Minnie’s new favorite spot is the dog bed. There’s not as much competition for it as there used to be. And Red is pretty good-natured about Minnie taking it over.
A few weeks ago, Karen Heenan wrote to me and asked if I would like some horse fabric. She told me it belonged to her mother and she’s had it a long time and was never able to figure out how to use it. When I saw it, I knew it was my kind of fabric. But like Karen, at first I wasn’t sure how to use it. So I waited. Until yesterday, when all my fussing over it made itself clear and I knew what I wanted to do.
I wanted to bring out the magical, the mystical side of the horses. And I’m sure that our Carriage Ride in Central Park, with Ariel over the weekend, had something to do with me finally figuring it out.
Once it got started, I couldn’t stop until I ran out of the pink material that surrounded each patch of horse fabric. Then I found a piece of teal that worked, at least for one of them.
I have another hunk of horse fabric left, but without the pink, I’m going to have to figure out something else that works. Maybe it will be along the same lines, maybe something different.
I have 10 of these and am selling them for $15 each + shipping. I’m also planning on having some of them to sell at the June Bedlam Farm Open House, something Karen will be a part of too. You can email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you think one of these “Horse Potholders” would be happy in your kitchen.
Deb sent me this picture of her cat Uther with one of my Crow Potholders. What a perfect combination, I thought looking at them. A black cat and a crow . It’s Witchy, something Poe would have coupled. I’m thinking there’s a message for me here.
There is a Native American saying, “Find your medicine and use it”. When I first heard this it made all the sense in the world to me. Imagine what every kid and adult, trying to figure how they want to spend their lives, might do if they took this seriously. I mean, what if we really did that. Found what we truly love to do, not what we think we should do, or someone else thinks we should do, but the way we really want to spend our time here on earth and do it. And then share it.
Well, that’s just what Ariel does everyday and was doing when he took Jon and me for a midnight ride through Central Park this past weekend. And I experienced it, I felt the power of it. The healing power. The open and generous spirit, the “horse heart” that connected not just us and the horses and the natural world that surrounded us, but everyone we came in contact with too.
When I was making the piece I was thinking of using a carriage wheel in it. But when I finished it and looked at the piece, I realized the carriage wheel had evolved into my own version of a medicine wheel. Not the traditional four directions, but this one made of hearts and wings. It’s own kind of healing. Then I knew what this piece and our midnight ride was really about. It was a healing of the heart. Something Ariel and his horse do every day, when they give someone a ride in his carriage or even just by making eye contact with a stranger and smiling. A quiet and loving mission of his.
I hope my heart will never stop healing. Each time it does, it opens up a little bit more. And when that happens, I can’t help but share it.
If you’re planning on coming to this Junes Bedlam Farm Open House, it will be easier that ever to find us. Just look for the two giant Percheron’s in our barnyard. Our friends Pamela and Paul from Blue Star Equiculture are bringing Piper and Merlin to the Open House. You can meet them all and take a carriage ride too.
One of Blue Star’s missions is to bring the horses back to the people, so we can experience the ancient bond between us and help keep horses in our lives, where they belong. And that’s just what we’ll be doing on the weekend of June 27th-28th. People, Animals, Art and Poetry all coming together at Bedlam Farm. You can click here for more info. Hope to see you in June.
I’m not sure what made Jon call Ariel on the way to New York on Saturday, but it seems like it was one of those things that were meant to be. Ariel’s been driving a carriage in the city for over 30 years. He offered to take us on a ride from the stables to Central Park before Emma’s wedding.
Ariel is a special person. So much love, openness and generosity poured out of him, it was infectious. And his connection with his horse, Rebecca, well it was like they read each others mind and heart. Infused with all those good feelings, I took them to Emma’s wedding later in the day, and vowed to myself that I would spread the joy.
But that was only the beginning because, that same day, Ariel invited us to take a ride through Central Park at midnight. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up past 11pm, but this was not something I was going to pass up. Now, 12 midnight is not late in New York City. Restaurants and groceries are open, it’s so lit up you’re lucky if you can see the moon when it’s full. And the streets and sidewalks are packed with people. But Central Park, well honestly, it’s not a place I would usually go at night. Even now, that it’s safer than it’s been in decades. I guess I still have that old Central Park fear in me, because for most of my life, parts of the park could be dangerous, even in the daytime.
But it is different now. And the Park at midnight, empty of cars, bikes, and people, is a different place than it is in the daytime. It’s soft, all the edges rounded in the dark. And it’s quiet, even though it’s still surrounded by busy streets filled with traffic. And it has that feeling like a big building has after everyone has gone home and you’re there alone. Like it’s resting. And all the energy of all the people who were there during the day becomes an inaudible whisper.
And it’s this peaceful night time that Ariel comes to the park for and loves to share. And he not only shared it with me and Jon, but he worked some magic too. There was hot tea and live music, fresh strawberries, and stories of the park and horse teachings. There were rose petals and a magic wand and a blessing prayer, where my legs started to tingle and I swear I thought the three of us were about to float off the ground and land in the stars.
It was magical and grounding, just what I needed to balance the rest of the day. It brought me home and lifted me out of myself at the same time.
Today, back in my studio, I started working on a wall hanging, trying to capture the feeling of the midnight ride. By the time I stopped this evening, it was too late to get a good photo of the whole piece, the lighting was off, so I took a few close-ups. I hope to finish it tomorrow, adding the rest of the details that make it complete.
Mandy and I were going out for tea last Saturday so I asked her if she would go with me to NV, the consignment shop in town. I wanted to get something to wear for Jon’s daughter’s wedding tomorrow. On the three-way text between Mandy, Athena and me, I told them both that I was nervous about the wedding. I love weddings, Athena chirped from another state where she was visiting family, but they both understood.
It’s kinda like going to a spouse’s High School Reunion, but more emotionally complicated. I’ll know only a few people there, and many of them will be from Jon’s past. This is the kind of situation that can easily throw me into a state of withdrawal. Being in a place where I feel I don’t belong and have no natural connections (except Jon of course). But as I was texting my reservations about the whole thing to Mandy and Athena, I had a bit of an epiphany. This isn’t about me, I texted, all I have to do is celebrate Emma and Jay’s marriage, which is what this is really all about, and be who I am.
With formal ceremonies, I often think I have to behave a certain way, and that makes me really anxious, because I feel like I can’t be myself. But all I have to do is be me and do what I would do. Which is have a good time, talk to people (I had to remind myself that I actually enjoy talking to people I don’t know and hearing their stories) dance, eat and wish Emma and Jay all the happiness in the world.
But I was still a little uncomfortable when Mandy and I got to NV and I started looking for a dress. Discouraged, I tried on a few that just weren’t right until I found this black skirt. Then the fun began. Soft and flowy with a drawstring waist, (aka comfortable) Mandy and I started looking for something to go with it. Then Vicki, who owns the shop with her daughter Niki (hence the name NV, an in envy) got into it too. They were both pulling blouses off hangers and handing them to me in the dressing room, yelling at me when I wouldn’t come out to show them what they looked like. When I found the vest-like top that fit, it was Mandy who told me I had it on backwards. And when I turned it around, it looked even better. Then Vicki found the long yellow sweater (because I’m always cold.) I took the belt off, but Vicki put it back on and tied it with a pretty knot in the back. Without their help, my outfit would be a bit backwards and upside down.
I couldn’t believe it, I was giddy with… I don’t know, girl shopping stuff. Something I’m usually not good at. But we were actually having fun. We have to take a picture I told them. This is a big moment for me. And then Connie from Battenkill Books walked in just in time to take the photo. (Which I promptly texted to Athena and she lovingly replied, You look fantastic)
So now, with my adjusted attitude, and new outfit, I’m ready for Emma’s wedding. Ready to be there as myself, to do what the day is really all about, celebrate the coming together of two people who love each other. And what’s more beautiful and worthy of a celebration than that.
Congratulation Donna! You’re the winner of April’s Common Thread Give-a-way. Kathleen has a lot more of her wrapped stone jewelry so if you’re intrigued by what you see here, check out her website Wearable Earth Jewelry.
And don’t forget to come back in May for the next Common Thread Give-a-way when writer and artist Rachel Barlow will be giving something away. Check out her often funny and poignant website Picking my Battles.
I confess, I love drawing trees. With pencils, or markers, the end of a burnt match or on my sewing machine. It’s really meditative making all those leaves.
And each tree is like a person to me.
They have their own posture and bearing. They’re all grounded , but some are more playful than others.
That pink one has attitude. And the lovers on the top are still a bit awkward, while the ones on the bottom have melted into each other. That blue one in the middle has a calm about it and the orange tree below it is a bit of a peacock. I think the first one, with the bird in it, is just starting to dance.
I will be selling these trees when they’re all done. But if you see one you like you can let me know (email@example.com). They’re $23 each + $5 shipping.
Spring is finally here and I’m feeling it. The sound of woodpeckers and peepers. The sound of birds, who I can’t identify, but know I wasn’t hearing till recently. The warmth of the sun and the soft soil. The smell of mud and manure and warm air. And there’s something else. It’s going on inside of me. Something I can’t articulate, but I still trust is happening. It needs time and patience. It won’t be rushed.
I started walking in the wood behind our house again. They are so alive, but it’s just below the surface. A silent humming that vibrates inside of me, like the thumping of a grouse. Come to my time, the woods say to me. Things happen when they’re ready to, not when they should.
I started working on Forest Echoes yesterday and finished it today. I was so unsure of it. I kept feeling myself being pulled outside. First I raked the tiny garden patch by the back porch. Then I started turning the soil in the Dahlia garden. Then I took another walk in the woods. So I think I brought more than a little of the outdoors into this piece. It says what I can’t in words about what I’m feeling inside me.
Some of it is marker and some of it is stitched. The fabric is an old linen, maybe a table runner. You can see the letter “A” embroidered on the bottom. It’s about 20″ x 27″ and is Sold
for sale. It’s $150 + $10 shipping. If it speaks to you and you’d like to take it home, you can email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org.