Thursday, December 8, 2016


yesterday i taught a group
of adult hospice workers
how to make star books and an origami book.
they were a lovely bunch.
i came home so happy to have been asked to help non-art folks
make something with their hands
that maybe they can pass along.
one tiny book,
that becomes an ornament.
nancy moraines taught me this structure a long time ago.
and claire van vliet taught me the origami book
that i passed on.
(no photos, 
somehow it seemed to be a photo-free day.)
it creates a book that has change integral to the structure.
someone i know called this kind of thing a trick with a hole in it.
transformation is a peculiar thing.
these flip flops
 have been on the roadside for months
i don't know the story
but the snow increases intrigue.
the barn continues its disappearing act

 exposing the spot where the kids played and played
 i loaded the mow with hundreds of bales of hay
that i hauled off the meadow after baling
years ago.
 what memories this building has
30 years of our memories, 
and many more before
because many of the framing timbers were recycled.
 it's locking into cold now.
ice forming its own contour map.
 such a huge crop 
of wild grapes here this year.
 and i've been gathering milkweed bast
 gin sent me some milkweed bast, too,
a bit different than mine
 and this was another batch, 
field retted until there is quite a bit of gray.
cooked and ready for beating.
 these days walking has been rather gloomy
 which is what happens.
a ring around the sun
 as it sets
very subtle
but there.
i saw it.
two days ago.
 the cows, as ever, watch
and eat,
their sweet muck scent startling,
rich in the coldness.
 they watch me 
 i speak to them
sometimes the calves are skittish.
sometimes there is little
interest in me.
our concerns are perhaps not so different
 food, shelter, joy, daylight.
 december moves into solstice.


  1. love how you see such beauty in the cold

  2. Oh, sweet smell of decay and sad songs of misty mornings,
    the gift of a home waiting with warmth and ordinary love.

  3. A very long time ago (40 years) I was a nurse in Canada's first Hospice. I was a knitter then; I remain a knitter. There are crafts that stay with you, keeping you whole. I am thankful that you share yours with me, and I, mine with you. Blessings!

    P.S. The piece I made based on your photo, which I called "Vee's Berries", is now hanging for sale in a gallery about an hour west of here. I hope that soon someone will give it a loving home.

  4. Hi V - sharing can be so rewarding especially with no artists. You really have winter with you now. Both lovely and sad to see the barn crumble - as you say lots of memories. Hope you are gathering a few bits that will become new art. Go well. B

  5. Been meaning to tell you that the balloon milkweed stalk contains nice silky fiber, as does the seedpod.

  6. india, i photographed that pubble over and over. coutours abound.
    mo, the cold IS beautiful, my country IS winter
    michelle, i am, as you hint, very very lucky.
    margaret, i am so honored! thank you for telling me.
    barry, well, both my children have suggested plans that we can salvage the timber and sell it to builders in places like san francisco...i say the barn deserves its death.
    gin, those are the seeds you sent, yes? next year i will plant them. so looking forward to cultivating my own fiber again.

  7. so sad to see the barn disintegrating - here, you could sell the wood for a very good profit. Northern winters have their own special charm. Snow last night and rain this morning, everything is a slushy mess.

  8. jean, that's what they say! it's finally cold here, and snow a bit south of us. acting like winter, and really dark.

  9. I love the contour map and the description of the book, and thoughts about transformation. If we take time to notice, everything is transforming all the time...

  10. fiona, my hope is that transformation becomes better. hope.


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