Tag Archive | Creative living

Wolf Moon

I haven’t had a deliberate moon practice in a bit, but the Wolf Moon of 2015 seems like a good starting point for me, particularly as it relates to protection of self, hearth, and family (my idea of it anyway). I have a huge gold glass ashtray from my mother’s smoking days and it’s perfect to burn my sage in, as well as slips of paper I’ve written on — guilt, judgment, fear, clutter and doubt. These are things I am looking forward to releasing in the coming year — a huge task for me, but if I were going to have Colleen do a phrase for me, it would be what I remind myself when faced with big ideas — “baby steps.” Mother, may I? And a resounding “yes” is what I hear.

New Cape/Old Cape

This is and isn’t the cape I left back in the 70’s. The pace is much faster, while the characters and drama in local politics remain static. Kind of like a remake of an old Hollywood movie, not necessarily any better than the original. Same roles, different names and faces.

It’s interesting how the vision and culture seem to mirror the topography. Thankfully we are surrounded by ocean, sky, and horizon…the broad expanse helps balance the narrow land. Nature imposes a balance on our culture and community one way or another.

The dominant culture here changed dramatically while I was in Vermont. Or perhaps, I had changed? most likely, a little of both. The cape felt more conservative and stifled to me. Gone were the hippies and bohemians of the past, replaced with retirees and nouveau riche. Or so it appeared to me on the surface. According to Ana, I needed to create what I most needed to find here, and she was right. Something I’d done unconsciously in Vermont for years and had to learn to do here. And in discovering that I could do it here, remembering that I’d actually been doing this all my life. I was a military kid used to bases and the unique bonds forged with other military families. We were gypsies, vagabonds and I learned early what Darshan was about even though I didn’t have a name for it then.

I rarely drink coffee, I like my tea just so, and you’d better be an exceptional baker if you’re selling because if I can do it better at home…then I will. I am not your typical consumer. It’s an experience I’m seeking, more than a commodity. And imperfection? I love to tolerate it if you have the Darshan I seek.

The cafe, the garden, the work of art, the library, the bike path, the market or shop? That’s just the vehicle to get me to the experience. It’s the people or the trees, the color, or the thrill of the discovery I encounter when I arrive that matters to me.
It’s what Rumer Godden in “A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep” says is a Hindu belief that people will travel miles to see, touch, taste, sense, smell the presence or essence of a person, place or thing, with the belief that they will catch some of its spirit or soul to carry with them – this is what I seek in my journey. Darshan. Connection. The need to belong, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

When I walk to the Caribbean Market in my downtown neighborhood, I am not just going to buy the ginger tea that reminds me of a place in Amherst from my daughter’s college days. I am also going to hear the musical singsong of Patois speakers, to smell the sharp spices of Jamaican cooking, to pretend I’m in the South Carolina of my birth, to remember my own immigrant grandparents and how hard people work to make a new life for themselves, to create a new home. So, all this being said, I will share with you some of my favorite places on Cape Cod where I experience Darshan. This may include places that aren’t perfect but they always have good people, vision, and the feeling that that place is loved.

This is and isn’t about a place called Cape Cod, how it’s changing, how I’m changing…it’s about home…the home we make for ourselves wherever we are, because it’s about us and the people. It’s my guide to recognizing that home is right where I am.

Learning the art of napping

The learning curve for this wordpress blog is steep, but not so with my lessons in napping. I have never been much of a napper, even as a toddler. My pregnant mother would put my 2 year old self down for an afternoon nap, only to wake up from her nap and realize I’d been up playing as soon as she fell asleep. Putting our heads on our desks for an afternoon snooze in elementary school? BOR-ing!

But lately? I’m realizing it is an art, an acquired skill, and like many skills, takes practice. I’m self-taught and sometimes it’s hard but I am trying. And when I am successful, it is a delight to arise refreshed and ready for some new moves. A successful nap for me means rest and a return with no guilt. Nature rests, my dog naps throughout the day, the Spanish have their siestas, great uncles have naps on their recliners, hammocks, basement sofas and beach blankets. It’s about time I pay attention and learn from their examples.

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.

Crushing on Alice Carey (and Linda)

Well, if you must know, the crush with Alice and her memoir has waned a bit since I first drafted this piece. What can I say? Linda Rodin came along in the meantime. But heck, I’m allowed more than one girl crush. Now that I think of it, I probably have several, those two just happen to be high on my radar at the moment.

What attracts me to them? With Alice, it’s the vintage, the gay culture, Ireland, and her words. Her home in Bantry, County Cork, being only about 16 miles from my home there is another reason. I’d love to meet up with her next time I’m across the pond. We could pop into Skib or Clonakilty, maybe have some fish and chips for a fiver at the bar in Union Hall, or grab a coffee at the Coffee Shop. I imagine Alice loves the charity shops as much as I do, and of course, there’s glorious walks and wine in between it all. We’d have plenty to while away a bit of girl time before we’d venture back to the rest of our lives.

As for Linda, I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m crushing on her. I love her casual, approachable vibe, her cluttered apartment, simple style, her independence and entrepreneurial spirit. And her poodle’s name! (as that is my pet name for a special someone in my life, too). And while I do like my icons with a twee less notoriety, I know that Linda can’t help it. Since she’s been “discovered”, she’s a hot topic on many blogs and in many magazines. But I won’t hold that against her if I can have a cappuccino and a chat with her someday. I mean, I live near the beach and loads of shells (which she loves); perhaps I can persuade her to visit?

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.

Turn up the Volume

So, yay, I can finally turn the speaker on by myself and I actually figured out (on my own!) how to listen to the interview with Andrea over at Jamie Ridler’s site. I think I’ll listen to one every morning til I’ve caught up with them all. People’s voices sound tinier when I listen to them than when I read their words — interesting. But I’m feeling good about this blogging thing now and I think the Andrea interview helped — my creative space — just show up for 15 minutes in the morning with my tea and I will write something, even if it is only another writer’s quote such as this one by Oscar Wilde (a favorite of mine, with his impish Irish wit) — it’s from a book by Jack Gantos called Hole in my Life.

“It is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.”

Now I’m off to work with the wild, the beautiful and the damned. And one of these days I’m gonna add pictures. Have a glorious Wednesday, World.

January

It’s the last day of January and I’ve been working all day on a website. An unfinished doll awaits me and I am longing to get to it. Sometimes bloggie connections beckon to me too. It is slow going for me, this posting to my own blog — I’d much rather read others seeking inspiration and connection — wintertime does it to me. Years ago on another winter day I discovered blogs through knitty and girl at play websites. Those two sites opened up a world of possibility to me. The danger for me is letting the virtual replace the real. I can be very Virgoan at times — solitary — couple that with SAD and my normal year-round garden variety depression and blog addiction can become a very real dilemma for me. Looking forward to yummy dinner at the Brazilian Grill in a couple of hours though…it will be a cold walk, but cold and walks can feel good, and I love the Brazilian/Portuguese vibe.

Tangerine Dreams

Kathy from Tangerine Dreams has inspired me to finally post an entry on my blog. She has a yummy fiber give-a-way posted on her blog about life in the Canadian Pacific Northwest. Her spot of the world is pure magic.

I hesitated to post because I don’t know how well I’ll keep up with this. Commitment to a blog isn’t very easy for me, but I’ll try.

That being said, I am totally smitten with our new First Family here in the USA. They strike me as the real deal, not phony at all, and I am so excited to have them in the White House. I am crushing on Michelle Obama these days…she is one gorgeous and inspiring lady.

Now, I need some help. Could someone refer me to a source for affordable blog banners/templates. Part of my hesitancy has always been that I want my blog to look as pretty as some of my favorites such as Beauty That Moves, Boho Photography, Tangerine’s, Persisting Stars, and Fig and Plum to name a few. Thank you in advance.