The poet Mary Oliver died on Thursday. I wouldn’t consider myself “into” poetry, and yes, I realize that sounds lame… but her words always hit home for me. I could flip through any of her collections and find a poem that would give me pause, and then send me running into nature as fast as I could, to breathe in everything that is alive. I had this poem, and a bit of this illustration, running through my head most of the day, so when I finally settled down tonight I had to get it on paper.
Winter has arrived! We had a 2-day storm that brought 12” of snow, followed now by sub-zero temps… I bit the bullet and hired someone to plow my driveway (best $20 ever spent) and have kept a slow and steady fire going in the wood stove (while at the same time feeling grateful for the gas back-up heater in my kitchen)…
I’ve had a bird feeder out for a few weeks, but have learned that the birds have a buffet on my street, so I need to up my seed game. There’s a small gang of chickadees that come by, and they seem to have adopted a tufted titmouse or two. Two female cardinals and one male pass by once in a while, and a woodpecker that honestly just seemed lost. If I see him again I’ll try and draw him, because he seems like a wonderful vagabond character.
I’ve been feeling really grateful the last few days, it’s easy for me to focus on all the little “bad” things in my life, and I am guilty of the “glorification of busy” — I really want to snap out of that headspace. Yes, I am busy with work, and that’s fantastic! Yes, I am feeling a little run down and am sleeping a lot, and am appreciating the fact that I have time available to take care of myself! Sometimes I worry about relationships I have, and I then I smile, and remind myself how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I have.
So, yeah, some birds, some motivational words, and wishing you all a warm weekend ❤️
It’s interesting being around friends who never knew Lyttle (or Barbara!). I miss talking with Barbara whenever something exciting happens in my life. But I miss Lyttle in the quiet times. When I feel overwhelmed, I remember how Lyttle would remind me that life should be simple. When I feel my jaw clenching up, I remember how Lyttle would make me laugh. He was the reason I went for walks, no matter how cold it was out. Even when he was blind he reminded me to really see things.
I was thinking of him a lot this evening, he would have really liked my woodstove. He would have tripped over the little inclines in and out of the rooms here. And he would have grumbled at the bottom of the stairs every morning while waiting for breakfast.
I found the list I wrote after he died. When he was dreaming, and his feet would twitch, I wondered if he had sight in his dreams. I hope so. He was a good teacher. I have his name tag on my backpack, I like to think his adventurous, stubborn, and grouchy spirit is along for the ride.
Today I slowly dismantled the Christmas tree, sorted holiday cards, and snooped around the apartment looking for all the little decorations I had hung, propped up, and precariously perched on shelves… There’s always one that I forget about, destined to be on permanent display. For some reason it made me feel… sad? No, not quite sad. Not anxious. Thoughtful? It was a cozy holiday all in all, but today while putting things away, well, I felt oddly lonely.
Not in an unloved way, but in a little lonely way of not being settled. I guess it’s a feeling of no matter what is stable and good in my life — I still feel a little like I’m on my own, a little adrift. It’s the word I think of when I feel that small ball of nothingness in my gut. Lonely. I’m reading about the third chakra (thank you therapy session number 4) and trying to find the right word to explain what feelings live there for me is difficult.
Anyway, today the tree went out in the snow bank. And I stood there for a moment just looking at it, remembering the porcupine and I walking about 15 feet into the woods to get it, and thinking what a good tree it was, when a gang of 3 birds showed up. I’d seen the woodpecker before (I think there is only one coming around) and there was a tufted titmouse (there are at least 3 that show up) and a chickadee (who the hell knows which one it was, there’s a mob of them that hang out here) and they all found a place to sit and proceeded to chirp loudly at me for a good 5 minutes… I imagined them chastising me for once again spending too much time overthinking things, and weighing in on the quality of seed in the feeder…
… thinking about how to print a page-a-day calendar for next year…
2018 is winding down and it feels like it is ending on a positive note… I want to thank my readers, card & art buyers, and friends and family for following along this year, it’s been a bit of a ride. I feel like 2018 was a year full of people who helped me in saying Yes… and saying No… For the first time in a very long time I have a living space that I feel comfortable in, and comfortable inviting others into as well, and OH what a wonderful feeling that is.
I’m looking forward to sharing my art and little bits of my life in the months ahead… even though this site started a few years ago, I feel like I am still figuring out what I want to put “out there.” In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy today (in between work projects) and look forward to seeing the New Year in…
Tears come easily to me – when I am sad, anxious, angry, or just confused. Even when I’m overwhelmed with happiness! I seem to apologize a lot when I cry. Sometimes I feel like it’s interfering with what I am trying to say, but mostly I feel as if I’m putting a burden on the person I am with. Fortunately I’ve had some people in my life who remind me that it’s a gift to cry, that there is a reason I am crying. I’m trying to spend more time being aware of what triggers my tears, and work on what’s happening behind them.
2018 caught me off guard. There were changes I had put into action… leaving a relationship and finding a new home was challenging… in terms of having to deal with some of my life choices sooner than later, and in practical terms of remaining self-employed and deadline focused while negotiating rent and moving to a new town…
Then there were changes that I hadn’t anticipated. Emotional roller coasters… the porcupine wandering into my life (or more that I wandered into his)… the unexpected death of a friend, and the friendships I made after that… creative ruts and slowly, creative highs… family matters… Balancing working from home again and the anxiety that creates when I finally do need to go out into the Real World… realizing that emotional issues that I thought I had dealt with, were just hiding under the surface all the time... reconnecting with old friends, and learning boundaries with some new ones.
It doesn’t look like things will be slowing down in 2019, and I’m okay with that. Or rather, I am working on being prepared for that…
And finally.. Z is for Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… wishing you all a good day after Christmas snooze…
Merry Christmas, everyone! Thanks for coming along for the ride (although we still have Zzzzzz coming tomorrow :-) )
Hope you all celebrate in a way that brings you joy and love and happiness… and food… and wine… and maybe a nap…. chex mix? <3
X is for… was tricky, so yes, I cheated on spelling a word. And you’ve all seen my tree a few posts back and know that it looks nothing like this :-) Here we are, Christmas Eve — thank you for coming along this season!
Share and share alike — and promise each other that it will all be quieter when January gets here. Enjoy your December 23rd however, and with whomever, you’d like… with wine or without :-)
I interrupt our Advent Calendar flow to let everyone know that my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree is up! It was lopped down a few nights ago and yesterday I rigged it up so it wouldn’t fall over, and today I took some time to untangle my lights (see December 12!) and pulled out the lightest weight decorations I have :-) A few presents to make the space looked lived in. It’s feeling pretty cozy in here, and about a million years away from what I thought my life was going to look like in December of 2017.
THANK YOU to everyone who has clicked on the Support Button and to those who have taken the time to let me know how much they enjoy the daily art :-) I’ll try and keep up with it into the New Year, and am having thoughts of calendars and a book and, well, who knows what else!
Take good care, everyone!
Happy December 22nd and OBVIOUSLY Happy V is for Velociraptor Day! Phew. We are getting to the end of this and Christmas is only a few days away. As the porcupine has heard me say on numerous occasions “HOLY SH*T!” :-)
The last of my cards are heading out today, and I only have a little bit of wrapping to do… but things still feel crazy. Work continues at it’s normal pace, and it feels like the entire year is finally catching up with me on an emotional level… wheeeeeee! Drink more coffee, everyone!
I’m not even sure what tinsel is made of? All I know is that it is a form of glitter. It gets everywhere. It sticks to everything. And when I try to play nice and use one strand at a time I inevitably get bored and end up just throwing handfuls of it at the tree…
And speaking of trees… I don’t have one yet! Yikes. Maybe this weekend. And it will be a New Years tree. And that’s just fine. Hope all is well with you folks out there!
That can hold a lot of coal. Happy S is for Stockings Day :-)
Totally nailed R is for Reindeer. And happy December 18th! I sent out maybe half of my personal holiday cards yesterday… phew… just under the wire as usual. At the beginning of the month I always have a fantasy of writing very newsy messages… by now I just hope I am getting the right people into the correctly addressed envelopes.
Finding the quiet time. When it’s forced upon me I realize how much I need it. I hope you all find some space to sit in this evening, and just be… well… whatever you need to be…
It’s P is for Poinsettia Day! Get some color in your life, something bright, something cheery (but I think this plant is poisonous to pets, so, yeah, watch out for that)… P is also for Porcupine so he gets a panel all to himself this day :-)