The Effort Needed

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a one part inspiration one part planning

I’ve never been one for long term planning, I have looked at life six months at a time, possibly a year. That was how I always have been. Even in high school interning at a museum I felt uncomfortable with the way the projects were worked so far in advance. But through the transition of the past few years I have learned to value planning ahead. It is easy to fall into the comfortable rhythm of school especially with the deadlines and friendships, but I have managed to keep focused on the bigger picture, I am four semesters in and I have managed not to shift my plans. Instead I am more firm than ever in my goals.

It isn’t hard to know where I am going with all of this when at the end of the day Alder is there reminding, with his presence and words, what exactly my next step needs to be. He keeps me on task reminding me of the adventures we have planned and the rhythms we want to return to. All of this is part of a promise I made to him, and to me. I love what I am studying but that is really incidental. I chose it for the money and freedom to be made with it (don’t bother judging me I’ve had all the circular arguments in my head already). The bonus of my growing passion is that, like everything else in our lives, it becomes part of who I am and makes the work that I will do more pleasurable.

Here I am ready to move from full time student to working Mama and I feel the familiar tug of inactivity. Right now there is no one but myself pushing me forward. There are easy ways to move ahead, ones that while simple take me away from my goals. So I fight myself to find a balance that will make our family exist how it should. I push through days that move like honey, dreaming of the ones when doing what I need to will feel more natural. I am so out of practice, making myself do things. So I use big doses of day dreams and inspiration to help during the hours that Alder is at school.

This effort needed to realize my goals is monumental, yet for once it seems in reach.

3am

3am wakings;
no one speaks of all the arithmetic that goes in to being an adult
the cobwebs of connections
the lists.
Music is just another form of numbers.
Across the street the red lights behind the bar
distract me,
sends me onto the snowy porch.
3am dazed I wonder if it is fire,
I stay outside until my bare feet ache
old habits never vanish just stay hidden.
I stack mental photos of 3am in piles,
tracing my way back three decades.

I still can smell the pennies on my fingers,
staying up waiting for my parents to come home.
Playing cards with the neighbor.
3am only my father returns.

A week later my mother returns
And I got used to 3am,
3am is when the world is so quiet you can hear the stars whisper the truth
3am is when you hide from the unspeakables
3am is when lovers tell lies
3am is when death becomes real
and when the moon it full 3am is full of pain and mischief.

A Word for the Year; Fruitful

Has it been a year? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was wondering what 2013 would bring. I chose Engaged last year and that came to be, whether it was school or family or friends I feel I have delved into everything deeply. Even if I lost months of my life to school, where I am right now is all thanks to all that I engaged. I have found new depths to my passion and feel that I am in a good space for moving forward. I sort of feel unstoppable, timid and a little unsure of what I am doing, but unstoppable anyway.

I start 2014 in a new phase with new needs of focus, but mainly I need for it all to come together. These words I choose are not just for inspiration, they are challenges. I thought for a while that I might use something like “finishing” or “successful” but there was some missing element to both of those. They were too sterile.

Fruitful allows for growth, it brings the natural world and heart into my goals. Making the life that I want will always be a process, but I look at this year as one of focusing on creating this life. The past year was spent filling my mind with information, renewing relationships, and returning to myself. This year I need to take these strengths use them to create where I am going.

On New Year’s morning while the house was silent I was moved by the flat snow flakes to sit for a while in our new studio space. In side me there was a shift, last year was about filling up and rushing through, I feel the need to slow down to take moments to collect and create. So the girl who has never had much of a thing for candles lit one and placed it in a place of honor.

Morning Altar

and with that I return

It was a long semester, many 14 hour days on campus, nights of drawing and researching. Now it has come to a close and while I may still be taking a few classes I am no longer a full time student. I am glad that I did it, to know if I could. But I never again want to be a full time student at a traditional institution ever again (though I have dreams of this program).

Since my semester ended last week I’ve been catching up on life. Spending a day a school with Alder trying to figure out the root of his dislike of school, not that I didn’t already know. There has been some holiday shopping at lots of local stores while attempting to stay in budget. Mostly there has been lots of family time and quite a few hours peppered in between with a good book or some paint and paper. I even managed to find time for a morning at the steam baths.

While I still have so much to do in all my projects as I am moving from transition to doing I am also happy that I can once again be putting things in this space. You can’t imagine how many scraps of paper sit on my desk with blog posts that never got written. I know there are only a few of you who peek here any more but I am happy to be back.

Tattered Cover

Who can resist a bookstore that fills an old theater.

Ryan and Leroy on a Sunday Morning

Time spend in a favorite spot with friends.

morning desk

A new desk arrangement.

Dr Who Knit Bomb

Dr. Who landing just by one of our favorite pubs (did I say that I got to see the 50th in 3D)

latte and book

Another moment stolen at The Weathervane Cafe

brr

A trip to the mountains.

dead tired

Which wore someone out.

keivn driving

And a wonderful man who drove the pass through the 8″of snow from the day before.

For Sarah (who should be studying also)

window and gimmicks

My history echos pleasantly in the background and I stumble through over due work.
The sun through the window,
I could map the leafless world with the notes of his voice,
the autumn here lacks the smells of decay
the days of gray with no sense of time.

One autumn we found the Italian bakery,
we were too cool for the coffeehouse,
instead we laughed at the shapes of our pastries.
Then we walked to the old Opera House for a movie.

Those years where we spanned childhood to our futures
sanity came from place and from knowing always the world was bigger,
than our teenage worlds.
It was the invisible line of three miles,
past ancient mills and tanning caves,
that was where we found our center.

So many icy mornings I walked that road
to the warm stones of the fire
and younger cousins.
Always finding respite in the dated books
the encyclopedias from 1912 on their pine shelf
held all the knowledge we need on weekends.

Even now when we speak of home it is blue glass
the red board and batten walls,
and secret corners where the sun drew us in.

Home was the first cold morning drinking coco
while the sun rose and the hot air balloons filled.
Home was learning to swim in the shadow of an abandoned windmill.
Home was sneaking into the carriage house to see the hansom cabs.
Home is everyone in the sunroom with a bottle of scotch and theory
or music or books.
Home is a barrel of old cross country skis that we’ve all out grown
and a crop of boys who are learning what home means.

the big red house

On Being Here

While Doing Eveything

My life right now is a series of tumbling events, things that need to get done, and rhythms that I hold to. There are a lot of things I’m letting slide, things that I hope I can pick up again once this semester is over. That is what it is. I accept it and move on. Right now is so full of immediate needs that there isn’t time for day dreaming, planning yes, but not the sort of thoughts that go where they will. Because I can see the end to this I am okay with it.

Lately I’ve found my sustenance through my friends, drawing on envelopes, and reading. But I crave hot water, just a few hours at the Steam Baths or a Hot Springs, I think it’s time for me to sit down with my calendar and figure out where I can carve a few hours for myself. I am learning how to bring sustenance to my existence without large swathes of time to do so, to accept that reviving myself can’t be contingent to having lots of time to do it in.

Even this post was begun 10 days ago and is only finished right now.

Welcoming Autumn

Rutabaga

Fingers stumble through the ground
numb in this race
the anodized silver white tub
sings as it fills
the sun is already rubbed out by the clouds
we still can count the inches until it dips
behind the mountains

The night will come,
and we will wake to a blanket
crystalline.
As the long tendrils of dawn
reach across the prairie
kisses of light and warmth
the cover vanishes
leaving only the leaves
ice burned the color of decay.