My Flame

IMG_3673I suppose this is how I see him.  Exactly.  Rugged, capable beauty in a wild shower of flame and sparks.  Or perhaps this is my perspective of us; the earnest but volatile nature of who we are independently and corporately.  We are a pair of glorious, clashing and blending flames.

We just spent a full week together, which is something that NEVER happens during the fire season.  I came home from Alaska and we galloped to Pocatello to close on our house, pack up our life and stuff it in a storage unit.  We sold or gave away over half of what we owned and once the money was in the bank from the sale of our home, we drove and fished our way across Idaho until we parted ways in Spokane.  He headed back to Winthrop and work while I buzzed over to Montana to stage for a backcountry trip.  When we crossed over the Idaho-Washington state line we looked over at each other and said, “We have to get back.  We have to get back to Idaho.

I miss him.  I miss dreaming aloud with him.  I miss the tangible flame that has burned between us for over 11 years now.  Godspeed, babe (and soft landings), until our soul bones rest side by side once more.

A Round Up

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IMG_3520IMG_3270DSCF0097DSCF0159IMG_3375DSCF0202DSCF0201DSCF0190DSCF0177IMG_3542A belated Happy Canada Day to my people up in the true North, strong and free.

And a Happy Independence Day to my adoptive people, the brave, here in the USA.

I love you all, appreciate all that is good about you, and consider you my own, in every way.

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I’m headed for the tundra, glaciers, rivers, lakes, black spruce, blueberries, grizzlies and salmon of Alaska!

I’ll see you when I get back.

X

IMG_3246Let’s begin with the beautiful things.  Let’s end with the beautiful things, too.

There are swallowtail butterflies in the echinacea patch.  There are swallowtail butterflies everywhere, really.  The gardens outside the studio door are meant for butterflies and hummingbirds.  Its a soulful pace.  I wish it was mine.  I will build and grow my own garden like this someday, when we finally land for good.

A swallowtail butterfly landed on my ribcage while  I was sitting on the edge of the lake over the weekend.  I felt its papery wings beating against my skin, I felt our two hearts separated by the wall of my bones and sinew.  Its thorny feet forced a laugh from me and then it flew off into the wind over the water.

In the same place, yesterday, a hummingbird hovered inches from the tip of my nose for a handful of seconds (a handful of seconds is an eternity to a hummingbird) before it sat on a branch beside me and stared at me for a while.  Simultaneously, a bee was crawling on me and the feeling if its feet against the skin of my stomach was lovely and sensual.

Regularly, the male bluebird, who happens to be raising a family with his drab wife in the nesting box behind the Airstream, perches on a pine branch outside the trailer door and allows me to approach within a couple of feet of where he sits wherein we both simply look at each other, cock our heads to one side, and then eventually part ways.  I sometimes wish my skin was that shade of blue.

While I was picking raspberries this morning, a cedar waxwing alighted on a cane next to me, looked at me with one unblinking eye (what a handsome profile), picked a berry with his clever beak and flew away into the sun.

I think everything knows I am feeling sad, for a myriad of reasons — for myself, of course, but I have these occasional bouts of general melancholy for all of humanity and our planet and a kind of hopelessness sinks into my bones and i just have to let it fester there for a bit until it passes on and I find faith and grace and love again.  I’m also feeling hyper-sensitive about being a pest lately; I’m walking on self-imposed egg shells.  It makes me insular and hermity (more insular and hermity that usual, that is).

I am sitting on an Adirondack chair by the bee balm.  My legs, from the knees down, are being blasted by late morning sunshine.  The heat is almost burning, down there on my toes.  As I sat down this morning, I realized one of life’s greatest pleasures must be the simple movement of sliding into an Adirondack chair, the careful schloop of the arse across a series of parallel wooden slats, the gentle recline of the upper body until it comes, solidly, to rest.

There is a piece of heaven in a well built chair.

My friend sent me an exquisite essay about hearts and blue whales and hummingbirds.  The words are like a soft security to wrap myself in.

Which reminds me, I vowed to re-read all of Hemingway’s works this summer.  A Tour de Hemingway!  Will you join me?  I read the Ten Letters Project last week which I discovered through my (brilliant and ever evolving) friend, Esme — one of my favorite lines in the book (I underlined dozens of things in every letter) is this:  ”Take all the risks.”  I think I shouted out YES when I read those four words.  The other thing I appreciated about this collection of letters is the fact that they make me feel like it’s normal to be a creative weirdo…if that makes sense…  Doing creative work can be complicated.  Doing creative work for a living can be complicated.  Being an independent artist can be complicated.  There are also times when you are faking the depth of your work and making it complicated when it isn’t and you’re tricking everyone, including yourself, except in your heart of hearts where you know, always, that you’re a fraud.  There are also times when the depth of your creative work is very real and is uncomplicated.  There are times when the complication is uncomplicated.  I’ve said the word aloud now so many times that it sounds bizarre.

I always think there should be two zeds in the word “bizarre” instead of two r’s.

I am also reading The Emerald Mile which is beautiful and makes me bitter in my heart of hearts that I cannot be in a boat every moment of the day on a river somewhere.  It’s an account of the Powell expedition of the Grand Canyon as well as a natural history of the Colorado River and also a tale of modern day adventure — to boot, it is wonderfully written.  It’s everything a superb book should be.

Last night, I went fishing, as usual.  I parked my truck in a little turn out along the Chewuch River, set up my rod, tied on a big dry fly and scrambled down the cliff towards the water.  The soft portions of the slope shifted and crumbled beneath my feet, grit found its way uncomfortably between the sole of my foot and the bed of my sandal, I paused a few times to shake my feet, loosen the coarse dust, dislodge small stones from my ginger arches.  The granite rubble held the heat of the day and was warm on the palms of my hands and fingertips.  I was sticky with sweat and bug bites and the moment I reached the bottom of the cliff and slid my feet into the water I felt one hundred degrees cooler.  I bent low, dipped my free hand in the river, and splashed a piece of it up into my face.  I stepped out and made my way across the current, fly rod in one hand and the other groping for steadiness, reaching for stone.  My well placed feet slipped off the slime of submerged river cobble and I said to myself, “Steady now.”  I made my way to the opposite bank, to the edge of night, to the musk of the willows and the killdeer piping.  I  loosened my line and began to cast my way upriver.

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“Just do your work.  And if the world needs your work it will come and get you.  And if it doesn’t, do your work anyway.  You can have fantasies about having control over the world, but I know I can barely control my kitchen sink.  That is the grace I’m given.  Because when one can control things, one is limited to one’s own vision.”

[Kiki Smith]

I realized, last week, when I read this quote, that there is something that has been shattering me, over and over again, that I have been trying to control, trying to keep my finger on, trying to guard myself from, trying to fight, trying to create a distance from.  I am dismantling (I am working on dismantling) my need to control it.  I am working on not being hurt about it anymore.  I am working on loosening my grip and letting it go.  I am working on allowing it to figure its own way out of the maze of bull shunky it has been building for itself.

I’m not free yet.  But I am going to be.  And it will be a sweet day when I am.

When I am free.

Grow

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[sterling silver & dendritic opal]IMG_3045 IMG_3044

[sterling silver & ocean jasper]IMG_3042 IMG_3041 IMG_3040

[sterling silver & kyanite]IMG_3020 IMG_3019[sterling silver & ocean jasper]

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[sterling silver & variscite]

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[sterling silver & labradorite]

I will be listing these new pieces, and others, in my shop on Friday morning at 10AM (Pacific Time Zone).  I hope to see you there!

:::::POST SCRIPTUS:::::

June 26, 2015

Thank you all for your incredible support, today and always!  Thank you also for selling me out in 9 minutes flat this morning.  You beauties are the wind beneath my wings.

X

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Happy Belated Solstice

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IMG_2883 IMG_2887IMG_2948IMG_2946Happy belated solstice, everyone!  The dogs and I celebrated by taking a really, very, extremely long walk and then we slept in the dirt in a big shivering pile while the golden crescent moon poured its delicate light down onto this beautiful earth.  The shortest night of the year seemed to go on forever and it would be a lie to say it was restful but it sure was superfluously grand.  Onward into the holiness of these shrinking summer days!

How will we fit everything in?

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