Thursday, January 17, 2013

There are rules about these things

I like rules. I may not always follow them, I may even break them, but I like them. I like knowing the rules; I like knowing what is expected. I like the predictability of rules.

Strawberries in January? Nope, that's against the rules. Apparently my strawberry plants don't know the rules (or perhaps they just like breaking them); despite freezing nights and no cover from the elements, they're still fruiting. Not a lot; just a berry here and there, and don't they look funny amongst all the dead leaves. But there are new leaves, too; just a few, and I guess the daytime temperatures are warm enough to keep them going.

It takes a lot of hope to break the rules.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The river walk

Our town has been slowly creating a walkway along the Salinas River; it's a seasonal river that runs north through town over a fairly wide flood plain and the walkway has recently made it to the road that intersects with ours. There is water in the river right now, courtesy of our recent rains, and we decided to walk the new section last Thursday.

It was a cold, overcast day; the new part of the walkway isn't quite pretty yet, as it still shows the effects of the bulldozers that were used to carve it out of the side of the hill, but looking past that, the river and its surrounding area is the same as it ever was.

There has been an attempt to landscape around the path, but I didn't photograph that part. I like having a nice, wide, flat place to walk, but I'd rather keep my eyes on the wilder side of our town.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Block

It happens.

It happened this morning: I woke up with nothing. No ideas, no "what-ifs" spinning their way delightfully through my mind, no beady imperatives at all. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

That used to terrify me (who am I kidding, the terror is still there, just tempered a bit by many, many years of alternating cycles of barrenness and plenty), but I know that terror only aids and abets The Block, so I am determined not to give into it. I had a cup of coffee, read the comics, and crocheted a bit.

It was still there.

I tried humor. I went outside and took a picture of the block wall that squats heavily in my front yard, always visible through my studio window. It's a good, sturdy, thick, concrete block wall that keeps my neighbor's yard from slipping down into my house. It's a good wall. I hoped it would remind me that blocks can be used for good, or at least give me a laugh and enough lightness to let creativity back in.

Okay, taking a picture of a block wall wasn't as funny as I'd hoped it would be. So I tossed that puppy into Illustrator and used the flare tool on it. (I think I was hoping it would act like a ray gun and break the block in my mind.)

Rationally, I know that The Block will pass. It always has, there is no reason to think that it won't; but today it has sprung up solidly around me, and so has the fear that, this time, I won't be able to break out.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

One, two, three, four...

Sometimes it's hard to remember to count my blessings; sometimes troubles, annoyances, problems, fears and worries multiply and simply crowd them out. Sometimes I don't look inside my mug and see the reminder; sometimes I hold it with my left hand and the reminder is hidden from me. And, other times, I'm drinking my coffee too fast to see what's right under my nose.

Blessing number one: work I love.

Blessing number two: pretty things to work with.

Blessing number three: a quiet place in which to work; a place that has been arranged by me to suit me.

Blessing number four: A sweet friend who always reminds me to look for what's good in life instead of letting the bad overwhelm me - even when she's not actually trying to remind me, she does it by example.

Thank you, Nancy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When the student is ready

And the lessons are often not what I'm expecting:

  • Control.
  • Responsibility.
  • Consideration.
  • Good work.
  • Patience.
  • Planning.
  • Expectations.
  • Promises.

The new year is only two days old; I don't feel quite as ready to learn as the universe seems to think I am.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The 365 Project

I've decided to join an interesting project; the participants have committed to taking a photo every day and sharing it. It's one of those projects that I can't decide if it's too ambitious, or just fun.

I'm seriously hoping it will be fun.

Anyway, in the interest of at least starting it fun and easy, I took a photo of the orchid that sits between my computer and my beading area; to take the pressure off, I used my cell phone, and balanced it on the edge of the pot, looking up.

It's a start.