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Monthly Archives: March 2013

a shift in perspective

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a shift in perspective

I had a dramatic realization the other day.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Not waiting on the future. Not haunted by the past. Just here, now, in the present. Being.

And being what I am being (rather than doing what I am doing). Is weaving itself into my future. Opportunities arise.

I have time to volunteer, participate, be engaged. And in a way that supports the variety of interests (and strengths) that comprise myself.

In the weeks ahead, I am dabbling in projects. Building my networks. Honoring who I am.

I will be serving as a judge for the North Dakota Junior Duck Stamp Competition at the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge next week.

The week after that, I will be working on the final installations of for the Grand Opening of the DPRCA Upstage Gallery.

And in mid-April, I will be attending the Dakota Grown Local Foods Conference and participating as an onsite blogger.

Each of these projects do not feel as though they are work. They are part of my being and I have a feeling that each will lead me to meet even more wonderful people who will be part of my journey, in some way. But, now is now. I trust that I am where I am, because I am where I am supposed to be.

That little shift in perspective changes everything. How I view myself, my family, my friends, and the world. It isn’t about what I chose to do. It’s about how I choose to be.  How grateful I am! 301787_10100240738380527_2023361090_n

Jam Tomorrow, Jam Yesterday

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Jam Tomorrow, Jam Yesterday

The icicles hang with such weight.

An accumulation of the season past.

Their fall will come with the season ahead.

They wait in the in-between.

The freeze and the thaw.

Freeze again.

Icicles in the window March 10, 2013

Icicles in the window March 10, 2013

So do we.

But we look forward to the seasons ahead.

We remember the warmth.

We remember the days, harvesting the garden, long ago.

They seem like only distant memories.

We look ahead, to the days when we will be planting the next garden.

But there is something still that keeps us connected.

Our seasonal way of living, here in the present, connects us to the bounty of years’ past and to the possibilities of the year ahead.

Jars of jams and jellies emerge from the dark cellar.

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They glisten in the light.

Greet us with exciting flavors.

Jalapeno.

Chokecherry-crabapple.

Apple-Basil.

Yellow-Tomato.

Raspberry.

Oh, raspberry!

We bid some farewell as we divide up the last tastes of their fruits.

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I wash the jars and return them to the basement.

Thinking back on fond memories.

  • The chokecherry- crabapple jelly.  Made from chokecherries that some of my students collected and shared. Then, paired with the crabapples from the tree that grows in our backyard. DSCN8124
  • The jalapeño jelly. So simple, yet so flavorful. An instant favorite. Sweet and tangy, a lovely wake up call.
  • Apple-Basil jelly. Made from the unwanted apples from our neighbor’s tree. A recipe so simple and a taste so elegant, there is no reason we shouldn’t have more in our storage, except that we gave so much of it away.
  • Yellow-Tomato jam. Another basil flavor, but with tomatoes, just as basil should be. And a wonderful way to use the excess of yellow pear tomatoes. This is the jam we have become known for making.
  • Raspberry. Oh, raspberry. This is the one my husband caught me eating spoonfuls of early this morning. This is the one we only have one jar of left. This is the one that makes me know that spring will come again.

And how grateful I am to have learned how to make these wonderful foods!

How grateful I am to have had the time to make these.

The weeks I spent in the kitchen making these feels so far away.

Not just through a tense of time, but emotionally.

Stuck in emotional and physical exhaustion,

Some days it was all I could do to get this ‘work’ done.

I trusted we would appreciate these flavors one day.

I reminded myself that the work of preparing, cooking, and canning was a choice.

Not for necessity.

In a sense, it was a luxury to be able to seek out such recipes.

Just as now, it is a luxury to enjoy the tastes of harvests past,

And to know there is more for the days ahead.

Taking Flight

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Taking Flight

I’ve been kinda stuck at this in-between-stage of creativity.

I know now that it is possible for me to be creative.

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I have a space dedicated to my work and I have a bit of an open schedule this week.

Neko, my business associate. working in the office.

Neko, my business associate. working in the office.

But I have this little problem. I try too hard. I try to do too much. I get disappointed easily.

I wanted to work with some feathers today. I love the beauty that resides in a paradox of simplicity and complexity that can be found in nature.

But, leave it to me to try to complicate things.

The pheasant feathers I sorted through today were fairly large. Many were too big for the jewelry that I’ve used feathers for in the past.

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Plus, I wanted to try new things. I sought out exploration over method.

I tried using some spray adhesive to adhere feathers to paper. Yucky and smelly.

I tried some ModgePodge instead. It took away from the shape of the feathers, those natural curves.

I embraced those curves and even tried to ModgePodged some feathers on eggshells. It was interesting. But it just wasn’t what I was looking for…

I got myself completely frustrated. So much so that I was willing to walk away. I even thought about taking a nap.

Then, I just started tidying up my work space. I sat for a long time, looking at the feathers and admiring their beauty.

Then, it hit me. Why not take photographs?

I gave myself a load of ridiculous excuses.

My inner critic is even still at work right now, “What’s so great about a photo of a feather?”

Well, my inner critic, let me tell you.

It’s about embracing simplicity. Recognizing the unique in the familiar.

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Highlighting beauty. Slowing down to see things that might be mundane.

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Revealing the beauty that is, in what it is.

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Remembering that art is not about what I think others might think. DSCN8487

It’s my art and it’s about how I feel. It’s about who I am.

my mid-week break

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Wednesdays are great. I think they always have been. On this particular Wednesday, the sun is shining, the snow has stopped falling. Its mounded up in piles on street corners and molded around structures. It kinda feels like the last big one this year. DSCN8345

When I opened the door, a chorus of chickadees were singing, “Spring’s Here, Spring’s Here!” I’d like to trust them, but there was still one grumpy little bird singing it’s winter song. Maybe the young ones were just happy.

So this is my mid-week break. No daycare for my youngest, no scheduled work for me. Just sunlight and the freedom to choose what to do.

Maybe laundry.

Maybe reading my new favorite book, The Way of the Happy Woman.

Maybe reading my book club book for next week. I’ve got something like 400 pages to go, but I am just not feeling it. Maybe I need to adjust my expectations and give it a different kind of chance.

Maybe making some jewelry and multimedia art for the opening of the Upstage Gallery.

Maybe cleaning out the chicken coop and letting the chickens play in the snow. They might have a hard time though. They aren’t exactly built like buffalo.

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The backyard, March 6 at 9:50am.

Maybe having some focused time with the crazy little puppy.

Cedar Jane at 3 months old, frustrated I won't let her in my office as I sort through old art work.

Cedar Jane at 3 months old, frustrated I won’t let her in my office as I sort through old art work.

There are plenty of possibilities and nothing of pressure. Its nice to not have pressure. It’s not about forcing anything to happen. It’s not about keeping anything from happening. It’s part of a process of opening to the world, one moment at a time.

This is what I’ve worked toward… Amen!