July 16, 2014


Shortly after stashing my bags at the guest house
and not two hours into my arrival in Scotland,
I went out for a walk and came across this ...
a most thought provoking sign.
Local residents would certainly have pegged me for a tourist
should any of them been watching as I maneuvered for a photo angle,
but I couldn't pass it up.
I was having one of those hairs-standing-on-end moments
about good things to come; as I stared up at that sign
I just knew I was in for a mighty special adventure.

How true that was !

Now, as seems to be my way,
I'm needing a bit of time to let everything percolate ...
I'm busy editing photos, gathering thoughts from memories & notes,
and spending some precious hours exploring new directions in handwork
while that fire burns bright.

I've posted a few images over on Instagram,
for now, a wee small taste
of my delightful journey to bonny Scotland.

Very soon, I'll have some tales to tell ...

June 24, 2014

Towards another edge ...

how to dive in

Be afraid. Tremble at the thought. Sleep poorly. Eat potato chips in
nervous succession.  Get angry when you least expected it. Feel
impatient at small talk, how much it delays and distracts. Yearn
for silence, that necessary blank canvas. Take note of the way clouds steal
across the sky, shaping themselves into the faces of celebrities, or a rabbit.
Find yourself, unexpectedly, advancing toward an edge, electric and unsure.
Notice the texture of the ground under your feet - loose pebbles, hot granite.
See what you do when no one's watching, how you lean in, how you want more,
aching for that first kiss of wind on your face, that smile of sun, beaming.
Catch your breath, close your eyes, then remember: you're not dreaming.

~ from the 10-line Tuesday series

: : :

It's not the first time one of Maya's poems has arrived in my Tuesday box
somehow being so perfectly tuned
to here and now.
For you see, I'm heading out on a wee adventure shortly
to another edge,
or two,
some 4,450 miles from home ...
and I am feeling all these things Maya speaks of
[although I may have to admit to French fries over potato chips].

Shall be quiet here for a little while
but surely I'll have some tales to tell when I return.

The happiest of summers to each of you ...

June 15, 2014

Some sense of order when there really isn't any

Not being one who is predisposed to tidiness
this happens to be the entire tipsy stack of books
which I've read over the last year
[and maybe a bit beyond]
piled as I laid them,
or  [some]  not,
seen in complete disarray this afternoon.

This is a very graphic example of how my mind works.
True confession ...
such as it is.

Side story:
Recently, I found myself in need of an awl.
Not necessarily desirous of a new one
it came to my attention I might acquire one used ... not only for a lesser penny
but in the company of vintage needles tah boot.

Fond as I am of my grandmother's needle collection
these additions felt irresistible
for in this group were some larger eye sizes that I also happen to need,
of good quality, made in England
and which includes that delightfully historic Army and Navy Needle Book.

Here is the fine fella, Mr. Awl, now home to roost.  Still good & sharp
all that was required was a bit of cleaning on the wood handle.
I've left the heavy duty thread in place for the sake of posterity,
a reminder of tasks long past.

and about to be put to further good use
[although not on this work smock ... slow going with hand stitching here].

But returning now to my opening tale of order ....

In my last post I happened to arrange a collection of objects 
that capsulized in an image what "home" symbolizes for me.
To my great surprise, I found enormous pleasure in this kind of organization.


So in a similar vein, 
and because I find particular satisfaction in bringing this kind of 
order to things, here's another.  I daresay
 it might be quite some time before I'm similarly motivated
to produce order from the untidy stacks around the place.

: : :

My longtime blog friend, JJ Worden, left a swell link in her comment on my
last post ... she wrote:
"this reminds me a lot of an  'organized neatly'  theme on tumblr 
and is my head aesthetic though what comes out
looks nothing like it."

Love that.

Worth taking a long scroll over on that Tumblr theme  HERE
if this particular kind of  head aesthetic  appeals.

June 10, 2014

There's no place like home ...

string stone
owl feather
beach pebble
granite square

: : :

Joining with the fine folks over at Kim's place
faved : used in multiply mode, faded 50%, center erased slightly.

June 4, 2014

Out to the edge

When I was a little girl,
I had a big crazy dream
about wanting to become the first woman astronaut.
Visions of walking around the outside of a space capsule while
looking back from the edge of the universe towards earth,
were completely captivating
and compelled me to study the sciences
while striving to be the best student possible.
NASA was demanding.  This I knew.

So it was a good thing I found out early
I was too short for space exploration
[then, the minimum height for pilots was 5' 4"]
because I never excelled in the sciences
and was fairly hopeless in math,
two very important subjects for discovering new worlds
in the cosmos.

~ evening view from Iceberg Point, on the far southwest tip of Lopez Island ~

What has never left me after all these years
is my unwavering attraction to the edges of places.
Funny to think of it this way but
when I look back on where I've travelled
and where I've chosen to live,
I see the pattern ...
still that wannabe astronaut, albeit in disguise.
Instead of space boots
it's likely a pair of Keens [or Blunnies when it's cold] these days.
And as often as possible
there's a certain four-pawed companion in tow,
a bit frowned on within intergalactic travel.

~ view from Spencer Spit, eastern side of Lopez Island, Swift's Bay on one side, Lopez Sound on the other ~

No, there may not have been rocket transport to the moon in my history
nor a glimpse of Mars from a capsule window,
but a simple outboard motor can surely be a 
perfect enough shuttle on a fine summer day when
there's an outer island to explore ....

~ passing through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, outer San Juan Islands ~

Not much traffic in the low-season
aside from the odd floating log
or a few seals just offshore.

~ the signal building, Turn Point Light Station, Stuart Island, San Juan Islands ~

My friend Pat & her husband do some caretaking out at Turn Point Light Station
although often, Pat heads over on her own.  In need of an extra pair 
of helping hands for this trip, Pat offered a ride.

Located way out on Stuart Island ... the farthest northwest point in the San Juan Islands ...
it's still only a 40 minute journey from the marina on Fisherman Bay.
The views are breathtaking.
Still, I can barely imagine living life out there - full time - as the keepers of old used to do.
While reading their stories, carefully preserved & documented in the small museum,
I couldn't help but think how  THIS  would be truly
living on the edge.
Many of the keepers didn't last too long in such a remote spot

except for this one ...

~ copy of photo from Turn Point Light Station Museum ~

Louis A. Borchers, keeper & amateur photographer.
I could relate to his propensity for picture-taking

~ copy of photo from Turn Point Light Station Museum ~

and probably would have spent my own time doing
much of the same.
Although, look at that beast of a tripod !
Good, sturdy legs for Borcher's Putnam Marvel,
a beautiful wood 5 x 8 view camera that would have cost
a pretty penny back in the day.

~ cliff at Lover's Leap [left], southwesterly view from Stuart Island ~

~ view to Vancouver Island, Canada from Stuart Island, USA ~

We ate our lunch on the bluff in front of the signal building
where the rushing confluence of tides was pleasant music
on such a peaceful, windless afternoon.
Sitting there in awe of this beautiful world,
right there on the boundary line between the States
and our western neighbor, B.C., Canada,
I pulled out my little pocket camera [phone]
while expressing thanks to all the explorers that came before.
Fortunately, there's no height restriction for this kind of adventuring
and I'm sure some were short just like me.

It was a fine day out.

May 16, 2014

From the sea

It's been a fine, fine week
filled with many things
that just
make my heart sing

Pebbles were aligned,

tides were watched,
while in between

there was quite a bit of dunking.

I'd dyed a thrift shirt
in honor of my friend's visit

and much like in days of old
watching a photograph come to life
in the darkroom tray,
so too, my shirt's colors
after a dip in the salty brink.
pure and simple.

Kelp jewelry
and an abundant assortment of seaweed gifts
piled along the shore
inspired an experiment ...
what if they might give color?
Although I live by the sea, I have never tried.

So I waited, mustering patience
while my seaweed bundle
rested for five long days.

This morning, I unwrapped her

and I do believe a treasure trove of possibilities

: : :

My  Friday Find ... joining in with the gang over at Kim's place
to celebrate life's simple pleasures.