Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things Change

Just when I was embracing Port Angeles as Home, instead of VT, we got an unexpected November Blizzard, with snow so thick, it was impossible to see more than a few feet and the edge of the sidewalk coming out of the office that I'd just cleared, was snow-covered by the time I got back to the door.

When I got home from VT, the maples along this street were turned the brightest possible RED. Very few patients got through to see us yesterday, and today the roads were mostly packed snow and ice...after all, there are only 4 city plows in a town of 19,000 people and 144 miles
of roads to clear...tonight we're supposed to break
records for cold! Down to 13 degrees a bit ago...I know, nothing compared to VT, but the insulation and road-clearing capabilities aren't equipped. Sure was Beautiful yesterday and last night.

Full Moon on New Snow
Quiet, Complete
Trees whisper...yes


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Travel, Stories, Continued

My good friend Loel Annie Barr, in the art-tunnel on the grounds of Bard College on the Hudson, near Rhinebeck, NY. There are friends with whom one takes up just where we left off, no matter how many years and miles intervene.

Patti and Annie,
like David and
Tim in previous
posts are that kind of friends.

Patti and Annie
in Patti's studio
in the garage behind her house in Kingston, NY. I spent time with the same Important People when I went back East last
month as I did over two years ago. Making each Moment last as long as possible, making
memories to take out and dream over later.

The Frank Gehry performance center at Bard. It was a Perfect October day, clear bright air, students playing Ultimate Frisbee, the Hudson in background, as classically lovely as Church ever painted it. The first Gehry building I saw was the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

You may remember Annie and Patti from our
road trip to see Margi and Kathryn in Nova Scotia on my last trip east in 2008, this trip was more mellow, and you're right, I didn't see All of my Important People this time. One was busy winning an election, Margi and Kathryn were busy with their lives...but I did see Tracy Stillwell--see previous post--and a lot of old doll making friends...these red threads of connection through space/time/experience.

A picture Annie took of me in the new Art Museum at Bard. Annie will having an opening of a solo show of her work tonight at WAM in Woodstock, NY. I wish I could be there in person, instead of in spirit.

Patti and Annie do one of the Best Things friends can do for each other--they inspire me to do my Best work--always striving for better.

Thank you! I hope you do make good on your promise for a road trip west this summer...but I want to be in the car, too.

Stories, Art Work, Friends, Food, Salt Water, Stones--my life's passions


Monday, November 08, 2010

Families, Friends, Connections

My father's older brother died this morning, our/my Uncle Jack. I hadn't seen him since Dad's funeral 23 years ago, but Jeanne and Jack's, and then Jack's Christmas cards followed me wherever I moved.

I remember him from when I was a child, even the story his mother would tell about how he release the hand brake in one of my grandfather's cars and got it rolling down Route 5 in Bradford, VT. Jack's subsequent sporty cars, and since he was a Westinghouse engineer,
he came to visit us with the first transistor radio
I ever heard in his coat pocket.

Through FaceBook we've reconnected with our cousins and grieve with them, remembering when our Dad died, and also how very important we are to each other, carrying these genes and memories on through time.

This is a large part of my immediate family, taken 5 summers ago...we don't do the formal portraits at every holiday that we used to...Maybe this year at the now traditional Thanksgiving at my house, we will.

Here's to all genetic and chosen families!!!


Thursday, November 04, 2010

On The Many Meanings of Friends and Home

I recently returned from my every-other-year pilgrimage back "home" to VT, where I spent wonderful days and night with old friends and family, who I miss on a regular basis, even though I'm very happy here in my new "home" on the Olympic Peninsula.

There are some friends with whom one picks up
just where we left off the last time...is it shared
experiences, shared years, or just a special kind of chemistry, that happens only occasionally in great loves, both platonic and not.

Tim, David, and I in Montpelier, VT, July 1987.
Tim and David and me and David, together
again, October, 2010. We've known each other
25 years, though marriages, divorces, children,
Major Life Changes. What could be more precious? Home is the place where when you go there, they have to take you in. I am lucky to have so many homes and friends...Do we get what we deserve? If so I am very lucky.

25 Germain St, Burlington, VT. I lived in this duplex, on a block-long street surrounded by cemeteries for 5 key years, with good friends, uproarious dinners around the rosewood table that's in the dining room behind me now...the first piece of real furniture I ever bought, in 1969, scene of so many happy times.

Tim and his wife, Katie, whom I introduced in the kitchen here, now own the house, and keep it up more beautifully than I ever did. I was always distracted by making art.

Another home, the old schoolhouse in East Ryegate, VT. The 6-foot tall beautiful windows have been removed, the color changed from our original red and gray, it looks even more shabby now, and is for sale again. I wonder if the bell
is still in place in the cupola...we used to ring it on New Year's Eve over the small paper mill town.
I painted, made fiber arts of all sizes, became a bit famous here...and was often miserable, sitting on the baled hay out back in the moonlight, wondering if I would ever get free of my abusive
marriage. Those of you who've read my book, DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS, know how I broke free.

There is something so special to me about the rocks and hills of Vermont...different from New Hampshire or New York, that don't stir me in anything like the same way. I drove and soaked up the scenes.

A friend of David's bought this quarry near Barre, VT, with a panoramic view and piles of sparkling gray granite--raw materials for a Fantastic Home! with many years of work ahead.

On the Olympic PeninsulaThe rock patterns in my current Home/backyard., there is often no rain all summer long, so gravel and beach rocks make a sensible, as well as artistic yard.

The Hastings stone in the cemetery in Passumpsic, VT. My father and his parents' remains are here. Is Home where one's people have lived? Ghost trails of past lives, mine and my family's, haunt the green hills of VT, and when I come home to Vermont, I am in the home of my ancestors.

My grandfather's law and town clerk office was in the bottom window of the dark tower in Bradford, VT. I remember the crud-encrusted spittoon by the side of his desk.

When I was seven, I was considered mature enough to walk "down street" with a dime to spend at Hills on a new paper doll book. David and I had lunch in a Chinese restaurant next door. The restaurant was not in operation 56 years ago.

David and his youngest, Theo, outside of Artisan's Hand in Montpelier. I used to escape to the coop's previous location to sell my wares, and be away from the Old Schoolhouse and it's dread for an afternoon.

I am a story person, it seems. I'll weave you more tales another evening.