i think i revert too easily to my silly high school self. even though i left high school 27 years ago, that troublemaker part of me comes bubbling to the surface with just the gentlest nudge. giggling when i shouldn't. whispering. fidgeting. i think being in a group pushes me into that juvenile role. i often don't realize until the ride is half over and it's usually too late to jump off. but self-discovery keeps happening for me. and i hope it always does. lately it's grown achingly clear that i am the most productive working alone or with just one or two other people. probably just a 44 yr old victim of only child syndrome. forever sitting at the back of the bus.
the lake is open, with only tiny crystal islands left floating. i missed my favorite part of spring this year when the lake beneath collides with the ice above and illicits great groans and baritone whimpers. and yet the air is cold this morning. we are still enjoying fires.....wood in the living room during the evening and the bright little gas stove in the dining room and kitchen for the early mornings. a little boost of heat when we need it. i'm making quilts. lots of quilts. and journals. i may have naomi chirping about the studio with me today. and there is a lovely neighborhood gathering tonight for earth hour. it will be a good day.
i want the green to race it's way towards me. i want the scent of spring. i want the fresh spicy smell of wet earth and fresh green light. i want my heart to race with it's sharp dream of summer. i want the blur of it. i want the slam of screen doors. i want the tickle of cut grass in my throat. i want the jungle of my front garden, spicy with lavender. i want open windows and leaves shivering on the trees. i want the scent of the lake drifting through the yard mixing with barbecue and sunscreen. i want the sound of my husband's guitar drifting from the porch. i want the squeak of the porchswing and the squeal of children. i want to wander without shoes for weeks. i want the snap of sheets on the line and the smell of sun cooked into cotton. and mostly i want the heat of the sun and the cool of the lake as i sift through pebbles at our little piece of beach bringing home buckets of the smooth and mysterious beach glass.
i'm home and i'm happy. it's a little blustery outside....i'm still hoping for a warm bright spring to appear and stay for more than an afternoon. i worked at the bookstore tonight. and i came home brimming with all the energy it provides. i love the people who i work with. and the customers who are almost always funny & interesting & generous of spirit. tom works early in the morning. so although he waited for me to get home, he's gone off to bed, leaving me to watch tennis i dvr-ed from the weekend. edgar is on the couch with me. stella is curled up next to him. there is a little fire in the fireplace. the windows are dark. and i just had a snack of cherry tomatoes and tzatziki. there are dishes in the sink, but i'll put them in the dishwasher in the morning. right now i'm basking in a happy moment. it's important to recognize these moments and love them without distraction.
there is much to be done in my little world. spring is upon us and the longer days are filling up fast. my closets need to be emptied. receipts need to be compiled for our accountant. the things we have been storing in the 'blue room' (our office) for 3 years need to be disposed of. our yard needs to be raked and cleared of a winter's worth of dog poop. the front garden needs to be re-designed. the garage needs to be cleared out and organized into a workshop. the house needs to be painted. and that just scratches the surface. i'm exhausted just making the list. but there are six months to pace ourselves. i hope we'll get at least part of the list completed. and here's hoping hundreds of lovely quilts and totes and napkins and journals come from the studio and out into the world.
i have a photo to post, but i don't have the words tonight. my days are full. and time is chasing me. there seems to always be something i haven't finished and my mind is racing. the studio is in hardcore work mode which means it's pretty messy. and our laundry is piled in the bedroom hoping one of us will fold and put it away. but tonight i've cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed and i'll get to bed soon. i'm just a little too busy this week and need to find the balance again.
my grandmother was a grown woman struggling to make ends meet during the years of the great depression. and the efforts she made during those years remained with her for her entire life. i grew up with her and sometimes i recognize her ways in myself. the other day as i was making salad dressing, i'd finished scraping the mustard jar. i put it aside to rinse and put in the recycling.....but i remembered my grandmother and put it back in the fridge. and then last night while i was making salad dressing i made it in the jar, pouring the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and wine and lemon juice in the jar, and shaking it to use all the dregs of mustard clinging to the jar. it was perfect salad dressing and it was lovely to have the spirit of my grandmother in the kitchen with me.
last night i slept on the couch beside edgar. and i actually slept really well. he pushed his big warm head into my hand once in the middle of the night just to feel close. but i think he slept well too. he seemed to wake up fine, but by the middle of the day i was worried that he wasn't himself. so we went for a walk around the harbor. and he was wonderful. happy to be out in the damp march air. sniffing and peeing and smiling. he pulled me to the lake where the ice is breaking up. large areas next to the shore are open and although the ice isn't groaning yet, it won't be long. so thankfully, it appears that edgar's fall wasn't too bad. and spring is just around the corner. i'm listing totes on my etsy shop for spring shoppers.
and my thoughts and prayers and love have been with all the people in the wake of the japan earthquake and tsunami.
my sweet edgar. we are having a difficult evening. the rain is melting the snow, yes. however, it has turned our yard into an icy, wet, slippery trap for both edgar and me. i've had a few close calls navigating between the house and the studio today. but this evening, after his dinner, edgar slipped on a thick patch of ice as he was stepping onto the porch. his back legs buckled and he was terrified. we've been walking around the block on the street (thankfully no ice there) to stretch him out. and rubbing his neck. and we gave him a syringe full of pain meds. that wonderful warm musky wet dog smell is filling the room now. he's finally asleep. but i think i'll sleep down here on the couch beside him in case he needs me in the night.
i've been sewing in silence the last few days. i often have long stretches of silence in my life and it's quite a gift. i love the sounds of the village pulsing around me. and the ideas that race through my head. i'm fortunate to have the time as i work to follow these intrigues. and lately i am fascinated with the fact that i have made a career out of making quilts. to me, it feels like another version of the world's oldest profession. and it represents for me something so beautifully strong and feminine and true. taking scraps of fabric and fashioning them into embracing quilted blankets to wrap around the ones we love, warming our children and snuggling with our lovers. it feels like through my work, i am threaded to centuries of women and it seems to funnel their strength to me, which i attempt to pass on. thankfully we had the generations of women who worked hard to improve their children's lives along with their own. the women who fought for the vote, the women who kept factories running during wars. these were the women i feel linked to in a very real way as i sew. women who opened doors for us as a society; the women who made a difference before the sexy media blitz that coined the term feminism. i relate to these women who made a difference by doing what they felt they could do without relying on idealistic rhetoric to fuel them. idealism is nice to have sitting on your shoulder, whispering in your ear. but as soon as one listens too closely and repeats too loudly, it becomes the big ugly bully that distracts from reality. so, while i get lost in thought, creating quilts i intend to sell instead of wrap around my own family, i'm so glad i have my grandmother's quilt across the room with her tiny stitches and wonderful bright colorful scraps, to look at throughout the day and keep the thread of reality pulsing through all i do.
i feel like quilts are alive. they reflect all the little joys that make life special. they emanate love and warmth. the quilts i make blend a grandmother's ideals with a fresh youthful flair. there is a nostalgia for seasons past combined with hopefulness for a bright full future. you can find me online at www.chasinglightningbugs.com