Saturday, July 25, 2015

Happy, Happy Day

I have been full of regret and sadness thinking I would never ride a horse again.  Yesterday, though, I went with Kendall to see her horse Charlie.  She offered to let me ride him.With a little hesitation I decided to do it.  If I had not taken the opportunity, I would have been very sorry.  It turned out to be a wonderful experience.  I felt at home on horseback, though a little tight so that I bounced more than I should have at the trot.  I was ecstatic.

It's hard to understand or describe the effect riding has on me.  All day I felt different, younger, more physically fit, more energetic.  I swear my body shed a couple of years.  When I walked the dogs later in the day I felt like I could have walked ten miles.  My back didn't ache like it usually does after a very short distance.  This is the "upper" I had while working at the horse shelter.  I knew that since I left there I've aged, mentally and physically.  Though I suspected it was psychological, I also couldn't rule out my advancing age.  I knew that I felt better then I had in years while I worked there.  When I quit, I reverted back to the way I had felt before.  Yesterday was like a shot of adrenaline.

I'm still feeling good in the "afterglow" of the experience.  Strange, strange, strange.

So much for my hand-made sweater......

When I went to bed last night I began to wonder where Willy was.  He and Patrick are usually  waiting for me when I get there.  I always watch TV for an hour or so, and as time went by I began to wonder what Willy could be doing.  I had called him several times to no avail.  Finally he respond by leaping onto my chest and lapping my face (no surprise there).  Then I noticed that he had some red on his foot.  Closer inspection revealed red on his face, his body, and his tail.  I thought he must have hurt himself and was bleeding profusely.  His right paw was the worst, so I imagined him getting his nail caught on something and pulling it out trying to get free.  Carrying him gingerly and uttering comforting noises, I carried him into the bathroom to investigate further.  Still I couldn't find the source of the "bleeding."  He didn't seem to be in pain, either, but that could just be stoicism.  I turned on the shower, which he loves, and put him in the tub.  Carefully I tried to wipe his paw.  By then I had begun to suspect that the red was not blood......the color of it was a little off.  I got a washcloth and shampoo, scrubbed him harder and harder with only minimal success.  It finally dawned on me that he had gotten into something.  I did the best I could to get him clean, but with only minimal success.  After I dried both of us with the hair dryer and assured myself that he was no longer leaving a red trail behind him, I let him go.

Willy made himself comfortable on my bed while I looked for the scene of the crime.  My limited imagination was incapable of forming a theory.  Finally I went into my old bedroom, where I had thrown everything helter skelter in the process of moving to the other room.  On the bed, in the midst of a pile of winter clothes, sheets, and blankets I found it.  Somewhere Willy had found a tube of red oil paint, chewed it, and spread the paint all over himself and everything near him.  He had made himself comfortable on my beloved hand-knit bulky sweater that I made and have worn since I lived on Wilson St.  Luckily I am good at assessing a situation for what it is and didn't waste time crying over the sweater or getting angry with myself or my pink-tinged boy.  I took the sweater down to the washing machine, rightfully not really expecting miracles.  The picture shows the sweater after two washings.

I guess I better find that pattern and start knitting again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Evolution of the Garden

 You need only to plant a garden to watch time pass before your eyes.  I cam across this picture of how mine looked in 2008, soon after I planted the lilac I brought from Wilson St. I've been thinking about how I can tame the jungle that has grown from the nothingness that was here when I moved in.  Right now it is on the threshold of being overgrown and I'm not sure what to do. The problem is the two bushes by the walk.  I lacked the foresight to consider that they would grow so big.  I can barely walk between them now, yet I don't want to touch one leaf of their beautiful branches.  I should have put one of them on the other side of the bay window, but I certainly can't do it now.  So I worry  about it and do nothing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

And so it goes....

Here's a couple more pyrography on paper.  I did take some of them down to the Breakwater gallery to see if Cynthia would take them, which she did.  I can only hope they will sell, or at least one or two of them.  I am turning them out so fast that if I can't get rid of them it will be ridiculous to keep producing them.  It's true that they are fun to do, but I'm really not feeling very creative.  I am copying old paintings.

I know I haven't been keeping this blog up very well, nor have I kept up with email very well.  Somehow I don't seem to want to take the time.  I post pictures on facebook and call it good.  Eventually I will get my enthusiasm back, I'm sure, but I think I am taking a rest from the mental strain of thinking about and working toward moving.  Now that I have decided not to, I feel tired and in need of a mental vacation.

I did put a couple of these wood pieces in a show at Lisa's gallery, but I know they will not sell.  In fact I haven't even photographed them, but I will when I get them back.  Her show was supposed to be about spirituality, which I knew would attract pastel-hued paintings of women amid flowers and butterflies, vacantly staring at some unseen figure or thing.  Some of them would be holding birds in their arms, which would have somehow become tree limbs.  Suns or stars or moons would be inevitably hovering in the sky, possibly above a rainbow.  No doubt these paintings are inspired by a genuine feeling about women, or nature, or both, that I don't understand or find appealing.  My contribution was a nude woman standing on the outside sill of a window.  She is looking down, and her arms are spread out to the sides forming a crucifix.  The title is "Dismount."  What was my idea?  I'm not sure, but it's the same image I once did as a woodcut, so there is something rebounding off the walls of my brain that have to do with sacrificial acts, crucifixion, women as victims, blah, blah.  It hung there in stark contrast to its fellows, colorless and sad.  My motive for hanging it was a perverse need to expose the other side of being female, or perhaps the only side that I can identify with.

I have been very happy with my decision to stay in Eastport.  Everything here is bigger, brighter, more beautiful than ever before.  Until the art opening, I was actually feeling like a part of the community, smiling happily at passers by, returning the friendly waves of the drivers in the cars that went by me as I walked the dogs.  This is my home now, I thought.  Bangor is no longer where I belong or want to be.  With such ideas in my head, I decided to put in an appearance at the gallery party.  The minute I walked in I knew I had made a mistake.  The crowd, the chatter, the wine, the all reminded me of how deeply out of place I was.  I made a beeline for the door and never looked back.  Where is my place?  I don't know unless it is sitting on the couch with my dogs, watching reruns of "Criminal Minds."  There I am content, peaceful, happy.  I am loved unconditionally by my companions,  I am satisfied that I have fulfilled my role of caretaker, exceptional caretaker, of my dogs and my chickens.  They can take life and comfort for granted thanks to me.  No one has anything negative to say, no one disapproves of me.  There is no one for me to get angry with or to get angry with me.  Nobody criticizes or insults me.  No one argues.  Neither do I criticize or insult anyone. I don't get mad.  I don't criticize or feel critical of anyone or anything. I have nothing to fear. It is all so peaceful.

Friday, July 10, 2015

How my days are spent

As so often happens, I have devoted my time lately to my new toy.  The addition of a smaller tip for my pyrography pen has allowed me to create more detailed images.  I may have said this before, but I read that pyrography could be done on paper. The first one and the last two are done on watercolor paper.  The other two are on wood. I guess I prefer the wood, partly because it is a new experience.  Using paper also gives me a lot more freedom to do different sizes, but somehow it seems like cheating... or inauthentic.

Whatever, I took a couple of these downtown to the Breakwater gallery and asked Cynthia if she would take them to sell.  She said she would, so I have been working away at images I think will appeal to tourists.........hence the pictures of Eastport and Schoodic point.  Selling these pieces would be no trauma for me.  I have nothing invested in them but time. They are fun and interesting to do.  I like using my drawing skills.  Emotionally, though, I may as well be knitting mittens for a church sale.