October 31st, 2014
Leaves to Myself
This piece came directly out of the experience I wrote about yesterday during the healing energy work. Last night I had another Yoga Nidra class. I feel like it’s making me more aware of my feelings and where they are coming from. So I can recognize when an emotion is coming from an old trigger and I can deal with it better.
It’s called Leaves to Myself and it came together one image at a time. I only knew the girl would be at the top of the stairs, but the rest came when I reread the poem I wrote yesterday about my healing experience at Mandy’s. I’m not sure why, but I loved making that small tree (less than 4″ tall) and those tiny leaves (less than a half-inch from stem to tip).
Leaves to Myself is sold.
Detail of the tree
October 30th, 2014
Stuff from my past has been coming up. I think it’s partly because of the up coming holidays (the holidays always throw me off balance) and partly because of the Yoga Nidra classes I’ve been taking for the past three weeks. Yoga Nidra is a meditation practice that puts you into that place between waking and sleeping. It’s purpose (as described in the class I’m taking) is to help find that peaceful and intuitive place inside of us that we can always go to no matter what is happening in the world around us. It’s our safe place. I was originally interested in Yoga Nidra as a creative tool. I know that is also can put me in a state of mind were visions and words occur seeming apart from me. That’s the creative part I was looking for.
But I think what’s happened in my last three classes is that old issues in my life are coming up. It’s kind of like dredging. So last week was a difficult one for me. I was hyper-sensitive and feeling really vulnerable and paranoid. (It was no fun for Jon either, as you might imagine). But through talking about it and understanding what is going on, I’ve been coming out of it and to a better place. So today, when I was going for a massage, Mandy suggested she just do energy work instead of massage. (usually she does a little of each).
What a good decision that was. During the healing, I had many visions come to me, (including my dead father walking up the stairs to the office then floating off into nothingness). At times I could feel my body vibrate, other times parts of me were really heavy and dense feeling. Towards the end, I saw a piece of dark plaid fabric over my stomach. I cut it with a shears and it vanished, replaced by a black bowl filled with nuts and grain. Finally Mandy laid her hand just below my neck by my clavicle and everything turned gold then that space in me and just below it, where my heart is, filled with a glowing white crystal-like shine.
Feeling so much lighter and grounded, I’ve still been in a bit of a fog all day. In my studio, I came up with a poem (which describes some of the visions I had) and this piece I call Gone. It’s made out of hankies and linens, marker and thread. It’s as close as I can come to what I’ve been feeling today.
A trail of dead leaves
footsteps to myself
A black bowl of nuts and grain
Fingers that hold a
glint of the sun
A donkey on the
Path to Glory
I held the scissors
and cut the cloth
Meaning sliding out in
front of me
Why is not the question
I closed the doors behind me
gone with each one.
Detail from “Gone”
October 29th, 2014
Red’s Superman Bandana
A few weeks ago, Red came home from the groomers wearing a Superman Bandana. There was no question in my mind what to do with that bandana….
Red’s Superman Bandana Potholders
Red’s Superman Bandana Potholders are for sale. ( or will be once they’re finished). They are $15 each + $5 shipping. I only have
four of them one left, so if you can imagine one hanging in your kitchen, or the kitchen of someone you know, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I take check and Paypal.
October 28th, 2014
I’m tea staining some of the white hankies to make another Girl and Tree Scarf. They’ve been sitting in boiled tea water for almost two hours. Next they’ll go in cold water to set…..
October 28th, 2014
Mary Kellogg at her dining room table surrounded by her poems
I brought Mary some parsnip soup, a pumpkin muffin from the Round House and Mary Oliver’s new book. We sat at her dining room table, her woods and mountains, just beyond the bird feeders, out the picture window that brightens up her old farm house. We got right to work going over the poems that will be in Mary’s new book.
This will be the third book of Mary’s that Jon and I will publish. And we weren’t certain it would actually happen until almost a year ago, when Mary gave me a folder with a bunch of new poems in it. And she’s been adding to them ever since. Today, I brought my folder of poems with me to Mary’s. She read each poem from her revised pile, and I changed a word or phrase on my old copies, updating them.
But there was one poem that I had that Mary didn’t. It was called On Approaching Age 82. I showed it to Mary saying I thought it should go in the book. She agreed, but said she had to change one thing. Then she crossed out the 82 and wrote in 85. She wrote the poem in 2012, but at 84 going on 85, it’s obviously still relevant.
When I got home I showed Jon all of Mary’s poems and told him we needed a title. He read through them and picked out three different phrases from three different poems. The last one was How To Dance. I haven’t run it by Mary yet, but we both agreed it would be the perfect title. Now we just need one of Jon’s photos for the cover and we’ll be ready to publish.
“On Approaching 85″ by Mary Kellogg.
October 28th, 2014
I’m not sure what she wanted, but Minnie sat outside my studio looking in my window. Food probably. She finally settled down in the Iris leaves laid flat from raking. It’s a warm spot, on the south side of my studio this time of year and Minnie enjoyed the sun in the company of the hens.
October 27th, 2014
The last time I wrote about a quilt I made, Jon suggested instead of writing about the process why not write about how the quilt makes me feel (living with a writer has its perks although I’m not always so open minded to Jon’s suggestions). So, this afternoon, when I finished designing this quilt that I started on Friday, I sat down on my studio floor and looked at it trying to understand what I felt looking at it done, and what I was feeling when I made it. I sat for a while, then went for a walk in the woods with Lenore, then sat some more. During that time, these were the words that came to me:
I went to the place where life began
in search of my singular self.
There were Lions and Tigers and a Hen
a swamp and a hollow tree
I slogged through the swamp
and sat in the tree
and discovered the past ran through my veins
So I took off my skin
and shook it out
like a coat too long in the attic
I ached for something golden and slow
to cleanse me from the inside out.
I started the quilt with this Baroque scene and the pink dog fabric.
October 26th, 2014
That’s Deb under that coat of wool.
Our shearers Jim and Liz showed up just as Jon and I were digging up the Dahlia’s for the winter and Tyler was raking leaves. Deb and Zelda were the first to get shorn. Zelda, of course, gave Jim a hard time, but Deb was pretty easy. Liz, did a great job with Deb considering it was her first time being shorn.
Liz and Tyler with Suzy
I handed Tyler, plastic bags and name tags and while I bagged the wool from the sheep Jim sheared, Tyler bagged the wool from the sheep that Liz sheared. Some of the wool gets tossed, mostly the stuff from their heads and around their bellies and rear, because it’s so dirty. Tyler was quick to learn what to keep and which part of the fleece to throw away.
Ma, Deb and Red
Deb ran straight to Ma once she was shorn and her hoofs trimmed. Ma was standing by herself in a corner of the barn ( she’s been doing a lot of this lately, going off on her own) and having her an Deb separated from the rest of the sheep did not make Red happy.
That’s Kim, Liam, Zelda, Socks and Suzy ready to get back to the pasture while the Donkeys check them out without their wool coats.
Both Liam and Pumkin gave Jim a hard time. They were difficult to catch and wouldn’t settle down during the shearing. They were kicking and in constant motion. All the other sheep, including Zelda, become docile as soon as they were turned on their backs. But even though they’re wethers (neutered males) I worry as they grow bigger that they may be even more difficult to handle. They’re fast and strong and can easily hurt someone. I know I couldn’t catch and hold onto one of them by myself. While I was watching them kick and thrash around as Jim tried to hold and calm them to be shorn and have their hooves trimmed, I was thinking it might be best to give them away. We know a sheep farmer who would take them. But then, when Socks was being shorn, Pumpkin was calling out to her. He seemed like a little lamb again. And he has such a sweet and gentle baa. I also think he has some really nice wool.
After the shearing was all done, the dahlia’s dug up and stored in baskets in the basement, leaves raked, and manure spread around the flower beds, a rainbow arched over the farm. It seemed a promising way to end the day.
October 26th, 2014
The sheep in their wool coats
It’s a great day for shearing. Cloudy, but warm and dry. Don’t worry about the sheep, they won’t be cold without their wool coats. They only need about an inch of wool to keep them warm in the winter and by the time the really cold weather comes ( remember what humans think of as cold is very different from what a sheep feels) they’ll have enough wool to keep them warm.
It seems to me the sheep are dirtier this year than in the past. They’re full of Burdock and Begger Ticks (these aren’t actual ticks, but seeds that get caught in anything they come in contact with). So Jon and I will be very busy skirting (getting the big stuff out of the wool before it goes to the Mill) the fleeces in the days to come.
Now I’m off to get my plastic bags and name tags ready. I keep the wool separate and when it comes back as yarn, anyone can buy the wool of their favorite sheep. This batch will probably come back from the mill in April or May as yarn and roving. (Roving is the wool cleaned and ready for spinning for those who hand spin or can be used for felting).
I have another batch of yarn coming back in February or March from last springs shearing. That was before the lambs came and Ted, the ram, was still at the farm.
October 24th, 2014
The trip to South Dakota has been on my mind. Pamela has been so busy (as she usually is taking care of all those horses and all that goes with it) that we’ve had a hard time connecting. Last week when I came home from my Yoga Nidra class I sat on the couch and picked up my sketch pad, looked at the statue of the horse that Pamela gave me, on the mantle and did a drawing.
I knew it was Blue Horse, the horse Pamela told me the story about. The horse that sings the story of the Blue Star, the end of one world and the beginning of another. But Blue Horse came at me from another angle too. Mary Oliver’s new poetry book is called Blue Horses. Her title refers to the Franz Marc painting of four blue horses. Which led me to “The Blue Rider” a group of German painters including Marc and Kandinsky and Paul Klee, who believed in “expressing their spiritual beliefs through their art”. The name of the group comes from a painting of a blue horse by Kandinsky. He believed that blue represented spirituality.
I wasn’t thinking of all this when I did that drawing or when I made the wall hanging. But I was thinking of Blue Horse as a mystical creature connected to both the heavens and the earth.
I did speak to Pamela today and we began talking about the trip to South Dakota. The trip is still evolving and I have a feeling it will keep evolving even as we’re on it. But we’ll probably leave just after Thanksgiving (hopefully Jon will be coming too) and instead of t-shirts, Pamela is going to have my wall hanging made into flags, a symbol, not only of Blue Star Equiculture, but of restoring the bond between horses and people and the healing that comes from it.
My wallhanging “Blue Horse” is sold.