Tag Archives: illustrations

Retreat Goals

Despite the turmoil of the months leading up to this weekend, my goal in going is to get away from the overwhelming every day – to focus on some of my own writing. I brought with me several projects to follow up on, which will include editing, designing, formatting. I hope to finish a few things so that I might move past this block that haunts me. Another novel to be done – An Italian Son – and my first kid’s picture book needs drawings. Can I determine the style I want to use for the illustrations?

I have also a company project in tow that I want to finish editing – it is in layout format so working through the reading achieves more than one end.

I am also hoping there’s a poem or two to be had – I will try to force the stoppage in order to free some words into a composition I will be happy with – I used to be so connected to poetry. What happened? Did it abandon me or did I abandon it? I know it’s not lost forever… just temporarily misplaced.

My camera is also my constant companion – there is always visual inspiration around, especially here: the birds are welcome subjects, trees and greenery, wood structures and pathways, squirrels and other wildlife supposedly around out there somewhere. If only the rain would let up. I will go out for walks to get some fresh air and connect with nature. It’s cooler, though, and cool, wet weather is not my friend.

Sidebar…

I wrote my goals at the beginning of the weekend – it was gloomy when we arrived but soon gave way to rain for the past couple of days. We definitely need the rain and would happily send it up north to the forests. In truth, we couldn’t have a fire inside in the fireplace the first couple of nights because of the dryness here at the Creek. Finally, the rain gauge showed enough moisture accumulation and sharing alongside the fire was a possibility the last two nights of our stay. I love warm spring weather, though… Sunshine – the one from the sky – why have you abandoned us this weekend?

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Day 4 – Catering to the Lazy Artist

Easter Long Weekend 2014 Blog Pictorial – continued…

Fresh air and exploration takes it out of you – or, perhaps, it’s that feeling of satisfaction that just keeps you rooted to one spot – a happy, inspiring spot made for self-reflection and creativity. The camera was quiet today although the mind’s eye was a flicker with all the images snapped and transferred over the course of Day 2 and Day 3. Had I not found the horses yesterday, I would have been more eager to go out today – to seek and to find, confirming for myself that I could see them how they are, free, in nature. Had I not found the band I did, I would have had to go forth in order to fulfill my sense of holiday destiny.

If I had arrived Friday, I would have been moving on today, but the delay had a way of working out in the end especially when things are relaxed and flexible. Three days at “A Bed in Heaven” really was relaxing and desired. The weather held nicely today although the wind was cool at times, but in all reality, there is still snow on the ridges and hillsides nearby, in the fields and in the shadows – the breeze whispers chilling messages as it grasps the cold and flows by…  in its windy way, it asks me what I discovered on my journey. How can express my appreciation and gratitude for this opportunity? As I write, it is calm now and the sun’s warmth feels heavenly upon me as I sit on the deck outside my room.

I discovered, as I have known for many years, I am good on my own, with more than enough interests to keep me busy, entertained, and occupied. That does not mean I am alone, nor do I want to be for any length of time – I want to be in love and I want to care about people – I deserve those who love and care about me. It’s really like the saying: the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. This… truly, has always been my quest.

I discovered that although I like to think I could go back to the ways of the world before the Internet and advanced communications, I don’t believe I could and don’t care to… there is just too much connectedness with my work and my networks through it to give it up completely. I have my lap top with me. I admit… I watched some TV. I checked emails and I posted to Facebook and to my blog. I could not text or phone, however… so it was quiet in a way that it isn’t when I am home. We are, though, bound to the limits of the technology itself. When there is no reception, no hook-ups, no way to connect… it doesn’t matter what you want or desire.

I discovered I am only limited by my own fears and insecurities – this is nothing to do with being loved, not about having friends or others around, not about jobs or work or money – but just about living without fear of what might happen. I keep to the path and stay safe. I know my limits and won’t push for more. I am contented with my journey – is it as exciting and adventurous as some? No. But it’s mine and I take it as I please. Because you step out of your comfort zone your mind tends to focus on the things you don’t know and cannot see – a cougar stalking you, coming across the path of a bear. In the wild, these things are my fears and tend to keep me tame in my quest. Again, with someone along for the hike, it might be a different story, but why put oneself in harm’s way, just because you can. I can treasure my memories because, for the most part, they are not marred by incident. Yesterday’s issue reminded me of being 23 and so wrapped up in my own little world, lost in a stranger’s arms, that it panicked a travel companion to the point of reporting me missing. I never wanted to be that person again – it leads me to believe you cannot ever be free without someone standing there with your bridle and reins, saying, “Dammit, where is she?”

Some general impressions of my Easter long weekend journey:

  • Why must some people throw cans and other garbage to the road side?
  • Why do some drivers of trucks have to drive so fast?
  • Why do those in a hurry travel the road less taken?
  • To some people, horses make a mess… really?
  • The numbers of wildies don’t warrant such opposition – less than a thousand animals? There is so much country out there – really?
  • The tallest of towers does not provide reception amongst the tallest of trees and the tallest of mountains.
  • My hosts at the B&B are amazing people.
  • I take too many pictures!! Good thing this is the digital age and not 32 mm film!! (Regarding my comment above about the camera being quiet… I just downloaded 42 pictures… and I didn’t even leave the deck…)
  • I see pictures in everything – except people – why is that? (My biggest regret was not having a recent picture of my mother – yet I still neglect the subject of people, for the most part.)
  • You can pack all the fruit and vegetables and cheese and nuts you want… I feel like I am going to eat a gazillion hamburgers upon my return.
  • As much as it would have been nice to have someone else along for the ride, I did do this thing for someone special… me!

Oh, yes… the lazy artist thing… well, I don’t think I was lazy at all. I only slept until 8:00. I worked on some editing. I read through and plotted the illustrations for two stories I am working on with one of my DWP authors. I wrote and posted 4 blogs so far. And I took a gazillion photos. I did not put any miles on the car today and plan to be up and out early tomorrow morning. I haven’t decided my return route but I like a road I have not taken before… or I could return the same way. Thinking like a wild horse… that’s the power of freedom.

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The Seduction of Spring

Seduction of Spring July 2011

As the March night slipped into a sleepy silence, a stillness was borne unto an awakening land – a land still groggy yet reaching for warmth from the depths of slumber, stretching and rising like a Phoenix coaxed from the ashes of a winter’s hearth gone cold. A hushed wind whispered warnings through the timberland, whipping up a murmur that stirred amongst the trees; it slid and caught on encrusted snow, tempting the crows to mock again as they did the night before in the full moon’s wash when they watched from their perches high above. But they kept still and all else settled, as a fear took hold and silence fell, so as not to tempt the fates of the Morrighan.

As the hour grew late, nature’s children released a collective breath which held thick upon the cool night air. A final frosty coating tipped the branches. Timbered souls huddled together, readied and bare, wanting for spring’s sweet caress. The night shivered in anticipation of her arrival then shuddered to calmness as if already a lover fulfilled. The forest silence pleaded for a peaceful night.

“No noise, my love, sleep as the hour draws near and, by and by, you shall awake to a new day.”

Until that time, downy cover lay gentle over a fragile land and gave security with false hope. But no sound sleep would befall the earth that night – virgins entwined amongst their unsuspecting beds would be dragged, kicking and screaming into the night, bedclothes melting away as the grasp of Eros claimed their desires. The death of winter was sure.

From the snowy ashes she arose, her lithe body distorted and writhing as she gasped and gulped, in frantic desperation, to regain life’s green pulse. An unearthly scream rent the midnight hour and all cringed and thought the curses were to be upon them. Instead, the noise began to sooth like warm breath on an icy pain. Steam rose as tempered air touched flesh and pallid hide and she pulled wildly on the tangled mane of her mount – straining, pulling – demanding the ground unearth them to grant vernal freedom once more. Entwined as one, horse and master regained completed form – Epona had arrived and all celebrated.

No guilty pleasure to be left unturned, she traced a pattern freely over land, threading through the naked forest, with soft sureness, enticing new buds to pop with just a look. Her touch was fiery and when placed just so it brought crimson blush to barren soil, deflowered and flowered, all in one stroke. Pounding hooves awoke the hibernating beasts who stirred with frustrated realizations. Creeks welcomed her intrusion to their beds and they pooled their heated fluids. Wild and turbulent in her wake, they thawed away their inhibiting icy shackles.

Spring lay anew upon the earth, splayed and spent, yet rejuvenated and Epona, body drenched in sweat, smiled with satisfaction at her newest conquest. She smoothed her flaxen hair and thread throughout the tresses new sprung daisies. She caressed the neck of her dutiful destrier, glistening with early morning dew. As quick and quiet as she came to the night, her job done, she faded into the dawn, just as the sun peeked over the horizon.

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Filed under On Dreaming, On Life, On Writing