Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Though The Truth May Vary, This Ship Will Carry, Our Bodies Safe To Shore

Since my last post, I have:

Thrown C. a GIANT surprise party for his 35th birthday with the help of our 100-something closest friends and loved ones, finally learned to use my cast iron waffle maker, cleaned my whole house twice from top to bottom, spent a lot of time recuperating, tried time and time again to sit down and write out all of our goals and resolutions and dreams and plans for this year, from the mundane to the magical, read our cards, read the this book whenever I could, made deviled eggs for the first time, as well as mayo from scratch to go with them (I hate mayo and in the process realized that deviled eggs is egg on egg basically-weird.), lit a candle and prayed for a friend's birth and rejoiced for her, battled our old, wood-fired kitchen stove which, in spite of cleanings and love, will not stop pouring smoke into the house, and generally just loved the dynamic feel this "New Year" seems to have.

While I'm practically swimming in plans this year, here's what I've come up with, resolutions-wise so far:

1. Friends and Family and Personal Space

I've been thinking a lot about what I really want to do with the limited time I have available between working for money, being a homemaker, friends and family. One of the main things I've really learned in this last year is that I need to temper my need for utter solitude with being productive and spending time with folks I actually enjoy.

Like most only children, I have a strong sense of social responsibility, a feeling that I should be kind and patient and accommodating, even with people who's company isn't necessarily nourishing, or intellectually stimulating to me. For the most part I think this is a good tendency, because frankly, I'm a little worried about turning into a total hermit, but I've also come to understand that I need to be more fastidious about how I spread my energy around.

(Surprise gifts from Emmy, whom I miss.)

I feel like I've been a bad friend lately with all the busyness and I want to nurture those relationships more, as well as give attention to some budding new ones. I'm excited to do more things with people I like, which has been my preferred way to interact with friends; have projects, outings, gather ideas.

Like Woody says, "Have company, but don't waste time."
2. Make it

This year, I want to spend a lot more time doing those "useless" crafts and arts activities that bring me joy and what I really want, is to be more deliberate about them. Today, I started a "craft of the week"-project, the results of which I may start sharing here as well.

I'm also starting a weekly herbal/health craft, again very simple and not necessarily ambitious (this week I'm just making toothpaste again, with an improved recipe), but making something for my family each week to aid our health. This last year was really healing for us and our immune-systems seem to be bouncing back, but I want to keep at it, trying to really get us back on track, after years of compromised immunities.

A kind and generous reader offered me a sewing machine they're not using, right after my old, cheap one (as my grandma used to say "The poor can't afford to buy cheap things!") finally gave in and I'm very excited to learn the ins and outs of it and get back to just sewing instead of the frustrating sew-take machine apart-sew-routine I've been doing. The first thing on my list is to make new bedding and towels.

It's taken me a long time to figure out, but I'm realizing that I'm really into photography. I've been taking pictures for this blog for years, but in many ways the fun of it has been not trying to be "good" at it, but rather, enjoying the creative process. I've been particularly proud of how many compliments and shots I've been happy with myself, I've gotten with my crappy, ancient point and shoot. Now that I finally have a nicer camera, I'm excited to figure out all kinds of new ways to shoot. I'm also working on a couple of really awesome ancient film cameras that C. got for me in a big box of camera goodness at a yard sale a few summers back.
Part of this whole camera business is that I'm dying to make some little movies and excited to just get on with it. I'm currently in the process of gathering my materials and wits for the first one in line.

I'm enjoying working on scripts again and have been talking to some writer friends about having a honest to goodness writing group too. We'll see how that pans out...

The Tarot reading I got for this year was really heavy on making creative space for myself and making art my priority. It was, in fact, a reading so clear as to be scary. One of those now or never kind of things.

Which brings me to...blogging. I've realized that this seemingly aimless little endeavor, actually has a dual purpose these days: a journal and a soapbox. There's posts like this, ones that I mostly write for myself, out of habit, to chronicle life and then there's posts on topics I'm fired up, or ponderous about, that I write to exercise my small influence in the world. Whether it be sharing and discussing activist causes, or music, there's definitely issues and topics that this blog enables and inspires me to explore in a way I wouldn't otherwise. Not to mention the sounding board it serves as.

However, as grand ambitions as I have for this blog (posting somewhat regularly, writing big pieces, remembering to blog about adventures and significant events), it's likely the first thing to take backseat when other things require my attention.

3. Oh God!
One of my main intentions last year was to spend more time on my spiritual practice and to a degree I think I was pretty successful. I'm still looking for a meditation buddy and have a yen to go for a retreat and tons of books that would expand my practice, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time beating myself up over the things I haven't accomplished yet. God, so I hear, is merciful.

I want to continue my fairly successful daily meditation and Tarot-reading practice, but may shift more of my morning meditation to the evenings, like Demetria, so as to balance out the need to just get up and go some days.

There's so much I'm excited for this year:

I look forward to going camping as much as possible, new work, making my first real quilt, going down to Portland in April to help my friend after her baby is born,  helping at a friend's wedding this August, mustering the money for Symposium again, faraway visitors who're heading our way, kayaking with C., going on an epic trip this summer, hopefully finally hiking a mountain, working on my etsy shop, making dandelion wine...

What do your grand plans and wild, woolly dreams look like this year?


  1. Wow, dearest girl. you post wore me out. There's so much ahead for you! Those "useless" crafts feed your soul....keep it up and enjoy the time spend in solitude with your creative self. You're on the path to finding balance--something I am working on myself--between the private self and the world at large. Yes, there is so much in the cards for you....go with it and grab this new year!

  2. Have I mentioned that turquoise blue and dark chocolate are one of my favourite color combinations? I have. I should have added that it suits you beautifully - what a perfect opening for this post! Particularly with your sweet poise, looking upwards with a wonderful smile. You do have a gift for mise en scène, my dear. I raise my cocoa to your endeavours! And to your loved one's.

    I'll answer your question tomorrow I think, for eleven p.m. in freezing Montréal makes me really sleepy ;o)

    1. Hey Emmanuelle, would you email me pls? I can't access any contact info from your a/c, you mysterious you...

    2. Hi Milla, my g mail address is the same as my profile name :o) (all in one word)

      (The link for emailing you opens up my email program, which I never really use since all my contacts and archives are in my yahoo and g mail accounts... plus apparently I must set it up again (?)

  3. jösses!! olet ollut tehokas:-) vohvelit,nam:-)
    Tuleva vuosi tuntuu taas tälläiselta "odottelen jotain tapahtuvaksi vuodelta",mutta ehkäpä jotain isoa tapahtuukin.
    pieniä uuden vuoden lupauksiakin tein.

  4. Very similar to you, I just want to do more of what makes me happy. To not sit idly but make those things happen in my life now, while I have good friends surrounding me, I have my health and youth, and plenty of opportunities if I only realize them! For me this looks like seeing more music shows that come through St. Louis, to take a weekend to travel somewhere new with a friend, to push my body physically, and to exercise more patience with my children! That last one will make everyone happier, I think!

  5. Hello again for part 2: New Year plans :o) First of all I like yours a lot, including the way you keep the whole picture in mind, and the fact that you have a "thing" for photography, but also for staging and pacing (the "scripts" of this blog) struck me many times when reading your posts. Also, I have been waiting for you to share your movie-making projects, so I'm delighted :o)

    As for me, I feel something like Joy-fear, as mentioned by a reader a few posts ago (love this word!) at the thought of what I am planning for this year, since it is the result of a process that unfolded slowly for a number of years... You see, I was trained as a literary translator, because I had studied English literature and I was good at translating, but my heart was truly set on illustration and writing.

    So although I was making a spare living as a bookseller and translator (in France then Canada, where I started from scratch all over again) I was developing my skills, then my style, in the realm of illustration - mostly by myself, but also with a few great teachers.

    This year, with a very tight income but lots of time and energy between translating contracts, I am at last in a position to put these skills into a regular practice, and this includes several projects that somehow sustain each other. One of them is: starting a blog to share it all - the process and the results, and some of my ideas too - on art, inspiration sources, and related things :o)

    So we're making the jump together dear Milla :o)

  6. Milla! FARK* you are wearing Gillian Owen's cardigan from Practical Magic (the freaking movie) http://www.amasveritas.com/film/indepth/auction/gillian.html

    1. Hey Teens! Not only that, but I could easily wear it on the spot where their house stood, as it's just the next island over. That movie was filmed partly on SJ. Lol. I've had this cardi since the first year I ever came here, 14 years ago.

  7. Hahahaha, oh you should have seen my mouth drop open last night when i realised i knew that cardy....that house was fippin amazing....14 years ago, now you see, that cardy was a sign to stay. I like little islands and their communities, I feel like less people allows for better ethics, more heart. and yes i am a geek for that movie. xoxo