Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fixing What We Hadn't Fixed Before....

Before I pursued freelance illustration and writing, I wove baskets. Loved it. Days would fly by with me in my studio, wrapping a piece of reed around another, forming a beautiful basket. I quickly learned an important lesson-  a tiny imperfection in the first few rows could be a gigantic frustration at the end, every row the gap spreading farther and farther to the point there was no other choice but to rip the weaver out, until I could fix what I hadn't fixed before.

Now, trying my hand at writing a full length novel, I have thought back to my weaving days, because now I guess I am weaving a story and the same lesson holds true, an imperfection in the story structure in the beginning, can lead to great frustration later on. Sometimes days have been spent to "fixing" a problem that I have finally notice, and more times than not, it is something I have not laid the ground work for chapters back. Or truthfully, often the other solution the plot point is just not needed and the delete key is the answer.

Makes me think of life, and how much of our frustrations are the result of not so much something now, but possible something we didn't take care of when we should have, or forgotten to do the things we should way back when, but now it is "big enough" for us to feel it.

Once again, I just feel frustrated and once again it is because I have put aside things in my life that "feed my well", making art and cooking for the ones I love. My kitchen had become a hurried place to grab nourishment. This weekend, our fruit trees were ready to pick, and I made a pear pie to take to a church potluck. I spent the morning, in the kitchen, thinking of the lessons my grandmother and mother had taught me and probably made the best pastry dough I have ever made, sliced pears while talking to my family and held a warm pie in the back seat, while the full car of my family drove to church and enjoyed fellowship and good food.

I am beginning to think there is great power in the "rituals" of life, the things we have been doing for a thousand years, the talking around the hearth, the sharing a meal, the strolls with a fellow traveler, the rendezvous of lovers, the moments of awe, the things that feed our souls and when we don't get them, our "gap" grows wider and wider and we don't know why....until we remember to look back and fix what we hadn't fixed before.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Harvest Time

It is that time of year and we had a good year. Not only did we have apricots for the first time in like four years on the homestead, see HERE for how hit and miss it is, every year, but we got a bumper crop of pears and several varieties of apples.
I got Jon a book on old varieties of apples, Old Southern Apples, Revised & Expanded: A Comprehensive History and Description of Varieties for Collectors, Growers and Fruit Enthusiasts  by Creighton Lee Calhoun. What a title, but it is a beautiful book, with colored plates showing watercolors used to identify the different variety turn of the century before colored photography was even thought of. Many, many of the illustrators were women.

We have a potluck at church, so think we will be taking a few boxes, cause this is just what was ripe today. The fridge in the barn is full of apples, cause next weekend we are headed to Grand Junction, Colorado where there is a Brewing Store downtown, we'll either make apple cider this year or a really scary science experiment!

Our plum rum is already mixed up and sitting in the pantry. We have a half an acre of plums left on the trees, the deer are very happy.


Friday, September 07, 2012

IF: Imagination

Why are some of us so compelled to record what is deep down in our imagination? That question became so real to me a few weeks ago when we went to Moab, Utah  in search of water and found it where the Mill Creek pours down from the La Sal Mountains...
The trail is half in the water, half on the side of the slick rock and the only place I could sit down to sketch while the family hiked up the trail to explore the pools and waterfalls created as the water dropped from one slick rock steppe to another, down to the Colorado River....
I know I wasn't the first person to sit here, to use my imagination and make art.... it has been a place for that for quite some time.

Did their children play in the creek, like mine, as they chiseled away these surreal creatures from their imagination?