Snippets From My Journal:

IMG_3496Every morning we wake up and choose.  There are always things to be:

Courageous or cowardly.

Free or enslaved.

Unique or generic.

Truthful or false.

Hardworking or lazy.

Celebratory or covetous.

Supportive or envious.

This list continues to the horizon and wraps itself around the earth infinitely.  We are always choosing.  How you choose to be will follow you no matter where you go, no matter how far you run.  We make our beds and then we lay in them;   we sleep soundly on the smooth spots and feel our hip bones dig into the rumples as our legs stretch and cramp to span the rifts.

We sow our seeds and watch what grows.

And each of us lives with consequence and we all bear the burden and bliss of lessons in our hearts.

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So much murk is coming clear for me in work, in my relationships, in my conscience.  I am learning.  Slowly and surely.  I’m old enough now to recognize there is a lesson in everything if you root through the details enough, if you take the time to earnestly seek the truth.  I’m not so much a coward to disown my wrong living and wrongdoing in this life.  I try to turn around and face it as courageously as I can, fix it if I might, forsake the actions and thoughts that led me to a bad place or to hurt others.  I do my best not to run, not from anything.

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I have a firm grip on the concepts of justice and compassion right now.  These two things are vastly different from revenge and pity.  I’m thankful I chose one path and not the other, as hard as that choice was, at times.

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A notion that surfaces daily here is the idea that we are all responsible for the state of our own souls.  We all have a metallic compass spinning round in our hearts and minds, we act according to our conscience, or against our conscience, every moment of every day.

People cry out, “Do not judge me!”  But the truth is, we have already judged ourselves; the guilt and shame lays waste to our hearts and minds.  Why not be free of it?  Why not own it all, your successes and your failures as a human, so that you can move forward and do your very best once more?

Is there something about yourself you cannot stand, something you feel shameful about?  Own it.  Fully.  Walk away from it every moment of every day.  Choose to be differently.  Watch yourself change and feel yourself grow.

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I want to cloak myself in light which means I must peel myself away from the darkness, again and again.

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Big things happen in life, in work.  Sometimes I feel afraid, I wonder if I am in over my head, I wonder if I am worthy of  it all, I wonder if I am capable of excelling brilliantly at the jobs given to me.  I never pretend to know what I am doing.  More often than not, I say yes and then I wing it — figure it out as I go along.  I’m never too proud to ask for help.  I’m never insecure about the degree of my experience, I am upfront about it, believing with all my heart that if I wasn’t truly wanted for the work, I would not have been chosen.  I trust myself to find my way and when I feel lost, I look to the light, walk out in the dark of morning to remember the North Star where it sits spinning on the just fingertip of God.

I tell my friends my fears and they remind me of everything I know I am, deep in my heart.

We all know what we are, deep in our hearts.  Sometimes we aren’t able to voice the truth of the matter yet, or we have forgotten ourselves, or if it’s an awful part of ourselves, we’ve repressed the thorny truth in some dank corner of our minds, but it’s always there, the knowing.

We improve ourselves or we don’t; we grow, or we don’t.

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I trust in the work of my hands, in the place it comes from.

I trust myself.

I will never feel the need to wake up in the morning and crawl into the skin of another, to proceed pretendingly, to waste myself.  There is no meaning for me in any of this if it doesn’t truly come from me.

I will use my own sight, I will use my own thoughts, I will use my own words.

Even when I feel scared, I will work my truest and hardest, clear my throat, lift my chin and allow that bright thing that is only mine to share to rise up from me, ride through the tunnel of my chest and mouth into the sky and rest there like a constellation and not fade away.

Of A Feather

IMG_3959 IMG_3963Also for the shop, in a few moments: Of A Feather Bead Strands.  So much fun to make, so much fun to wear, and built in some seriously sublime color combinations.

 

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IMG_3809IMG_3819If my hands are candles, they are burning at both ends these days.

I am proceeding with my shop update tomorrow at 12 noon, mountain time!  I hope you’ll swing by.

I will be listing my little wolf pack as well as one Saint Wapiti Necklace — a straggler from the batch I was working on before Christmas (that seems so long ago now).  I have plenty of other bits and pieces finished but am hanging onto everything outside of the wolf work until I can increase the volume of a couple series and further explore a few design ideas.  I don’t want to rush through anything or pass over any rabbit trails.  Getting back into the swing of things here has been a savage old fight — self against self.

I will testify to the fact that creative bottlenecking is a very real thing!  After being away from the studio for the better part of two months, I shot off in over a dozen different directions in my first week back at work and the finished pieces I have laid out on the studio tables are evidence — it’s all over the place, more than usual.   It’s like I opened up my mind and heart and instead of a slow trickle of ideas, there was a cacophonous explosion that left me reeling…too many different things all at once, a lot of frustration, a bit of chaos, a handful of sleepless nights…

Work has simmered down now and I’m feeling slightly more routinized which is quite lovely.  I’m going out to the studio like a steady old mule now instead of a velociraptor with seventeen arms and firecrackers in its ears.  I exhaust myself.

{I made a pizza for dinner.  Sometimes I just have to have a pizza.}

Until Tomorrow!

X

 

A Photo Round Up (and other things)

IMG_2879 IMG_2887 IMG_2947 IMG_2965 IMG_3298 IMG_3309 IMG_3313 IMG_3325 IMG_2612 IMG_2648 IMG_2756 IMG_2766 IMG_2767 IMG_3137I ate an artichoke for dinner tonight.  I like them so much.  The pulling away of the scales, the dipping in olive oil, pepper and lemon juice, the scraping of the teeth, and the delectable heart of it all — so plump and rare tasting.

The artichokes are wonderful at the grocer lately.  I’m taking advantage of it.

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I am writing a lot right now.  Pages and pages in the morning, scraps of essays that are slowly taking form.  I have something I am supposed to write — there is no deadline but there’s kind of a deadline, you know?  Anyway, I’m figuring out how to approach that piece.  There are five directions the piece can go and I simply have to settle on one.

Oh, sometimes the committing is so tedious, so impossible.

I keep writing things that I don’t know what to do with.  I’m in a place, here in my 30s, wherein I want to share some of my larger life lessons through writing but sharing those life lessons will require anecdotes and truths and I don’t know how to write, how to share, without having people (some who are dear to me) feel alienated!  I want to write about my family, my friends, my strangers, and the little pieces of me that have been murdered over time…but I know that when I write about those things, there’s going to be some kick back.  I know I cannot make everyone happy.  It’s impossible.  But where does the balance fall between work and love, expression and respect, revolution and safety?  I’m not sure yet, which is why I’m keeping a lot of good things under wraps.  I remind myself, everything takes as long as it takes and in the meanwhile, I keep putting my pen to paper every single morning.

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Speaking of morning, my mornings are finally finding a rhythm.  My days are finally finding a rhythm, my nights, too.  It’s amazing how much more time I spend working when I am not spending myself on Robert (and I love to spend myself on Robert).  I miss him but it’s very good to be a full-on workaholic right now.

I’m like a draft horse in the studio, all bright brawn, rippling muscle and keen eyes.

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Late at night here, in the wee hours of the morning, Tater and Farley come clip-clopping into the bedroom and one after the other they climb up into bed with me.  We don’t allow dogs in our bed, but I let them stay, because I need them to, and I think there’s something intangible they are sensing that draws them to me in the night.  We sleep together, my hands on their warm backs, until the sun begins to rise.  I recently read that a lone wolf is a symbol of freedom while a wolf pack is a symbol of community; when Rob is away, my dogs give me an augmented sense of place and family.  I often wonder who I would be without them.  I think I live a split life, a life of a shape-shifter.  I’ve become half-dog-half-human in my wide open living — in my isolation.  I don’t know whether to sigh at the moon or howl at it.  I don’t know if I should scoop the water up to my mouth with a cupped palm to drink or lap at it like a dog.

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I hoped to update the shop this week but need to postpone until next week — for practical reasons as well as my own general sanity.  You can expect a shop update on February 25th and it will be a wild smattering of new designs as well as pieces I have had cluttering my workbench that I FINALLY made the space to finish.  I’ve been cleansing my palate, tying up loose ends and creating some new and glorious things.  I can’t wait to share it all with you, for it is all good.

More soon.

X

IMG_2987IMG_2981IMG_2988IMG_3027IMG_3053IMG_3112IMG_3122IMG_3146IMG_3133IMG_3157IMG_3163IMG_3234IMG_3256Last year, I began this day by riding an indian pony bareback in a long red dress through the low desert of Arizona.  This year, I began the day by hiking up the mountain in the dark with a thermos of coffee, two dogs and the most beautiful Pendleton blanket in the world strapped to my pack (my gift from Robert).  Once I walked high enough, I sat down, made a little nest, and waited for the sun to rise.  When it popped up over the mountains, and all the gold poured over me, it was like God pressed a palm to my forehead and said, “Blessings for this new year, daughter.”

Today, I am thirty three.