running little anecdotes over in my mind. I did the same with good friends and women I felt a connection with. The women wandered over early afternoon carrying bottles of wine and we sat by the river nibbling fruit and little sandwiches from plates covered with umbrella nets. We put wine bottles in the river to chill and sat barefoot on the rocks talking and laughing.

In the morning G and I sip coffee and listen to music. I tell him what I did while he slept. I was exhausted and pleased it was over. G continued to scrabble.

The following day is lite; I walk, play in the studio, read by the river. I think of Iceland. I remember knitting in the frozen air while sitting on a glacier and later steaming in a mud bath. This trip is vivid yet it was cancelled.

My natural state is a slow wander in the woods, an unruly disorder of time without commitments. Uninhabited, this word fills me with hope.

 

“Normality is

a paved road:

It’s comfortable

to walk,

but no Flamingos

grow on it.”

                                                                 — Vincent Van Gogh (almost)

 

I try to entertain at four in the morning, travel in my dreams.

xoLA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yolanda

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Yolanda is a lovely long legged beauty who enjoys quiet contemplation and thoughts of world peace.

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Although Yolanda is quite adept at yoga she prefers a good book and a bottle of wine.

Capture

She can often be found playing the Hokey Pokey with her friends. Here you can see Yolanda putting the ‘left leg in.’

Yolanda is now up for adoption and is incredibly nervous and hopeful.

xoLA

A Name

Each blade of grass whispers to the other.  The name was ether borne. G held it. ‘Iolanthe’ he said one morning and I cocked my head. I didn’t know this word.  She was waiting in the studio naked.

Spell it.  I-O-L-A-N-T-H-E

Why did you say this. G, ‘Gilbert & Sullivan, the music’. It’s her name.

Iolanthe

Iolanthe, Iolanthe, Iolanthe. She perks up.

I have delphiniums blooming in my garden dropped from a bird.  I stay open around Iolanthe. She floats her words like a bothersome mosquito. I find her asleep in a pile of silk. At night I dream her clothes.

sleep

Have I sewn a small thought out of linen. She has no bones, no wings. I want to leave her sleeping and forget all this. I could be propping up delphinium spears and drinking tea.

The garden is full of rabbits. I run and get G and they disappear. So I hold on to the hem of  this thought and get busy.

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Iolanthe, I whisper, you are the seed the wind carried in my mind and left in the earth to germinate.

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But why rabbit ears………….

xoLA

 

Another

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She sits waiting. This is the mesmerizing part. She did not exist. Now she watches and waits. I can turn off the lights, walk through the garden, pass by the bird feeders, call the dog and walk up the stairs. I can eat dinner, watch a movie, drink wine and go to bed. Next morning I will unlock the studio door and she will be sitting looking at me. ‘I’m here, now what’, she says.

I’ve started something. I can’t go back. This is the out of control part of creation. She wants more and I know this.

abalone-in-pieces

Here she is in pieces. It’s the eyes. She can already picture herself. This stage has to be short. No breaks. ‘Flesh me out’, is all I hear. I get to work.

Abby-One

I take a deep breath and hear her sigh. Now we can work together. I tuck a delicate floral rayon under her chin. Nothing. Then I scrounge around in the tulle and bunch up black netting, mocking up a crinoline. Hmmm. Soft rumpled lace, palest pink. She just sits there. We are getting nowhere.

new-2We both take a nap.

I know what she needs. A little colour. Ah a little red wine. Diluted of course. She immediately sticks her face in it. My kind of girl.

dip

Her legs were my idea.

Enough for today she says.

xoLA

 

Any Old Day

 

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I woke, had coffee, then sat on the deck,  planned my short day. I thought of winter. It is very hot. I thought of being inside with a short hike through the snow, spring being too wet and winter too cold and summer too hot and it’s still spring so nothing matters about the weather.

I have my mind full of flamingos. I am stuffing a head with the eyes staring at me. Why does this matter to anyone, this stuffing the head and the staring eyes. I could be chopping vegetables, pulling weeds or walking in the field. This head is just another head needing a body. I’m not fond of pink anymore.

Dinner will be eaten but I will still have this head. I am working listening to music by the river. I have lost sight of what counts. I could be passing coffee through a window to a stranger. He could be stuffing a flamingo for all I know.

I am proceeding with my day even though it means nothing. I have a list. I like striking things off. Some lyrics wedge inside me. ‘Be Something. Fuck the rest.’ I have two legs, two arms on my list. This list is useless to anyone else. Two arms, two legs. Who would understand it. I could write ‘Lie on the grass all day.’ Then strike it off and go have wine with G.

The punctuation is coffee to start, wine to end. In the middle is the list. My list populates my world with Flamingos. There is no killing or cruelty on my list. My list is just a suggestion to make me feel vital. Feed the dog is never on a list, water the plants is. I have starved a plant but never a dog.

A day is a block of time filled with light. I could leave it at that. I could put on my boots after coffee and head down the drive. I could walk all day and head back up the drive for wine. Only the flamingos would be missing.

xoLA

 

 

 

 

Sunday

 

Sunday

 

A little rain. A mug of good coffee. Green view of morning. G across from me, the two fluffy cats and the small dog.

Then horrible news I can do nothing with. A van has driven into people, rampage killing. I hear this. I look out into the woods. The rain will stop and I will plant my dahlias. It is Sunday. I love Sundays. The Phoebes are singing with the Robins. A beautiful morning.

I hear we are becoming numb, hardened, desensitized, cold, unfeeling. A hummingbird hovers and dips into the petunias outside my window.

For breakfast I have thick slices of homemade bread toasted with cheddar and ginger marmalade. After John was killed I could not eat. I could only sleep.

Three acres holds me. Out there, well things happen here too. My old cat died. My sweet cousins boy died. My mom took her life.

I have ideas getting me all excited. Sewing ideas people will ‘get a kick out of.’ I want to get up in the morning. When I was sixteen our house was burned to the ground. A year later, after it was rebuilt, it was torched again. This killed our family a little.

Yesterday I stood on the yellow garden chair to peak at the Phoebe nest. Four birds crammed together exploded into flight, straight up into the cedars, fully fledged they joined their screaming parents.

I smile at people. I like to share myself this way. I notice I use the word love. I love the woods, I love this coffee, I love walking through the fields, I love the way we live, I love my little dog, I love sewing, I love books, I love my home.

Here is my Sunday. There is your Sunday. You cannot have my Sunday.

xoLA

Too Green

Too Green

I’m in the small house on the river. I come here to sleep, watch the grass grow and chirp to the Phoebes. The rain is filling up the river and the green out the window is blinding.

I came all fired up with an armload of books and fabric. Now my mind stands waiting for direction, my body does nothing while my ears pull in bird sound and my eyes absorb colour.

On the table a tangle of lace. I drape it over an open glass door. Nothing comes to mind.

The window.

A robin hopping across the grass head cocked, stops, plunges, tug tug tugs out a worm; then peck, shake, drop it, peck again, shake it, hop away, hop back to peck, drop it, hop, hop hop away, then back to peck a severed piece and gulp, gulp head skyward, hop hop hop further away, back to gulp the rest, then fly up in a cedar.

The rain has a slant, lines of rice piercing the river. The cedars stand very still getting soaked, like a back rub you hope never ends. The rain straightens. The grass is willing to crouch under my feet.

 

Sometimes I need

only stand

wherever I am

to be blessed.

                                                                                                ….Mary Oliver

The Robin is back.

xoLA

Holy

Holy

I am ten in a white dress, confirmed in the Anglican church. I hold a white leather bible my mother has given me. It has a zipper like a tiny suitcase. I unzip it and see gold. The gold is cool, slippery and keeps the pages from opening. I split the gold with my thumb and the words appear on the finest paper I have seen. In between these pages are startling pictures.

Betty Ann is my friend. She is Catholic. I have gone to her church and kissed the Bishops ring. I want to be Catholic.

I will show Betty Ann my bible. I knock at her door and she comes outside. ‘Look what my Mom gave me’, I hold it out to her. She turns her back and says. ‘I can’t look, it’s not our bible, it’s a sin.’

Then she says, ‘Your dog won’t go to heaven.’

I don’t know if she is telling the truth.

I say my prayers at night afraid I will leave someone out of my blessing and accidentally kill them.

I grew up. My dogs are heaven.

I tried divinity in a building when I lost my inner compass but Church was like pouring myself into a cocktail dress after eating a bowl of pasta, like trying to drink the ocean with a fork.

Flowers, cats, and butterflies attend no church, have no illusions of history and destiny.’

I walk the fields, climb rocky paths, reflect by the river and lean into soft animal bodies.

I had a father. Divinity has no persona. It is the ecstatic, unknowable mystery.

 

The god of dirt

came to me many times and said

so many wise and delectable things, I lay

on the grass listening

to his dog voice,

crow voice,

frog voice; now,

he said, and now,

and never once mentioned forever…….

                                                                                  Mary Oliver

Holy 2

 The white book lies in a dark drawer while I swoon with delight under the skies, in the cedars, by the river, so much fecund song, feathered movement I lose myself in the Holy.

xo LA

Blanche

Blanche

Life is an illusion, particles moving so fast I can feel her bones and fur. Seventeen years she has purred for us, walked to the river, touch, touch, touch, G’s arm while he sits beside her. I’m here she says.

A spiral down. Old cat all of a sudden. I give her my chair and pad it with sheepskin, lift her to the litter, she pees. Bring food, water and Blanche such a good cat, laps so I feel okay.

No vet to tell me your kidneys are shutting down I see your mukluk legs, so fluffy and sweet. No prodding and needling for you my sweet girl. You will fade in my arms on your chair while I purr you with love.

This is breaking my heart into shards of grief I am tripping over the broken bits and nothing gets done. Still you walk to the river to have wine with us. I carry you up, talk softly into your neck , you sweet bony old cat.

G tells me her life, so long and good, does not make him sad, with watering eyes. We have buried many; torn with grief, our eulogy. We laugh and cry carrying her everywhere with us.

Seventeen years ago, sitting cross legged on the floor Harriet climbed into the hammock of my skirt  and birthed four kittens. Blanche second with her startling colours. A little puzzle kitty. I held her up and said, ‘You are mine, I am yours.’ We had just moved to the Riverhouse.

Here is the warm grassy weather and the river you love. There is nothing else but sweetness. Take your time Blanche, we are with you.

xoLA

Hettie Hettie Hettie

You must not leave the story of yourself, this tiny book I love to open. I walk in your garden, sneak out the gate and smell the milky cows. I see your  lovely cat on the garden fence, or where you work on a pile of material , snuggling in yarn, rubbing against your sewing machine. I can’t walk to your cottage, the ocean stops me but I might.

I drive off the road looking into the glow of windows. Little details; she carries something behind a lace curtain, I see the television, someone gets up. I do this with books, walk carefully through rooms, take my shoes off before stepping on carpets, tuck my legs up on the sofa and sip tea.

This life of mine. This tiny orbit. Then a glimpse like home. My soul ruffles with knowing. Someone slips in and the orbit shivers. Kinship. Oh my.

Sweet levity I say to each post. I will go into the closet to savor you. She creates to melt my heart.

When the fireflies come, a blessed surprise. This is how I love life.

Stay.

xo LA