Sunday, August 29, 2010


Wow.  Well.   Home again.  I was only gone 10 days, but it seems like a different world.  Sitting in discussion all day with like-minded individuals, reaching to form connections between the work we do, the ways in which we understand it, and how it relates to the world at large outside of our picturesque New England bubble.  Fantastic..!  Now I'm here, in my apartment, wishing I was living there, holding on to the excitement and inspiration of a Goddard residency, thinking about how I can relate all that great information to my daily life, experience and practice.  I can already feel the ennui sinking in - we got home last night at midnight, I went to bed at 2 - as I sit in front of the computer doing nothing productive, and the boy plays alone in the other room, neither of us having had a proper anything to eat, or stuck our heads out the door to sniff at the sunshine yet today.  To be fair, we're pretty road-tired, and there's nothing wrong with taking a day to sit around in your underwear doing nothing but what you're moved to from one minute to the next, but I don't want to lose the momentum of being intensely engaged with my work all day, every day.  I had such a desire to get home so I could start hammering out some pages, saw the whole project laid out in my mind all tied up with a little bow and more work still to come - so I feel a need to overcome the comfort of 'things', and the enticement of easy distraction my apartment offers before I can even begin to fall into the abyss.  Just turn my back on it, and walk away.  Step one:  take it out of the bedroom...

It was also wonderful just to be in Vermont and go visiting, hang out with folks, eat at P-Pie (the Plainfield location, which is much more hippie hideaway than the website makes it out to be) and Coffee Corner, look at For Rent signs, check out the creative projects my friends are working on, get in the water at Paradise.  I saw that dude I slammed in an earlier post walking around town, and he crossed the street to avoid saying hello to me, which is weird, because he still attempts to flirt with me via IM on occasion, but I'm glad he did because I didn't feel like talking to him, either!  The boy had a great time shopping at Woodbury Mountain Toys, getting a dragon painted on his arm at the Montpelier farmer's market, and four-wheelin' up on the mountain with his dad!   We also stopped in to one of the glassblowing studios I used to work at, and watched the apprentice blow a few pieces.  Big fun all around!  Vermont rocks, and I sure would love to find my way back there soon enough.  We'll see what life has in store, just flow with the program, let the river run.  There's a whole pile of people I didn't get to see, which leads me to believe I may have a more active social life if I moved back there, but the pull of family is kind of strong - though ideally elastic and malleable, so one can attempt to stretch it, as I have, with varying results. We'll see, we'll need to figure it all out today, there's a lot of work that needs to be done between now and then.  Step two:  break the work down into sections and set a schedule.

Ugh.  I want to crawl right back in bed and go to sleep.  I need to get up and carpe diem (at 6pm)...and I'm hungry.  Step three:  enjoy my success!

Thursday, August 12, 2010's all about family

So, I wanted to write about my experience at High Valley, where I went camping with a bunch of old friends a few weeks ago.  They said we had all camped there before, but I didn't remember.  After we'd been there a few hours, once it got dark, I started having flashes, bits and pieces of time out of my life that had disappeared, returning in manageable, non-lethal doses.  I asked, "was someone married here, under this tree?"  Yes, someone was... 

15 or so years ago, I took my chucks off when I made camp, and set them next to the tent where they remained for...who knows, really?  It was three days of what must have been big fun because as I said, I have no memory of it, except for a blurry mental snapshot of a bride under a tree, my chucks, and parts of a slam-damning awesome ritual!  I remember taking my tent down that last morning, or early afternoon, packing up the car and heading off for a new adventure.  I'm sure my friends wished me well, because, well, they're still my friends, and all our kids just played together for the first time at High Valley this Summer.  I got in my car and drove to Vermont, where I lived for 12 years.  About halfway there, I realized that my chucks where exactly where I had put them that first day of the camp out - on the grass, next to the corner of the tent by the door.  I thought about them laying out there in the field, next to the fading square of the tent's dented grass footprint, and I acknowledged their loss.

Standing there recently, seeing that tree again in the moonlight, remembering the bride under it, I said, "this is where I lost my chucks all those years ago, where we had the awesome ritual!  Yes, I have been here before, now I remember!  This is where I left for Vermont  Wow! here I am again.  All these years later, with all of you, and our"  Mind blowing.

Tonight, I was sitting in the yard, looking for meteors - hey, I saw one last night! - and I thought about my idea of a functional family unit.   In a roomy living space for lots of people that also affords privacy on a proportionately sized piece of land, we would produce minimal amounts of trash by recycling or reusing everything including water (living machines), grow some food to eat and flowers to enjoy, build some useful stuff, be multi-generational, warm and supportive of each other.  We could help empower our community by helping them learn how to nurture their talents for coping and surviving through healing and communication, or whatever suits them best.  I know, it's a utopian dream, but it's not too much to hope for, to live intentionally, like a tribe, each relying on the other. 

Because here I am, back in NY, back at High Valley, 15 years later, kids and all, at the place where I began an important journey, with the same folks who sent me off with their blessings.  What have I brought back for them?  A desire to preserve their culture, to make books and stories.  To tell them, to inform them, to entertain, question and inspire them.  I who gave up or lost everything so I could see what was needed.  Or, I, who took all I could and gave nothing back, never struggled a day in my life, who had more on my worst day than some people have on their best.  Me.  What is it that I've brought back?  Part of it is the wisdom of Bucky Fuller saying there is enough on this planet for ALL of us, for each and every one of us to live our fullest lives, but we have to work for it.  If we do everything we can to ensure the survival of our environment (or organism), than it will ensure ours as well.  I don't want to lose the old arts, we'll need them again.  This is my gift to you ~