all shots 35mm kodak gold 400 expired film, canon camera
So, the other day I was driving, and a thick fog was floating up from the warm rain drizzling on the evaporating snow fields. By the side of the road I noticed a group of vultures, some of my favorite birds, majestically perched in a copse of trees and attempting to dry out their feathers. I pulled over and went for a little snowy hike to get a closer look.
Those kinds of detours are always worth it.
We're going to the beach for one night tonight. Can't wait to hear the sounds of the sea and be in another space for a little bit! Find some more detours.
35mm film shots from the past month or so. The top photo is one I took in the thrift shop mirror as I was testing the camera before I purchased it. The middle, from one of my friend somer's visits. And, mimi wasn't supposed to be in that last shot, but she follows me around whenever I seem to be doing something interesting. I found a storm-downed, beautiful tier of last year's wasp's nest on the grass during my walk the other day, and carried it for a while until I realized it still had three sluggish yellowjackets in it. So I just took a piece. Not sure why the wasps were still there ~ only the queen survives this season. It's been so balmy lately I suppose they just kept going, even as the paper nest sloughed away around them in the winter rains.
I wish I had it in me to write and share beautiful things but all that seems far away as each day is simple bare bones and obscure decisions. I gain satisfaction from concrete actions like sorting laundry, walking, and re-organizing the house and studio. I wish my life had more poetry, more ritual, at this time but it all just seems too foggy to figure out. Other things loom for my attention.
One of the deeper experiences I am accumulating as we strive for our future home is the knowledge of how extremely hard it is to deal with incompetence. With the passionlessness of other people ~ people in authority who may hold something very dear to me without care, as if it were nothing. When I pour myself out, do everything within my power to make something happen, do everything right and then astonishingly: my all, my guts, my very fiber aren't enough. It seems like I don't matter. I could die for something and it wouldn't even leave a ripple. It feels so personal although I can't believe that it is. Yet when all the cosmos has to do is take a tiny step...why doesn't it? (Why is there so much that's wrong in general going on?)
I guess wrapped up in there as well are thoughts on the nature of desire. If I want something so bad, if it seems good and right and perfect, then how can it possibly not come to be? How can I bear that? The nagging knowledge that millions of people do have to bear it is not calming. The obvious answers are not comforting.
The nature of (im)patience. Of waiting. Of the limbo of unknowingness. Of injustice. Of questioning the nature of the cosmos. These are not new things. And yet they seem so fresh and raw to me each time I come across their familiar and infuriating personalities casting their grumpy shadows over my life.
We are still laboring (there is no other word for it) for the house; slowly making progress. (What, still working on the red tape? Yes, we are.) It's hard not to imagine ourselves there; we have fallen in love with it, and our future there. I keep having flashes of memories we haven't even made, and this morning I awoke with the entire plan for the side patio clear in my mind (laid river rocks, with low-growing herbs in-between). It's bittersweet delight, but in the end, I think it's all going to work out.
It is almost a relief when the weekend hits, offices close, and things come to a brief halt. I light an intention candle to continue our wish for us.
Yesterday morning I went for an early walk in the deep fogs with my film camera. At our neighborhood pond the trees mirrored themselves in the puddles of the cracked ice. The streets faded to white at each end. My feet went softly and deeply in the melting snow, the air heavy and warming. I hardly needed my mittens. When the rain began to fall the world became even more private.
Today the snow is almost completely gone, vanished, evaporated, and strong sunlight has warmed things up into balm. I know weather influences my mood and that sunshine is so clarifying.
What are you up to this week? Have you seen any great films, read any good books, or tried any new recipes lately?
I had plans this morning. But there is ice all over the car. I gave up all my plans. I built up the fire.
The honey is softening by the gleaming stove, the birds are scattering on the snow outside searching for seed, and the cat is winding her warm way around my shins while the dogs give me plaintive eyes pushing for their breakfast. I brought my work down to the quiet table in front of the wood stove where the light comes in reflecting off the sky. I like working through the weekend. In a pinch I can take a break to make pancakes, or crack my newly-covered moleskine and write down something that seems very important, or read a few pages of a book.
Kombucha with fresh-pressed ginger (in one of our wedding cups). A little pick-me-up because, wow, the amount of hoops and red tape we have to jump through for the house is staggering. We are good people. We want this house. We are hard workers who are willing and excited to move into a fixer-upper. I don't think the sellers could be working any harder to prevent people from buying this house. I honestly don't know if it's going to happen for us. It is a complete roller coaster from one hour to the next. It causes a vague constant cautious unease.
Thank you for all your well-wishes! Let's hope they pull it through.
The baby is kicking so that tim can feel it now. The movement is different than even a few days ago. I also started going to acupuncture again after a few months break last night and do I love it. Just love it.
We're expecting the first snow tonight. Perhaps tim can break out his new cross-country skis...
The house with the pond, the meadows, the wide windowsills capturing sunlight. The years of farmhouse history and evocations, the unknown roots under the winter soil about to sprout into unknown plants in a few months, the lacey bare shrubs waiting for spring. The possible foxes during our morning cuppa, the moonrise over the little pond...stop.
Because we're about to find out if this house is really meant to be ours ~ really meant for us, because now is the time of inspections. We'll find out about the septic, the well, the myriad little details that will decide for us is we're meant to continue. It's quite stressful. It's a bit of a fixer upper. More waiting and juggling until we know for sure!
They do say babies bring gifts. Have they brought this house? I hope it all turns out, if it's meant to be.
We put our bid in on the house. Fingers crossed. Today was our last visit to it as we inspected the slates on the roof in freezing sunshine, toes numbing, the ice on the pond breathing in strange warbling croaks and the knocks of the woodpecker echoing across the empty grasses crackling with hoarfrost.
On the way home we stopped at a little local place with wonderful turkey club sandwiches which come with a small hot bowl of french onion soup. We chose to sit in front of the fireplace. It is beyond freezing out ~ the kind of cold that your fingers and legs know is dangerous because they can feel the crystals wanting to form and the only thing that keeps them at bay is the warm beating of your heart muscles.
I chose new flowers yesterday, white with purple tips. Little bouquets are in the bathroom, by the bed, on the table, on the sink...
And we took donovan our rottweiler to the vet, because he is lumpy, but it's just age, so that's a relief. All of our pets are 9 years old. They are going to live forever, I know it.
We are waiting to hear back on a bid we put in on a house. With deer tracks across the land. And cattails in the pond. And the stone remains of the barn which I want to turn into a secret garden. There is a fine line between dreaming and not counting our chickens before they've hatched. And yes, we'll get chickens. And a goat. And a third dog.
Last night tim made amazing potato-leek soup for dinner. Grated with cheddar, it stuns me with its perfection. I'm a potato girl.
We switched up at which end of the bed we lay our heads, and now the moonlight comes in across our pillows.
Two days ago we heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. They kicked the doppler. In a few weeks we are going to be able to find out if they are a he or a she. Finding out is still in debate. But I think we have a name regardless, because I think I know what I am carrying.
p.s. also wanted to say I have updated/ clarified things on my sidebars over to your right there. Take a look around if you are curious. I am also putting a bunch of new work into the shop these days.
I found more pictures from our holiday this summer that I hadn't posted yet. I miss this place.
Meanwhile, a flock of geese flew over our back garden in a V this morning. Tim saw a squirrel fighting with 3 blue jays the other day, and on yesterday's walk I saw the neighborhood hawk soaring overhead on curved wings.
Mimi has her paw jammed under the studio door, shut to keep the heater efficient. She wants to come in. A fresh glass of kombucha with pressed ginger root is to hand as I print polaroids, one of which is going to quebec (I've never even been.) The sun is shining, the baby's moving, and hunger drives my days. I go to bed with snacks, and awake ravenous.
I love this shot. Taken at the cabin this summer and I don't know how he squeezed in there. He weighs 90 lbs and is no slim jimmy.
I'm still up and I know I just posted a few hours ago. Making chocolate chip scones at 11:30, heavy on the chocolate chips, will do that to you. I was nestled all snug under our warm new white flannel sheets and suddenly thought of something I had to write down. An hour ago. Still here, still up. The fire is embers. The dog is downstairs again and confused. I've discovered a bunch of photographs from this summer that I never posted.
(Yoga starts in 7 hours.)
I'm thinking of starting a 365 project. Just something to keep me photographing each day. Especially with my film cameras. Have you ever done one?
I see the orange of sunrise through the curtains but keep sleeping. The morning sunshine finally wakes me up, the houseplants happy, the cat yawning, the dogs warm and sleepy. We breakfast. I turn the heater on in the studio and set myself in there to work amidst the hundred distractions of the everyday. It is my plumb line. Little by little the ideas come, and the work finds its new homes in colorado, california, australia, england. That is the best part ~ that those breathing words and works of mine create a bloom of recognition in someone else's hands and mind, as if made for them.
In the evenings the fire is lit and I drink glass after glass of cool water as I sit in front of it for hours, reading. These wintry winds are hard on the spirit. The dearth of evening light is tough. The red velvet flowers I bought before the holidays are fading, and need to be refreshed with others. Refresh is the word to explore during winter.
My mom found this piece of snakeskin for me on a hike last month.
I love snakes. They are my totem animal. I have kept a snake dream notebook about them for years since I dream about them so much ~ the symbol of transformation, wholeness, and eternity. The ability to experience anything willingly and without resistance. When I see one in the wild, I'll stop and watch for as long as I can.
That said, I haven't dreamt about them since I've been pregnant. My dreams now are full of the ocean, swelling waves, and gigantic crocodiles, sharks and breaching whales, all of which I watch without fear, a fascinated bystander. All metaphors for motherhood (crocodiles are great mothers), hidden instincts, childbirth, and moving between the physical world and the deep ocean of the unconscious.
me with a baby alligator, growing up in florida*
There is always something fascinating to learn every day, isn't there?
I'm finding it really hard to create anything in the studio these days. I don't know if it's the extreme cold or a normal lull or the growing baby taking up more inner space each day, but my creative intellect seems to have taken a holiday.
A lot happened over the past 12 months. I wonder if each year of my life will be so packed with experiences, but it does seem that this happens every year. Aging brings towers of change and ripening. Some of the pictures were of me just before or after things happened. Looking back with the crystal clarity of hindsight was like looking like a documentary I didn't even know I was making.
But I am happy to be here where I am. I don't rue any of it. I'm excited for what's to come, thankful for what has passed.
Last night I stayed in, built up the fire, and opened the door at midnight to let the old year mingle with the new. There was a tiny shock of sadness just at 12:01 when I felt separated from the old year, now gone forever, and pushed into the new.