~ Claude Monet
Certain words or phrases collect and layer. Inspirational bits of wisdom for those less than confident moments when I forget to fly and instead, trip and fall. Which is literally what happened. Rushing up the stairs, I caught my foot on the edge of a safety gate and flew. For a brief second in time. Walls shook. The crash was not gentle.
To distract my brain from an aching body, advil and creative pursuits were necessary. That’s how it works for me- find comfort in a project.
For this project I used only what I had “at hand.” The wooden board is from Michael’s.
I painted the board with trusted Annie Sloan– Pure White chalk paint.
“Print” a quote and slip it (right side up) over a sheet of graphite paper. Pencil the letters of the quote through the graphite. Once transferred to the painted board, you’re ready to outline the quote’s letters with paint. Use a fine tipped brush and a graphite or black shade of craft paint. When dry, lightly sand.
And yes, I fall. This sign is a gentle reminder to get back up and try again.
Years ago I discovered this door at an auction. The auction site was far from the city and “Junking” wasn’t the swishy chic business that it is today. I can not explain the allure to vintage. It is a portal to the past. Perhaps “old”appears truer, faithful, stronger. Or do certain pieces conjure an emotional response? Mirrored moments of love lost, coveted memories, and poignant sorrow from regret. That which we toss or lose, from people to things.
All of the above musings ring true. I also appreciate the dedication to craft, whether it be writing, painting, music or woodworking. The rewrites, brushstrokes, the sound bites, the turn of a leg or the dove tailed edges of a drawer, all suggest old world quality and showcase the artisan’s passion. Maybe it’s the passion piece that grabs, an ageless love that forever shines.
Yet what is it about a door? Throw open the door to reunion. Boot through the door in the heat of crime. Lock the door. Unlock it. Shut the door.
There is an old soul that lives in me. She flows through my eyes to show the house where the door once stood. “Open the door,” she whispers and my hand reaches forth to push upon the cracked ceramic plate. We stand in the kitchen, voyeurs of a life. She gestures to the heart of the room. A wooden table graces the centre. Flour is scattered on top, a rolling-pin waits. We’ve come home.
I recall that day in the valley. The auction house was empty of people. Cast off pieces from lives lived dumped along hallways and atop sideboards. Did anyone care? The door leaned against a wall. Solid oak, it waited. Tall amidst a short pile of old metal watering cans, wooden handled rakes and a box of battered licence plates, it stood out-of-place. There was something bespoke about its simple yet majestic presence. Was it the art deco glass that elevated the door from humble to proud?
I paused, fell in love, tossed in a bid and left with a door.
Sadly, I left the door in an aging shed. For thirty years it lay on a wooden floor. Forgotten, it languished in darkness, gathering dust. Spider egg sacs clung to the edges and nestled in the crooks and crannies. Moisture weathered the finish. It waited for someone to remember.
Until yesterday. Yesterday I wrestled it into the light. Gently, I cleaned and polished the glass, dusted off the egg sacs and sanded the oak.
Magic flowed and imagination sparked. We entered into a dance of sorts. My hands held the sandpaper block as fingers pressed and moved in step with the oak grain. I stepped away and judged. Far too lovely to lay dismissed in a shed.
An architectural piece, it will serve as a symbol of hope, “One door closes, another opens.” Its quiet presence states, grace others that stand on the threshold.
What is this door’s story?
I envision a rambling estate in the English countryside. Laughter rings from the cutting garden. Wee children flit as fairies do amongst the hollyhocks and sunflowers. A man walks the long gravel path to the once well appointed home. He lifts his hat and knocks upon the door. It opens…
Two Minutes About A Storm
I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.
Storm watching isn’t for amateurs. Gale force winds pummeled the house. Gusts tunneled through the nooks and crannies. Wind whistled like a freight train, assaulted the weak in its path. A rip- snorter of a storm had caught the West Coast somewhat by surprise.
Surprise because it is seasonally too early to experience such chaos. Drought like conditions created this “perfect storm.” Stressed coastal trees, their root systems dried and brittle from a lack of rainfall and necessary water restrictions. Meteorologists describe this type of storm phenomenon as a Pineapple Express. There was nothing sweet about this rebel train.
As a child I feared storms, cowered with fright as thunder clapped and lightning struck just beyond my world. I peeked through my bedroom window, listened to the rhythmic taps; imagined slender witch’s fingers a ‘waiting to snatch. A blanket was my armor. It’s different now. Altered, older, stronger, I have faced fear.
Trepidation and wild curiosity fueled me. I ventured outdoors to stand in the fury. The advisory recommended, stay indoors. Foolishly lawless, I steadied for the fight. The street was eerily silent, the quietest calm. The only sounds heard were the snap of branches, the crash of metal falling, and then, the unrelenting screams of wind. Nature unleashed a beast.
Bravely I filmed. In between scenes, wild became calm and still. Stealthily the beast circled, at first the only clue, a faint whooshing as it whistled and teased the branches. Momentum gathered to unleash a fury.
Evergreen limbs jitterbugged, a frenzy of branches whipped about. Pinecones scattered. Boughs snapped and thumped to the ground. Later I would hear the news, power lines fell and arced. Someone’s forgotten laundry sailed past my windowpane. A cast of tea towels, ghosts to a gathering. Sirens screamed.
Defeated and spent the storm abated. The clouds parted and a heart formed within the gossamer. Humanity ventured out from the safety of their shelters and began to tidy the debris left. Usually silent neighbours spoke, stepped in to aid one another with the clean up. Random acts of kindness shone.
Sometimes it takes a storm to remind us of the grace that follows. Life storms happen and in the moments of peace and quiet that follow; we realize how much there is to be grateful for.
“And the voice spoke even more deliberately: ‘…but remember what is under the ocean of clouds: eternity.’
And suddenly that tranquil world, the world of such simple harmony that you discover as you rise above the clouds, took on an unfamiliar quality in my eyes. All that gentleness became a trap. In my mind’s eye I saw that vast white trap laid out, right under my feet. Beneath it reigned neither the restlessness of men nor the living tumult and motion of cities, as one might have thought, but a silence that was even more absolute, a more final peace. That viscous whiteness was turning before my eyes into the boundary between the real and the unreal, between the known and the unknowable. And I was already beginning to sense that a spectacle has no meaning except when seen through a culture, a civilization, a professional craft.”
I am not such a fan of plane travel. It puzzles me how a large, heavy, motorized tin can structure can trick the elements to soar. I am skeptical of the physics. There are rituals, I hold to. I listen to the little things like the sounds of the engines. Are they humming through scales as smoothly and effortlessly as a master conductor guides an orchestra? I want to view the pilot, the uniform. Is it crisp, polished? The pattering steps I hear scampering the ramp. Are they solid, confident? The last pilot scooted through the parking lot seated on top a unicycle. Flare mixed with spunk.
I want some spark, some attitude in my pilot.
Once on the plane , I fall back into the seat and cross my fingers. The engines warm up as they pace through the tests. We taxi the runway. The engine’s thrust pulls, slowly, then faster and faster, until we meet the bump that lifts the metal dream ship, wavering for a second, fighting with the wind, finally pushing skyward. I pray to Sky God cradle me. Air borne. The familiar everyday further behind us. My eyes turn skyward. I pause, silent.
Rocketed, climbing higher, pushing through layers of batting. Mastering the elements, we pass through stormy, wispy white layers. The earth below appears far away, the roof tops disappear, insignificant. The landscape spreads like a quilt. “Rest,” the sky whispers. “Dream.”
Glancing through the arched window I glimpse a spectacular stage. There is such glory to behold. Emerald green patches of land sparkle below, the glaciered prominence of a mountain’s summit, the mix of watery blues edging the greens and inky blues of painted skies. I imagine wings. Glorious wings to fly.
It is peaceful here. Pressing a cheek to the window’s glass, the chill seeps in, penetrates my skin. I press my eyes to sleep. Oh to be winged, soaring through the wispy clouds, playful, peeking from a fluffy mound of snow white piled high. Who goes there? Winged archangels, chubby cherubs, old souls.
Glorious, gone. Home. Now I walk the earth with my eyes turned skyward.
“Love to my way of thinking, is the emotion one feels when they meet someone who makes them be what they want to be. We feel love toward someone who shows us the light, who pushes us to become what we have always wanted to become but may have never realized. We love the person who makes us love ourselves.”
― Mina Hepsen, Under the Blood Red Moon
Nasa explains this breath-taking phenomena better than I do. Please click on the link to find out all to know about the early morning total eclipse of the moon.
Under A Blood Red Moon
I awake at four a.m. and gaze out through the unveiled window. It is the moon that captures my weary attention. It hangs suspended, a brilliant white light, full and heavy, in an inky black sky. A wispy cloud passes by, as if a wayward remnant from a beribboned banner cut. A silken piece left after the announcement that the greatest show of the universe is unfolding.
In the Bible, it is written that God uses the moon and the stars to send signals to earth. The moon held power over the people. It brought about their fears and swayed imaginations. Superstitions surround the topic of the moon. Beware~ those who sleep under a full moon run the risk of insanity or blindness. Worse yet, the magic conjures to turn one into a werewolf; fear not, you are safe from harm. This occurs only if the lunar event falls on a Friday.
I have slept under the blood-red moon, awakening too late to view the total lunar eclipse or tetrad. I catch the last stages of this spectacular lunar event. For a few minutes I am able to glimpse the shadow of red, surrounding the edges of la luna. Our collective hearts beating back to one another.
During a blood-red moon, one is viewing every sunset and every sunrise around the earth at the same time. It appears as if earth’s reflected back by the brilliant moon light. We, the human population, are given a brief opportunity to view each other’s worlds, however fleeting the moment.
It is impossible not to be awed by this spectacular celestial event.
If you missed this lunar event, mark your calendars for October 8, 2015 when once again the earth will experience a total lunar eclipse.