Saturday, July 29, 2017


i will tell you that it rained.
beginning around 3 AM it rained 
all day monday.
there were floods, the roads underwater
washing out a bit
and just down the road from my house
i eased past a van 
that hydroplaned sideways in the depths.
 i've never seen such rain here
 and then again it rained thursday
and water was standing in the yard. wet everywhere.
my job has been to heal.
which is on its own schedule
not the one i want it to follow.
 so i've been around the place a lot
(sleeping a lot)
which now really is jungleized.
and i'm watching this year's teenagers.
all awkward
and funny
and i've been
 enjoying the hollyhocks
that began at my friend's house
years and years ago.
 on the front stoop yesterday
the bunnies were bold.
they are all eyes, ears, and nose
and leg
 sweet cottontail.
a shifu heart from a friend
warmed my heart
and another card with shifu and spun gold!
it's still july,
but i've felt august and even september
playing games around the corners.
two sunny days, now.
i'm thinking of the end of august
when i will be co-teaching one book arts class twice a week
at st. lawrence university
with melissa schulenburg.
i'm really happy about that committment
giving structure to my autumn
without the responsibility of a full teaching load.
 i'm happy to be working with students again.
this time older and a bit more mature, maybe.
back from my walk
and i realize i'm not back yet. 
i forgot my manners.
thank you all for your well wishes. 
i am healing well, more slowly than i had expected, but thoroughly
as far as i can tell.
things are working a bit better, 
though naps are still necessary.
again, thank you.

Monday, July 24, 2017

shifu and healing

the summer 2017 issue is out
 and i am so happy to be part of it.
paper as textile,
paper as practicing empathy.
seldom have i been so proud of my work
not because it's so grand but to be part of this issue
in the papermaking community
and delights me, too.
 my article is about my observations of how shifu
facilitates healing
 and there's a sweet sample of humble lokta
paper and kami-ito.
which Mina and friends put together for the issue.
 there's work here that is new to me
 and my dear friend aimee's work as well
 a lace bark cap here
 and julie's work 
(which I have seen, yes, but have never met her)
 two samples in this issue
plus full color!
 when i finally climb down off cloud nine
 i will take some time
read this one in depth.
and enjoy.
 in other news here
i had a lovely mile or so walk last night
 and i felt terrific.
 i saw my first goldenrod in bloom
which means the summer really has turned
 and sunset creeps into the long days now.
change is coming.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

weekly reader

one strange week.
because health care is difficult here,
i had surgery at a small distance. first the pre-op visit 
2.5 hour drive to and from tuesday.
surgery thursday 3.5 hour drive leaving at 4 am, home around 5. 
 now, there's a vacancy where an ovary, her cyst and a fibroid lived.
another of the weirdnesses age and menopause bring.
 healing progresses, i am really quite well.
don't ask me to dance or anything.
even though the neighbor has built himself a tiki hut,
(wendy warren, take note!)
which i could visit.
 even though...
the light shows each evening 
move me into a state of glory
 and the little blessings of my garden
 the inky daylily drips
 and the bunnies keep an eye on me
 in my overgrown backyard
still untamed after returning from the west coast.
 the unused one,
all of this beauty nourishes and heals.
 ...and daylily blossoms
gathered up 
for dyeing.
a big thank you to all of my friends in the ethers.
(and my friends at home)
who have supported me
sending love and whatever prayers you pray,
it all matters.
i am healing from this small surgery
and have little excuse in a day or so
for not getting some work done. 
for now, this overcast sunday morning
for now, i might just take a morning nap.

Monday, July 17, 2017

margaret and milkweed

milkweed is blossoming in some places here at home,
this one hasn't quite, yet.
in the pacific northwest
i travelled from Victoria BC to Seattle and then Tacoma.
part of that trip was by a big ferry.
 and once in seattle I had a wee time out, 
in a lovely hotel that took very good care of me for two nights.
i found this place, 
where I was served a chocolate by a well-dressed staffer,
on a tiny paper server thingie.
 then Kate took me home 
where i spent time sleeping in a lovely quiet house in a beautiful garden.
what could be better than 
hanging out with good people, a poet and a conservator, both printers,
in their beautiful home?
 one evening, between workshop days,
we had a little supper party
with Joan and Margaret visiting.
 joan is larger than life wonderful
and margaret, a name i'd heard for years...
 they were both my students,
but more,
margaret brought her shifu
 which she modeled
and then put this coat on me.
i wore indigo shifu.
it was warm and perfect
and this bundle of cloths
shifu all
i held in my arms and didn't want to return.
it was a precious gift
to hold Mrs Sakurai's work for a while.

Margaret's beautiful hands
and the bundle

 it was a blessing
and margaret herself...she's a horse girl!
i thought i'd gotten my horse late in life 
my 30's, but margaret, she was in her 70's!
and then the final day.
 happy kami-ito spinning
 student work
 Hazel and Gabby
both were once mere phantoms of the ethers,
now real and beautiful
and hugely imaginative and hard working.

 some brought nifty lights to help out
 patricia grass,
another famous name came with her shifu covered book of tea
 and Linda came with washi...
and then there was
 kami-ito knit
(this precious gift is now in my teaching collection)
 and knit recycled cashmere
 a little indigo ink stick work
 joan, the amazing
 indigo ink on mitsumata
shifu dancing
 a good how to present your work!

 and then i went to tacoma and stayed with Lucia
saw Catherine and ate her good soup, 
talked to the PSBA
and had several meals in the presence of this great one.
 there is good to look at art in the airports
where i spent a lot of time on wednesday
after lucia dropped me off.
i headed home finally at 11:30 on the red-eye
arrived in ottawa 7-ish.
drove home, and relaxed.
 i didn't take many pictures really,
none of the papermaking at Debbie's home 
with Lucia and two very friendly cute pups.
and to all of you, my old and new friends and my one-time students,
a HUGE thank you.
i felt so welcomed so treasured even.
i still feel surrounded by caring.
today, pre-op, thursday, ovarectomy.
recovery then, maybe, some papermaking!

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