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Work

A while back I wrote that I’d thought my word of the year was HOME, yet I found it evolving into WORK. Because home is work.
And the home we will eventually move into is a TON of work. Besides renovation though, we also have the work that pays our bills, and then the work that feeds our souls and inhabits our dreams. My special work this year is finishing the survival aka field guide to this peninsula I pretty much grew up on in between our dad’s military transfers.

I’m a decent writer and my work has been admired by my private reading circle, BUT sometimes I’m not sure I really love writing. Not sure I have the drive for it. It is damn HARD WORK. And I thought if it’s doing something you love, it’s not supposed to feel like work. Time becomes suspended. You lose track of it, yourself, and surroundings and everything sort of merges. So, I have my writing project spread on the table here with me, some guides to guide me, and a blog post by a local yogi that has given me pause to consider my relationship to my work. I want to explore the character, the persona that is my work. What’s your relationship to your work? What is her persona?

Writing

I am writing today and have all my notes scattered on my table. It’s hard work, but I’m lucky to have a virtual mentor in Camille DeAngelis, and a real world mentor in Diane Hanna.

Camille has some great video tutorials on her site about the writing process and these have helped me tremendously. Her teaching style is conversational, calm, grounded and practical. Simple tools to help me map out my story and process. I keep returning to what is the story I am trying to tell? What is my focus? Paying attention to those two questions brings me back when I feel overwhelmed with too much information. I began writing a survival guide a few years ago. It’s also developing into a field guide and in the end I believe it will ultimately again be a survival guide. To surviving changes, good and bad and learning to find the best amongst the changes.

Dishes by Candlelight

We’ve talked about putting a dishwasher in our new old house. The kitchen’s quirky with old cupboards and other features we’d like to keep so we’re leaning to no dishwasher. Or should I say no electric powered, automatic dishwasher. Like my dad used to love to quip when people asked if my mother had a dishwasher, “she has four!” In our case, there will be two, Marty and me, and maybe an unsuspecting guest we might possibly recruit.

We have a window over the kitchen sink and I plan on creating artsy wild bits in our yard, so we’ll have a pleasant view when dish washing. I’m also going to try washing dishes by candlelight. Maybe listen to an audio book. Last spring during a power outage, my Baltimore sister-in-law washed dishes by candlelight for about a week, and found herself enjoying doing the dishes. Candlelight can transform an otherwise tedious or mundane experience into something more special — contemplative, meditative — and in the interests of slowing down and savoring more everyday moments, I am going to give it a go. Just don’t know about the audiobook if there’s a power outage. Might have to learn to use my iPod, or learn to enjoy the wondrous quiet of an evening.

Photos, or Why There Are None Here…Yet

There are so many blogs out there about personal growth, design, craft, food, tree hugging, homesteading, the list grows daily. My problem always comes down to too many choices and too many steps. And resisting what comes naturally to me.

I love being called a Renaissance Woman, and have been called that more than once. It’s who I am, part of my make-up. I am good at many things, but that can make focus hard for me. And I need focus to accomplish anything. Focus and simple, easily deconstructed steps to finish a job. I tend to look towards the finished product before recognizing all the steps it takes to get there. I’m learning. Not to add more steps before I’ve completed the initial step.

Right now I’m focussing on just getting my words on the page and into the world. Visuals may come sometime in the future but for now I just want to develop practice…writing practice in whatever form it takes. So no photos. Although there will be links! I serendipitously taught myself HTML code for links the other day! Woohoo! Blogging with an IPad is enough of a learning curve without throwing photos into the mix just yet.

The other focus for me is topic…and it’s easy for me to get off topic. So, in the interests of focus and topic for ArtFoodSoul blogging, I’m done with today’s public service announcement.

Haiti


Listened to Vance Gilbert on WUMB yesterday while driving to get my daughter. He’s doing a show at Club Passim tomorrow night, January 16, 2010. All the proceeds from sales of his CDs at the show will be donated to Partners In Health. When we feel helpless, (or self-absorbed, embarrassed, blessed) sometimes all we got is music.

Why-tos and wherefores…or something like that

Actually, I was just trying to think of a clever name for a post. I haven’t much felt like writing blogs since the laptop crashed, as this computer just has too much stuff on it (and that confuses me, distracts me and so on from my work, more than the usual internet routine). I also don’t like to blog when I’m in pessimist mode.

I’ve been rather gloomy lately, my mood matching the weather. Intended to edit some photos for my etsy shop, but cannot find or open the files on this computer. Just as well because I need to get out while the day is young — scoot to Falmouth and possibly Sandwich for some fresh Thanksgiving veggies.

I haven’t been totally grousing lately — still enjoying books, old movies and developing vegan cookie recipes — low in sugar, high in fiber (trying all kinds of flours but my old unbleached standby). No matter how down I get, I never lose my enthusiasm for simple baking. Maybe it’s because of the yummy reward afterwards? My latest experiments — peanut butter cookies and then gingersnaps yesterday turned out awesome if I do say so myself (Marty, who is Mr. Carnivore himself agrees they are dynamite).

I leave you with my latest polaroid of the Beech Tree, taken this past weekend. It about sums up how I’ve been feeling — bare, exposed, worn.