I have moved. I have finally emptied all the boxes, arranged the furniture, and hung the curtains, put the books on the shelves (new from Ikea);and now I am ready to begin my new self and new life in 2011. Change is the only thing that is constant. The studio has not yet been christened — it is the last room to be arranged, not because it isn’t important, but because, it is the most important. Now I take my time to find and explore the energy in this room. I have more storage than my old studio, as the room has two closets, but I think I actually have less floor space than my old studio in Bend. I haven’t found the rhythm of this room, yet. The view is nice if I am sitting at my work table. There is a hill to view from the window, (part of the west hills of Portland,) forested with trees and dipped in hanging mist much of the time, very mysterious and poetic -looking. Standing-up, there is a neighboring roof top to look at—oh well, nothing is perfect . There is decent light from a northwest window, and I am the boss of the studio, the one in charge, the queen bee! Actually having a room for art making is a dream I never thought would realize during those years growing up without even a bed, much less a room to put it in. As I’ve said before, there were a bunch of us, and only one bedroom, and whoever went to bed first got the bed – the rest camped out here and there as best we could. So having an extra room for art is all bonus in my world,as I actually have my own bed plus a pretty room to keep it in. The studio does seem to come with certain responsibilities, and a certain amount of niggling guilt. Like maybe I don’t deserve it because I am such a lazy do nothing person – if I am so fortunate as to have a studio, why am I not in that studio every second pushing out newborn works of some kind of art by the day? I wanted to say by the hour, but even I admit it takes more than a hour to create a newborn work of art.
Well, I have a decent excuse for the last month. I was moving, (over a mountain, which happened to be frozen on the day, December 17, the procedure of driving a truck loaded with every scrap of my belongings. I am most grateful I did not have to personally drive the laden truck. It seems there are people in my family who love me enough to risk their own lives on occasion for my benefit. I did, however have to drive my own little car which was also laden with all manner of scraps, castoffs, and possibilities. All things no artist could live happily without, including five years work of paintings and other art from Bend. The trouble began as darkness came before I had planned on it, and that’s when I knew it was going to literally be a bumpy ride, and it was. The road was very dark, narrowed with cast off snow drifts, and lumpy traction grabbing gravel, layed down by the nice gravel trucks. And ice, 4 inch think skating rink type ice, only dirtier, and way too lumpy for fancy spins and glides.
Cookie Moon, sweet, patient, loving. 8 years old this Christmas Eve.
My traveling companion, Cookie Moon, was polite enough to not mention I forgot to bring her a cup of water for the 3 plus hour trip. I gripped the wheel with both hands and sat as far forward as I could. Peering out from the black window and being blinded by every passing headlight, and every tailgating 4-wheeler behind me. Fist sized chunks of gravel flew up a few times threatening broken windshields, with probable facial injuries at the least, but it was the curves around the edges of the mountain in the frozen dark and nothing but blackness past the edges of the narrowed curving road that gave me every impression I would be better off to be a crow or an owl on this night. As I came down from the mountain, and the highway was wet with nothing but kindly rain, and the street lights began to occur every 15 or 20 feet, and the posted speed was a safety enforced 45 mph it seemed I had entered yet another land and barely escaping the terrifying misty mountains created an immediate backup plan to never return! I began to experiment with breathing again, it was a heady exercise! Easy to hyperventilate under the circumstances! Soon I was home, well home to my daughters house – she arrived a short while later, and although she is a spring chicken at 30 – she was just as terrified as I had been negotiating a safe plan down the side of a frozen December mountain. And her husband in the moving van loaded with all my vanities which certainly are not worth anyone’s life, he too made it safely until he hit a patch of black ice and spun out into oncoming traffic – but the spinout was puny and stopped as soon as it began and no one was hurt nor property damaged. Just a short snort from the mountain I believe, to let us know we had been graced and we better say thank you. Which we did later that night, and the next and the next – just to be sure all bases were covered.
My grandson, my dream boy, met me at the door when I arrived and I carried in a small gift for him to begin the Christmas celebration with, we eyed each other serepticiously for a few minutes, he taking stock, trying to remember this woman whose voice often puts him to sleep with her stories about the moon, and baby birds in their nests, and little foxes in their dens, then I took him outside in the cold rain and we caught cold little raindrops in our hands for a few minutes mixing them around in our shared hands. Then he began to remember me – this is Mimi – the one who saves him when he is in trouble, the one who reads him book after book, after book, if he wants, and the one who knows all the songs about the wind chimes, the stars, little animals, the nighttime trees, raindrops, pebbles and sticks, and making wishes on the moon. Our holiday had begun!
Cabrin two years old now.
Cabrin’s parents, my middle daughter laughing Elizabeth and her husband, Christian. Elizabeth is the photographer – she has taken all the photos of Cabrin since his birth. She is now beginning her own photography business in Denver.
Beautiful Cait , the oldest, the ballet dancer.
Cabrin posing for his mother
Mairwen Rose, the youngest of the sisters. Beautiful, a talented artist, and graphic designer, tempestious, passionate.
The three sisters 1986, San Luis Obispo, Caifornia. Mairwen, 9 months, Elizabeth, 3 years, Cait, 6 years.
Icicles in the window.
Good-bye Bend and good-bye ice!