This week's Collage of Inspiration finds life en plein air, how to find comfort in disrepair, how to tame your cranky pants, and an Audiophile (of course). You need a pick up. Click on.
The work-life balance with three (1/2) jobs and a family offers little free time. I continue working this week on an anthology of essays and a social commentary short, as well as a graphic essay/short story.
I still find reading graphic novels as part of my "work research" these days. Some of my favorites on the nightstand now.
Lucy Knisley "The Age of License"
Demetri Martin "Point This at Your Face: Drawings"
Ros Chast "The Party, After You Left"
More words, ink, and sweat! And I should say, I love all three (1/2) jobs. Awesome hodge lodge of a creative life. (Note: The 1/2 job is running. It's a must-do.)
The 48-hour brine is in effect. Morning in the kitchen, finalizing the Thanksgiving menu, boiling the brine to marinate the big turkey (the family carnivores, request). The kitchen smells amazing! See Epicurious.com for yummy holiday fixings.....and looking forward to this roasted provolone recipe (i.e., appetizer) I'm making from BonAppetit. Here's to food in good company....
another inspiration at breakfast when the light hit the oozing yoke, just right....
Sunday Living of "The Art Spirit" (take 1)
Half of a whole day: Peddling over dirt roads pocked with water and mud. "Don't be afraid of the mud," I tell my kids, as I plow through the center of the puddles and flip up dirt on my mountain bike. We find moguls to pump our legs over and descend in succession. "I can wash whatever you've got on." They are resistant until they see me. Then they go for it. Enjoy the now. Wash them off later. A good day in the woods before snow hits this week.
Half of a whole day: The destination at the coffee shop for an afternoon of coffee, hot chocolate, egg nog latte, and sweet danish spilt among the children. We read our books in silence, in a group around our table. (I continue to read Robert Henri's "The Art Spirit," hence this is what filters my eyes at the moment while thinking about creativity and my awareness.) There is a great way to finish a long bike ride when the winds are gusty and it drizzles with the sun shining (random Central Oregon weather patterns), only after the huz requested we order nachos and watch football down the street at the Mexican restaurant.
When we came home, after raking up pine needles and thinking about art going up the stairs the autumn setting sun hit the log cabin's loft. And I thought of Henri's monologue on backgrounds in portraits (hence, his quote above).
Here's to a good week of creative energy and new output....
This past summer at Three Creek Lake, while I read a book in a canted position from a portable chair, a large man approached me. He had long sideburn chops, a belly that hung over his rodeo belt buckle, and two handguns strapped to his chest in a holster. He had come out of the Three Sisters Wilderness in the Cascade Mountain Range.
"I'm surprised you aren't reading a Kindle!" he said with a toothy smile.
"I'm no Luddite," I said. "I just prefer roaming the aisles of a library to see what I can find. I don't get that same feeling on Amazon, if you know what I mean."
"I do! I do!"
This strapped stranger and I talked for 20 minutes about books, about his life working the Barrow, Alaska pipeline (he was on his 10-day hiatus from work), and the woman he waited 20 years to catch and marry. The man was a short story in the flesh. I lived this man, this character from being in the world, rather than staying holed up in my studio and thinking up stuff. It was a genuine moment of authenticity. I appreciated him for being strange, vulnerable, and present. This man reminds me to get back to the creative version in me that I hide away during training, volleyball season, and long runs. Winter is coming, which means it's time to buckle down, resort to a warm little room of creativity, and drum up or polish off old projects I left for good weather, a mountain bike, and trainers.
Below is a gallery for you to flip through. Click and flip! Maybe it will bubble up something in you, too.....
This little gallery comes from a rare, free Friday afternoon, when I put up my feet and started to read little library finds: David Lynch's "Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity" and "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri.
Strange coincidence: wouldn't you know that David Lynch credits this Henri book he read as a high school senior and how it became an influential piece to becoming a painter, then filmmaker. I found these two books independent of each other at the library....I MUST(!) be onto something creatively....awesome synchronicity. Digging back into poetry and film feels good again....
This little Patagonia ad dropped in my inbox the other day...it's like a video of the perfect date day with yourself or someone you love or dig or like.
Must get these shoes...run, climb, bike, run, climb, bike....such a video makes me miss the old SoCal backyard stomping ground of bouldering afternoons, mountain biking, and trail running. J and I crushed so many miles behind our house with our beloved dog....Good thing we can still do this in C.O....just not in winter.
Recap of mini proportions: a Saturday afternoon impromptu drawing session with daughter (see below), a trip to a new library (ahoy graphic novel section for adults!), and the publishing of a new illustration at The Hairpin called "The Yoga-Juice Continuum."
Books on my desk that I will read with fever:
- Howl: A Graphic Novel by Allen Ginsberg, Animated by Eric Drooker
- The Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (oops, a little late on this. But it's Barry.)
- The Freddie Stories by Lynda Barry
- I'm not a plastic bag: graphic novel, by Rachel Hope Allison (yes, it's from the kids' section of graphic novels. Still cool.)
- Amphigorey Also, by Edward Gorey
Go find something to watch, some pavement/trail to pound or carve....and make it a good day. Thanks for stopping by once again.
So many good things are posted on One Green Planet. You will find heart-breaking (in a good way) animal rescue stories, vegan recipes, organic food news, and much more. Who is being good to the world? Go there.
May your kindness show through in little ways and offer compassion to the planet.
My man sent me this article. "This if your kind of race," he said. I read it from under flannel sheets. Laughed my ass off. Great to be a wilderness woman. Check out the fun reporting from the front lines.
Hiking and ambling. Hunting for the unknown or little surprises. I happened across this behemoth during an excursion. Needed multi-frames to even get a shot of it. Welcome to a nature-made skyscraper in the wilderness; no valet parking required beside this beast or waiting for your floor to exit, like high-rises in New York and Los Angeles.
What does this have to do with writing and art? Everything. I take it with me as inspiration and a source of awareness. May you find your skyscraper in unlikely places? Let goodness fly out into the world….
Happy New Year. This morning I decided to go through old drafts of stories I had written and then let them die a slow death, until now.
I happened across one from over a year ago. Part of it I like. Part of it I deleted. The give-and-take of the creative process is an interesting intersection of will and collapse. But as I start 2014 with more stories collected and finished, I think of little spots I adore and keep safe in my arsenal of architecture of storymaking.
Let the muse infuse new hues. May you find your inner beast of creativity....and run a mile or two for good measure.
I realize this has become an Instagram world. But these images are not fuzzy or filtered with technology other than me learning how to push and pull the Smart phone aperture (I remember such experiments from the darkroom days of mine).
Light does its own job. Consider these images as selfies in a James Franco world. Doesn't Mr. Franco know every image you take is a selfie--"person" present in the frame or not. Each frame is a reflection of the maker.
Five dollars for a forestry permit and an off-roading truck equate an afternoon of good finds. Attached are a few exhibits. May you feel merry and wise, or just one, I guess.
Happy holidays to you and yours.....
The new issue of Backpacker arrived. Post Thanksgiving glut and rush, I had a chance to sit down after the gym to crack its cover. In the Trailhead section the magazine has a casting call for Brand Ambassadors for Backpacker. Holy awesome. I read the guidelines. It's for the ultimate vagabond, which I am not right now. If anyone has time to travel and become a spokesperson, this might be the job for you! Check it out....
Thirty-five degrees upon waking. Welcome summer morning in the mountains. I continue to sketch and work on a larger piece of work, somewhat formulated in my head somewhat not. Creativity is a fluid companion who rearranges herself in dreams and takes the form of animals or light in the day. Today, with my bike, I shall find more pieces of the puzzle to where the story needs to go. Until then, meditate on this moments of quiet from a rustic life.
Mountain time, island time, city time...dance music conjures up a good time in just about any room. So, here is a live show feed from Kaskade in San Diego (the It's You It's Me Redux) earlier this month. Seventeen minutes in rallies my heart. It really pumps old school around minute 47. Enjoy his beats.
This photograph reminds me of the audio tracking beat profile in GarageBand, whenever I've mixed audio samples. If you go to Kasade's link (see above) you can see what I mean when you click on his latest music sample. However, this shot was taken last weekend at an outhouse along the coast. Poetry everywhere I tell ya.
Have a nice weekend of leisure and service to someone who needs it...and that person just might be you.
The weekend library visit prompts much deliberation each day I devote to reading prose, poetry, philosophy. Here is an excerpt from one book that engages me.
“One will again suffer, grow old, and die. Thus for Buddhists the final goal should be a supramundane path, one that leads out of cyclical existence altogether and which results in either state of Buddhahood or at least the more limited nirvana of an arhat or solitary realizer.”
Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, John Powers
Here are some images from my mundane world…which is close to earthbound nirvana for me. A random sample from living a simple life:
A few days back I travelled deep into the forest to hang out with some locals who spend a lot of time in Nepal and practice Buddhism ethics. Some help run orphanages in Nepal. Others run village libraries. Some deliver stretchers to villagers and climbers on Mount Everest. The chef at the party had cooked for base camp at Everest. She rocked out the Nepalian spices and vats of delish vegetarian and vegan options.
Upon leaving I took this image, handheld of the party's house at peace. The inside glow, the outside glow, it all flowed.
Each day I take on one more mantra of living the Buddhist way. This time, it's about the clarity that rises when you shed all non-essentials. I spent Sunday only doing what was essential. And a whole realm of creativity and lightness opened up, which had been clogged from non-essentials. Awareness: that's where it's at in all aspects of life and love and peace.