just some serendipity this morn between
tree photos from the editing lightbox
and penetrating verse found in the inbox ...

chess anyone?

I'm imagining someone bent over a fresh board, poised for footsteps.  Despite
an early winter draft snaking upstairs, despite the almost-dinner hour and the too-small
likelihood of a passerby plucky enough to take the plunge, they are listening and patient,
ready for any stranger who might sit down. Such sturdy optimism. The invitation of it all.

I wonder if, at the heart of it, we forget to say exactly what we're looking for, anxious
that the details will cloister and confine, keep us from the thing we want.  The sign I read, 
narrowed as it was, stood beside an open door, and no matter what was next, there was,
at least, the certain knowledge it would include the pieces for a game to be played.

What little flag could I hold out?  What batch of words would say it best?
What would I ask if asking were the only branch I'd need to build my nest?

~ Maya Stein

: : :

"10-Line Tuesday" poetry
by Maya Stein ... a backlog can be viewed   here


Marking time


There's more than one way to keep a diary
and it seems I've inadvertently been keeping one
through bundle photographs.
Call me crazy
but I love the look of them.
Obviously I must, because I can't seem to stop.

Beyond the anticipation of scrumptious prints [hopefully] waiting be revealed, 
there's a metaphor about this process I strongly relate to --
the metaphor of time ...
mainly, the importance of  giving  time.

Now I can say
I've learned great patience when it comes to unwrapping my bundles.
Oh, it was   SO HARD  in the beginning, I'll grant you that,
but it didn't take long to discover the wait was worth it.
Such marks from dry-down !
So, I'm not troubled by that discipline any longer.

And it seems when I have gotten antsy
I've helped to pass the time by taking a lot of "portraits."
Otherwise my files would not be so close to bursting with the sheer quantity.
oh dear.

Collating parts of my picture library this week was a long overdue task.  Since I've
gone off the deep end you might say, with effects editing, the multiplicity factor
was slightly out of hand [putting it mildly] and if there was going to be
any hope of finding particulars, some organization was in order
or I was doomed.

When the  Ecoprints  album was finally assembled, I reviewed the group
with a scrutinizing eye
noticing immediately the inordinate quantity of bundle shots.
Ever do a thing repeatedly - unconsciously - only to become aware of your
at a much later date?
Good then.  I'm not alone.
Laid out in chronological order I saw the entire past year [almost]
illustrated by the progression of foraging, wrapping and dyeing ... 
with special emphasis on

the bundles themselves.

It was grand to have them all in one place !

There was a "walking down memory lane" aspect to this endeavor
and I kept getting sidetracked by delightful memories of dye days past ... like the
great can experiment with my Lopez group - how we juggled for space in the cauldrons
but folks using blackberries bled all over their neighbors anyway.
Still, with such pretty results nary a complaint was heard.

And then there was the afternoon I became my grandmother in the kitchen
[preserving cloth, not green beans] and learned to  stuff, steep + store
for India's pantry shelf out in the interpixies ....

Mainly, I've dyed alone [cue Country Western music ?]
conducting all manner of experiments.  Different themes on different days,
playing around, plodding through,
definitely having a grand ole time.

I've put a few leaves through their paces

but then later, trying to ecoprint on paper put me through mine.

 do not wrap your paper bundle with rubber bands
you've put something sturdy inside to hold the bands in place.

Imagine unfolding mush [see collapsed bundle above]
... yessiree, not pretty.

When I couldn't make bundles, I sometimes dreamt them up instead ...
messing about with the entirely wonderful DianaPhoto app
one can conjure up all manner of imaginary landscapes
and so I did.

Halfway through the year a very particular dream did come true
and I wandered off to one of the more gentler landscapes I've ever encountered
where I bundled my heart out next to a great wide river
and drank   far too much   far too little fine, single malt Scotch Whisky.
This one was especially yummy.

but I'm digressing from the true direction of this story ...

which is to share my year of time-marking
through some portraiture of
the humble bundle
[no, I have not been drinking whisky this evening].

All those glorious bundles !
They've been rough and ragged ...
they've been tidy, clean & slick

but they've been mostly everything in between.

A motley crew of unrelated objects served as bases:
hauled from the shore
mailed from the desert
and yes, even stolen ...
[innocent indiscretion at the shipyard, really]

but in all cases,
the tighter the wrap, the surer the outcome.

Here's a couple of favorites.
On the left, silk wrapped around three copper pipes; on the right, silk filled with seaweed.

Their diary entry might have read something like this:

Dear diary, had the most marvelous morning beach combing at the cove. What a 
stash of interesting seaweed! (time of year?)  Must try some in bundles - 
wonder if they'll give prints?  So nice of P to give me the copper.  Perfect temperature this aft, 
no wind - I'll wrap on the porch.  Still good color in the madrone bath, I think.
Dog's curious bout the unusual smells - funny to watch her nose twitch 
while she investigates. HA! a sneeze.
Can't wait to try my new string.

But instead ... 


and there was my story.