Thursday, February 6, 2014

Out of the Den

A fresh blanket for snow from yesterday's storm. 
The muted colors of winter all seem a bit brighter now.

I am already thinking about spring hiking at West Quoddy. Even though it's been cold here but I have been able to get a few walks in outdoors on the less brutally frigid days. Good for the soul.

 I am working on a new series of drawings, still inspired by Factory C, but taking a different shape than the last two series.

 The North Atltantic Right Whale carving has begun! The official debut is slated for June 2015.
This "jar" is an award for the Bay of Fundy Marathon. I am thrilled to be creating the awards again this year for the amazing cross-border event!

 A few sardines made it onto this greenware.
Most herring work at this point is commissioned. Once I catch up I will create more works, both herring and whale, for summer vending.

Every season is mug season! Preparing for summer already.

It snowed yesterday. All day and into the night. Though the season started off with a flurry of wild winter weather it seemed that the ground had grown too bare, the landscape a monochromatic earthen scheme with remnants of dirtied snow and ice in ditches and along the drive. The day darkened the house but allowed for a warm internal glow of fire, flame from both heat and candle. I love the serenity of a stormy day, that feeling of inner calm even though just outside the window mother nature is in a fluster, tossing flakes and branches at her whim. I woke this morning to the fresh blanket of white, pristine and allowing by way of contrast an emergence of colorful intensity in the blue of sky, green of spruce, and tawny brown of last autumn's dried grass.

Bundled in warm fibers I set out to shovel the various necessary paths around the house and barn. These cool winter days just after a storm make way for a silence that in some ways seems louder than a spring day. Cars are not passing the road and people are either nestled inside for warmth or, at this hour of morning, are already off on their way to work. Each time the shovel struck a rock neath the snow cover, the ting of metal against stone produced a loud echo. The sound traveled far, through the trees, into the sky, and up the road. The solitude outdoors deemed that perhaps no human other than myself heard this noise, though the lone eagle that flew overhead, soaring in the cool blue aether, might have taken notice.

Winter is my hibernation time. Like the bear, I go into my den. I try to slow the pace, retreat, and rejuvenate my self. This January started off with more than than the usual workload and it has been difficult to find a reclusive groove. Last week I allowed myself to put away the daily production tasks at hand. I unplugged the phone, which is often a source of unrest for me, and spent time in my nook with minimal human contact. Just me and the cats, a pile of books, silence or music, reflection, writing, meditation on fox and bear, walking, and drawing. I allowed myself to nurture me for a few days. My thoughts formalized into several short pieces of prose and I, for a change, succumbed to pure restful sleep. 

I was jolted out of hibernation with a buzz of human activity, time spent with friends communing and feasting. I returned with a greater sense of me, understanding of my path, and appreciation for all the beautiful, courageous and healing people in my life. I am learning to discriminate, but in the best of ways, and learning what it is that makes my heart sing, my spirit fly, and my soul heal. 

I am reminded daily of how important it is for women to surround and support one another, and I am finding myself constantly in awe of their courage and ability to, even in the presence of the unknown and their own darkness, to nurture and care for others. This truly is an amazing journey and I am happy to share.

Coming out of hibernation the past few days I am taking time to get things in order for upcoming months. It is easy for my mind to overload with the thought of juggling so many commitments. I am trying to pace myself as much as possible and to remember that play time is important to my need for balance. I plan to vend three out-of-town craft fairs and the usual Saturday Lubec markets, as well as marathon expo. Visitors to the shop are juggled with production time in the cave and commissioned works are always in progress. June through December there are four art exhibits on the docket as well as two shows in early 2015 to prepare for, all the while I have just entered into my fifth and final year of the MFA program which involves the commencement of thesis work. 

My mind gets a bit boggled thinking of it all. I do believe that I will find myself unplugging that phone a bit more often and,much to others' possible disappointment, I will be having to say "No" on a more regular basis to keep peace of mind. 

I think everyone in this house, two and four legged, will be happier for that.