La Vie Revee des Anges

The process of Keum Boo

Last night was a funny night: I spent all afternoon and evening in the studio, struggling with Keum Boo…only to find out that the way I had learned it was using different material than what I have. So, armed with a smidge of frustration, I went out for a walk in the dark.

It was snowing, ever so lightly, as I walked. I went down to the marina, and up the dark road that leads away from the harbor, all the while staring up at so many stars and one arm of the Milky Way that was white in the night. I wandered down the dark stairs that go up from the harbor to the police station parking lot; I hadn’t thought of the fact that the stairs would be dark, too, and had to move very slowly, tap-tapping my boot ahead of me as I went.

As I walked, I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me. The music on the headphones was helpful in letting things out, and I realized that I was processing the transition that I am experiencing. I was remembering Philadelphia, remembering the hardness of that place, and finally am now starting to let it out, let it go. It is very hard and a scary thing to let go of the guard you have had up for over a year and a half: my guard wall started to be built even before I left Austin, when I was steeling myself for the move, and only increased in size and depth as time passed in that new city. By the time I left Philly, the castle walls and moat were so deep and thick as to stop even myself from seeing beyond them. But now, they are starting to crumble, and when they do, it makes me  take deep breaths, think for a minute, and keep walking.

I went to bed at a reasonable time, and woke up this morning refreshed and inspired to have a day dedicated to art. It is strange as today is election day, a day I always pay attention to but do not participate in because I am not able to vote (being a non-citizen). In that vein, I am usually very politically charged but have decided today to step away from that and go out into the woods, and to the library, and then, to the studio.

One of the more interesting things that I have been doing over the last couple of days is gathering photos for my dream house in the country, collecting snippets here and there, looking at new blogs like Wit + Delight (which I love love love), and thinking about the way I wish to make my little house. I haven’t thought of things like this in a long, long, time, and I feel wonderful to be back to thinking about creating and cultivating a life of beauty in this place.

Early this morning, I stepped onto my newly glassed-in porch, felt the boards move beneath my feet and could almost feel roots growing out of my feet down toward to the ground, anchoring me here. I stretch my body every morning as part of my greeting to the day, stretching my arms and legs up and out, but this feeling was different: it was as if I was a long, tall tree with branches going up and large, strong roots growing down.

Last night, during my walk, I visited my favorite tree in town which is in the garden of a huge, old summer house on the water.

My favorite tree in summer…now it is quite different

“Nothing that had happened in the past could be taken away. This was an amazing gift. The past was done and over and settled; you couldn’t get it back, but still, whatever good you had gotten from it, spiritually, emotionally, would be yours for your lifetime.”

Nancy Werlin

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