IMG_5946I’m just home from the backcountry of Utah where I was on a jaunt and a shoot with a pair of girls I am blessed to call friends.  It was a wild old trip.  The night sky gave me vertigo.  The canyons blew my mind.  Carrying a 60ish pound pack (which was, in part, 9L of filtered water) didn’t kill me, it just made me stronger.  The 45mph boat wreck we survived on the Colorado River on our way back to civilization gave me a gentle case of whiplash (wish I could say I’m joking, but I’m not).  When I wasn’t perishing of thirst I felt like I was starving to death.  It was a proper adventure, the whole thing, from start to finish.  I always say it’s the most dire times that make the best stories and I look forward to writing out the official story of this trip.

I keep telling myself this, these days, “It’s a hell of a life.”  Because it is, my friends, it is.  There’s really no other way to word it.

We’re now finished with a batch of renovations at our little abode and will be listing the house for sale quite soon.  I have mixed feelings about it.  This has been such a wonderful home for us but there is more life calling and we want a bigger patch of land to call our own.  I have to leave again on Wednesday for Wyoming where I’ll be working hard with my camera on a fairly exciting project — one of my biggest and most official jobs yet, as a photographer — wish me luck!  Once home again, I’ll be able to fit one more week of work into the studio here before I begin to pack everything up for our move to the Methow Valley for the duration of the fire season.  After that, everything is grey matter.  We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know where we’ll be living next winter and life details will shake out as they do.  If I’m even harder than usual to get ahold of between now and June it’s because I’m dug up, dangling in thin air with my roots exposed to the wind and sunshine.

I hope you’re all well.  Spring, here, has been such a hoot!

X

New Kids On The Block

IMG_5268 IMG_5271 IMG_5274 IMG_5275 IMG_5276 IMG_5277 IMG_5278 IMG_5282 IMG_5284IMG_5296 IMG_5299 IMG_5301 IMG_5302 IMG_5305 IMG_5306 IMG_5317 IMG_5321 IMG_5323 IMG_5326 IMG_5327 IMG_5329 IMG_5330In the shop this afternoon!

ALSO, I am giving away a pair of earrings over here, today is the last day for you to enter your name in the draw.  Good luck!

X

Nibbling On The Green Edges of Springtime

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Season of Light

IMG_4754[Parliament Of Wolves]

It has arrived, the light I mean; daylight savings is a glorious time.  It means I can head out at six o’clock with the dogs to run or walk on the mountain while that amazing 24k light is pouring itself out heavily on the earth, molten and redemptive.  If it wasn’t so beautiful, I would feel affronted, or if I was wicked in my soul I would feel found out by it.  It’s that kind of light.  I know the light aims to bless, so I receive it as such; take up the wild rush of it as though I am drinking it, savage with thirst– I drink it up like a wild woman.

We are already hurtling towards the summer solstice.  Night is in decay while day grows robust and long.  I never get tired of these big shifts!  They’re tremendously energizing.  Just when I think I have nothing left to give our planet begins to tilt in a new direction and I feel it with every bone in my body, even the tiny bones, the anvils and stirrups in my ears seem to ring with the heaven of it all.

I sat with the dogs in the sagebrush tonight, simply sat, alone and happy as the sun did its setting and night began to take back the sky.  The dogs were digging for voles, running wild and kicking the dust off their heels.  I can’t remember thinking about anything important, I was more concerned with simply laying with the land and taking it in with my senses.

I spent most of my day at the computer, tippity tapping with my blunt little fingertips, editing images, submitting this and that.  It was a productive day, though I have nothing truly tangible to show for my time and effort.

I suppose that’s why I just sat there in the sun and sage tonight.  More often than not, I feel ruined by technology — dumbed and dulled by it.  Sitting out in the dirt and wind helps me to take myself back and allows for an indwelling of the senses which is where true aliveness resides for me.

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Life is beginning to get crazy here.  The fire season always makes everything crazy.  Right about now is when I buckle up and hold on tight.  There’s nothing that can be done about the insanity of pre-season.  It must be so easy for people, for couples, who live near the base they work out of, but for us, it’s complete chaos from now until we arrive in the Methow Valley.

I am finding that this season will take more intention and attention from us which is difficult when plans have to be made last minute (that’s just how fire is, terribly last minute).  How do you prepare to sell a house and move your life and a small business to a different state in an Airstream trailer when everything is so darn last minute?  I don’t know how we do it.  All our important dates are laid out like glass shards in dirt, janky and hazardous, prone to shifting in the breeze.  We’re trying to get a grip, but we don’t know on what.  We’re all cut up by attempting to set it in order.

If I could change anything about this fire life of ours, I would make things less last minute.  It’s my only true complaint. I never feel like I get to say goodbye.  Hellos catch me off guard.  My very self teeters wildly for months on end.  I’m tippy with the undependable nature of wildfire and everything that comes with it.

Despite all the impending chaos, I am going to have a completely ridiculous day in the studio tomorrow after a little time off and a few days of concentrated computing.  I can feel it in my bones.  Something good is coming.  The very thought of it makes me stand up straighter, with my palms lifted to the sky, ready to receive and ready to give until I’m all gived out.

Buckle up, buttercups.  It is the season of light.

X

:::Post Scriptus:::

Robbie is coming home on Monday.  He’s been away six weeks.  I am happy.  I am happy!

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Rivers and Roads

IMG_4204 IMG_4211IMG_4224IMG_4237IMG_4262IMG_4267IMG_4285IMG_4347IMG_4436IMG_4485IMG_4622I can be guilty of waiting around for Robert to be the impetus behind my life adventures.  I can be so burdened with creative focus (which really can be a blinding burden at times, and by that I mean, all consuming so that everything and everyone else in life gets dropped completely and existence is the suffering and glory of getting out of bed, creating until I’m exhausted, and falling back into bed…for days and days on end) that I simply cannot pull my mind and body away from the work.  So Robert pulls my mind and body away, and we go launch our raft on a river, walk out with backpacks into a mountain range, hunt antelope in the high desert or chase chukar for days.  He’s a planner and it makes us both doers.

When he isn’t home for these long stretches, the planning and the doing fall to me.  It’s when my body breaks down after too many consecutive days of work that I snap out of creative obsession and realize I need to step away, for the sake of my mind, but also for the sake of my neck, right shoulder and back.  So I do.  If I can.  I  load the truck, load the dogs, pack the Yeti, and head for the highway.  Half the time I don’t have a clue where I am going; the vapors of wanderlust have shrouded my head like lenticular puffs sliding over a mountain peak in curving wisps.  I pull the truck around, take the one way streets out of the valley bottom, turn on my ticker, enter the stream of traffic on the highway and like a salmon headed upriver I drive, drive, drive until the land and sky open up and I feel myself come home.

It doesn’t have to be the mountains.  Sometimes there’s too much emphasis put on the mountains as being THE PLACE to connect with the thing we’re all trying to get a firmer grip on.  For me it’s all about space and a general absence of humanity.  I just want to go somewhere that no one else is, grab my scrap of earth, twine my fingers down into it, watch the clouds canter in and out of space, glass for elk, deer and antelope, watch the hawks hunt, listen to the river run, hear the sound of the human world fade away.  I want to slide into a hot spring and simply let my mind drift into the world of daydreams while the wind ruffles the junipers.

I want to be alone, or alone with people who know my heart of hearts and are alright with me being silent.  I want to be with my dogs and run free like they do.  I want to fall into rhythm with the sun and moon; live my living while it’s light out, sleep when the stars rule the night, wake up with a cold nose and start a stove with numb fingers.  I want all the sharpness to return to my senses, I want steel blades for eyes, ears that hear the grass clanging in the breeze and the sometimes terrifying sense of being watched by wild and hungry eyes (I’ve always said the times I have felt most alive is when I have been hunted by something unseen).

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I bought a day planner this year.  I’ve never had one before which is part of the reason I’ve been such a doggone flake part of my life (I think the other reason is simply that I like to feel free and sometimes forgetting seems like it takes me there).  I used to write myself little notes on scraps of paper that would flitter around the house and studio like giant pieces of confetti.  It was chaos.  Now, I’ve never been so organized!  I told a friend recently that when I look down at the pages of my day planner, swimming with fresh ink and penciled in messages (like a black bears claw marks on an aspen) I sometimes feel like every booking I make, like a civilized little human being, is bleeding my wildness out of me.

But then again, every day I shift towards a state of complete un-domestication, I mean I move entropically towards the state of being feral — tangled hair, wild eyebrows, flickering eyes, and the quaking desire to lope across foothills and drink from rivers.  I grow gradually unkept until I wake up one morning and the scale has tipped fully to one side and I need to break out, I have to satiate my need for space and freedom.  I love the things that keep me on the edge of tame, but I also like to buck it all off and gallop like cuss to a wide open place where nothing can own me.

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Idaho has been top notch lately; sunny and warm between snow squalls and rain.  The hot springs have been boiling and tranquil, the antelope herds have been massive, the hawks have been claiming fenceposts and telephone poles when they’re not swirling around in thin air.  The mountain peaks have been nothing short of mystical — chanting life into the clouds up where they build and break open.  The foothills are already chirping with song birds, the magpies are building nests, I hear the song of the yellow-winged blackbird rising up from the river behind the house here and elsewhere, the steelhead are coming in — shining like bright polished sterling.  It’s always a good day to be Idahoan, but it’s especially good lately.  I’m not sure any other rivers and roads will bring me home, time and time again, quite like these do.