After seriously underestimating how long it would take to pack up my household things and my studio by about a factor of ten....I was rescued by several friends and my driver Gary Duplex. Gary is from Tennessee and came a day ahead of time and helped me do a marathon packing session along with a great local young man named Blake that a friend recommended for the job.
What I learned from this experience is more than I can easily put into words. The stress just about did me in. The kindness sent my way was very special and still brings me to tears. I am learning so much with each new day. I feel incredibly loved and I also find people has been so incredibly open with me lately. My conversations have so much depth and honesty and sometimes I am even overwhelmed by it all. I have had people releasing some very painful and private feelings and history...none of which I can discuss. I am left with a feeling that we all carry around some very intense hurts, illnesses, loneliness and broken relationships.
I am in Kamas Utah with about 2,000 miles to go on this trip. I have had a very intensely amazing trip so far and I will be posting photos and going into more details. So far I have experienced the immensity of driving through the steep Cascade mountain range, driving through the east sides of Washington and Oregon seeing vast rolls of hay, alfalfa, sugar beets, hops and fruit. In Idaho the rock formations have been intense and remind me of Keflavik,
I have been visiting with family in Idaho and now in Utah..meeting my great nieces and nephews.
The 2 nights I have spent in motels have been a study in contrasts. My first night was in a small old motel full of Hispanic families along with a bunch of kittens and puppies. All the little girls loved petting my small old dog Shadow and I had a great time hanging out with babies , toddlers and middle school aged boys who shared their remote controlled cars and kittens with me. Last night I stayed at a pet friendly Best Western that was luxurious and also had good energy. The restaurant next door was fairly empty and the other guests , our waitress and I had a great conversation. The waitress is a lesbian and she and her partner are trying to decide if they should have a child together. So the conversations ranged far and wide from travel, school to becoming a parent.
I traveled to Salt Lake City today and met up with Stan Roberts of XAZ Beads. He and I met years ago in Seattle at the gift show and we have talked a few times since. He gave me advise on how to build a small electric raku fired kiln. I loved seeing his set up and unique firing tricks. He is a tall slender sweet man with a great smile and lots of wisdom. I will post photos later.
Its is almost 3 am so back to bed...
Reminders to self: write about dumpster diving, keys in the car, cell phone hell, impressions of the places I have been, saying good bye one last night and gifts of the open road....fishing dreams and babies..................
More later..Pictures too.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Here is a photo of Jasper and me as he played with water in my sink. Just water and bubbles can make the best play things!
Last night I packed until 9:00 pm and thought I should go to bed early. But instead at the last minute I decided to head into town and go to a benefit concert at the Upstage in Port Townsend. Serena's 103 year old cello has broken and is being repaired in Seattle with an estimated cost of $2,000.
She is a beautiful young single mother, composer and passionate musician. The turn out was great and the whole event came together under the direction of Joe Breskin who managed to network through his vast email list and get folks to come and play music and donate to the cause.
The quality of the music was excellent, deep and heartfelt. It was more than special to experience this event.
Today my Guardian Angel arrived in the form of a truck driver from Tennesee. Gary is a special man and he came a day early and is helping me pack. I have been so completely overwhelmed by the volume of stuff that has to be packed. Even with help I was and still am far behind. We just about have the house all done and while he and some local hired help load up what is in boxes I will tackle the rest of the studio packing in the morning. My assistant Rose spend 3 days packing bisqued animals and plaster molds. River helped tape up and pack the glazes over the weekend. I have had so much help with packing and the yardsale.
Many thanks to all my dear sweet loving and kind friends who have brought me food, helped set up and breakdown the yardsale stuff, taken trash to the dump and checked in often. I feel loved.
I do not have a lap top and this computer will get packed up tomorrow morning. So the next entries will be from borrowed computers along the way. I will take photos and upload as I get the opportunity. Tomorrow Jenny is cleaning my car for the trip...sweet!
The last few months have by far been the most difficult in my life. Great highs and lows.
As excited as I am about leaving for North Carolina and living with Jim I am also very sad about leaving this community that has made me feel more loved and enfolded than any other place I have ever lived.
Leaving Jenny and Jasper is heart breaking. I will visit of course, but it just isn't going to be the same.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Last night was my going away party hosted by Jill Beaumont and Tom Lemmons. They set up for the party in a small grove of young trees with a circle of Adirondack chairs, picnic table and a wonderful fire in a deep fire pit. Most of my friends were able to come. Some coming as from as far away as San Juan Island which is 2 ferry rides from the north where I raised my sons. My dear friends River and Chinmayo (the San Juan Island friends) came early and helped me pack and to cheer me up. They are deep souls and among some of the finest women I know. Each have lived through hard times and painful life experiences to only become stronger and more full of life and creativity. They are amazing people. They love deeply and give of them selves fully.
Actually I think I could say that about most of my friends here.
As I looked around I realized that my friends are artists, musicians, writers, story tellers, fishermen and healers, gardeners, great cooks, world travelers, committed community minded seekers after the ideal of a better way of living, sharing and relating to the blessing of living on the fragile planet we call home. Otto, Kristin, Joe and Buzz played music, the potluck was sumptuous and made mostly from local fish and fruit and vegetables. Carrie cooked the huge roast beast I had left from the 1/4 of a beef cattle from a local farm. Had to defrost that freezer!
We live in one of the most bountiful places on the planet.
I can only absorb just so much right now. I am so overwhelmed and fragile and find it hard to let go and say my good byes and hear all the loving words of support and friendship.
Pam danced with me and sang a sweet impromptu love rhyme in my ears.. The tears flowed.
I had to say good bye to my son Tucker early this morning as he headed out to Lopez Island and then home to Mt Baker with a truck load of his broken motorcycle, dirt bike and snow mobile...He sold the broken 1979 Toyota 4x4 pick up to a local off roader and will sell the rest for whatever he can get. He is determined to not accumulate more "projects" that he doesn't actually get to! A great life lesson many of us need to learn. He is most likely headed to Alaska again to continue with Avalanche and Rescue training. He is a certified Heli-sking Guide.
My other son Evan started his first semester at Whatcom Community College and just found out his Pell Grant came through! I think he is going to do very well in school. I am proud of both of them.
I have had some wonderful support with friends helping me pack and even bringing me food. I have lots 10 lbs....combination of stress and being really strict with my new diet to control my diabetes. Feels really good to be losing weigh. 10 lbs to go..seems attainable.
I'll hopefully make my deadline of being ready by Friday for the moving van! It seems impossible to pull off. Hopefully tomorrow will be a day of more packing and less crying! Cavin Richie is going to build a crate for one of my kilns....more kindness and generosity.....My plants are finding new homes and my treasures are mostly packed. If you stop by I will put you to work!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Today I fired my last raku firing that I'll do on Blossom Lane in Port Townsend, WA. Then I cried.
I shipped several orders to galleries today, even one to The Netherlands! I cried after saying good bye to the staff at the local UPS Store. Audrey, the owner, has become a friend over the years along with Lynn who also works there. They are dog lovers and even have special soft dog treats for my small dog Shadow who is 15 years old. When I first moved here I hardly knew anyone and going to ship my orders out was a treat. Right from the start I felt a special connection to the place. They saved boxes for me and always asked about Shadow if for some reason I didn't bring him, which was rare. I walked out and cried as I drove away.
Tonight I baby sat Jasper my 2 year old godson. This is the last time I will babysit him for a long time.We cuddled on the sofa and I made up stories about rabbits and squirrels with Jasper as the hero in many a tale. I shed more tears sitting in the car as I drove off.
I am getting really tired of crying......
Monday, September 7, 2009
I was playing with cigar boxes one summer. Transforming them with paint, glass bead feet and embossing velvet for the lining. I had not painted for many years and once again fell in love with the magic of color. I have done a few others but this first one is still my favorite. The handle on this box is from my apple tree in Friday Harbor, WA
My son Evan gave me this tiny piece of coral that he found while scuba diving in Panama last year. I think it is one of the most wonderful , beautiful and hilarious gifts I have ever received!
He was amazed that he found it at all. It is right up there with the Raven skull a high aged boy on San Juan Island gave me. Great treasures.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Last night was Gallery Walk in Port Townsend. Lorna Smith has opened a tiny gallery that is all local ceramics and primarily features her work. She recently added my work to the gallery and I went to town after a day of packing to see how my work looked in her shop. I was more than pleased, delighted in fact. My little critters are in the window on glass shelves with great lighting. While I was looking at the display from the outside 2 women came up and commented on the work and went in and picked up several pieces. Lorna says she has been selling at least one of my pieces a day. She is happy and so am I. I'll try and get her as much work as I can before I leave for the southeast.
Here is a photo of me taking my hot critters out of the kiln at 1850F degrees so I can raku them. When it is really hot outside I end up covered in sweat. Fall and winter are better months for this work as you can imagine. I'll most likely will get up really early in the summer months in North Carolina to do the rakuing. I always enjoy firing. I love the spontaneity of the process. All raku artists are pyromaniacs at heart.
My studio and kilns will get packed last. The time I spend in the studio these days is my solace and refuge. The chaos of packing up the house is very upsetting. Yesterday I packed all my wall art and the house looks bare. Next I'll pack my treasures (shells, bird's nests, feathers, bones,rocks etc) and some of my ceramic art collection. Last will be the kitchen and clothes and studio. everyday I end up giving something away or placing things in the box headed for the local Goodwill. Sept 26th is the day I head out.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I am starting to pack for my move to North Carolina.
To say that my life is changing is an understatement.
My house has sold in record time in a slow market just as Sara Creekmore said it would. By the end of 2009 I will be divorced after 35 years of marriage. My two grown sons will most likely be living in the Northwest so I will be a long ways from them. I have been living alone for the first time in my life.
I don't like it.
I am moving to NC to explore a new relationship and to explore an artistic collaboration. One Hundred Horses will continue as a business and new work will be evolving and added as I am ready to share it with the world. The last few months have been very up and down and full of discovery, pain and joy.
I am overwhelmed by the amount of treasures I want to bring!
Packing up the studio will be interesting to say the least.
Driving across the country will be an adventure. I have no idea what it will be like but usually I enjoy the spontaneity of travel and love being an onlooker and explorer in America and Canada.
My last cross country travels were back when I was 21 and hitch hiking across Canada and America several times in 6 months. I became addicted to the road. Back then I had a small journal that I drew in. Above is some of the work I did back then when pen and ink was my medium. Maybe I should bring the same journal and add to it?