Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Vacation

Well, I'm back from a wonderful trip. I went to visit my friends Donna and Chug in Western Massachusetts. I took the Amtrak from Buffalo/Depew, NY to Springfield, MA and then we drove back to Donna's place about forty minutes from there.
Saturday Morning we went to the post office and the library of  Leverette, MA and then on to the great little bookstore - well great used bookstore called the Bookmill of Montague, MA.
While visiting Donna and Chug and their dog Isabella - Bella for short, we went for walks, rested, read, ate and I did my sewing or showed her my Zentangles. Here is the home page of Zentangle a fantastic drawing/meditating/zen technique invented or discovered by Rick and Maria and which I've been doing for over a year periodically. I really like doing this form of meditating and use it to rest from the busyness of the days.
On Sunday while her husband went to Boston for a Red Sox game Donna and I went to Brattleboro, Vermont to see the museum there. The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center was a lovely building with a great lady at the front desk, great exhibits and for me in particular the Salley Mavor exhibit. After walking around the town a bit we visited the Delectable Mountain Cloth where I bought a few yards of tiny lace for my dolls. This store was absolutely wonderful - crammed full of fabric, lace, buttons, jewellery, - anything you can imagine for doll costuming and for that matter costuming in general. The links to these places are by no means the only links. While you are checking out the Brattleboro links check out the ones with the pictures of the floods from hurricane Irene.
We were going to go to the Peace Pagoda but time slipped away from us. Donna had an appointment in Amherst MA on Monday and then we went to have lunch with her friend in Northampton, MA. I have been to western MA to visit before and every time I'm there I feel like I need to move there. But I'm that way when I go to Tucson, AZ or St.Petersburg, FL as well.
When I can figure out how to put my pictures in my blog I'll show you some of the view from their home and some of the landscape from the train. Oh, and the train ride back was a bit different than the one to MA. The train was about forty five minutes late into Springfield from Boston and then we slowly lost time to get me to Buffalo/Depew, NY at 2:30 in the morning. I had booked a hotel room because I do not like driving in the dark expecting to get in shortly after midnight. Good thing they had saved my room. In spite of the delay I had a wonderful time both travelling and especially with my friend Donna.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Procrastination or P-Writing

I’ve been stuck. Stuck on what to write, what to draw, paint, sew, anything. I’ve gotten so I just run away. I make plans to help someone instead of doing my art and I don’t know what that is about. I really enjoy doing my art. I enjoy the sewing and the beads and the little dolls and the wall-hangings but I’ve been stuck. I almost wish I could start over but I don’t know what I would start over at. Does that make any sense?

When I get right down to it I think I am stuck because I said I wanted to do this wall-hanging but I also see it as the illustrations to a story and I’m afraid the person who is waiting for the illustrations will be disappointed in my work or at how long it will take.

I’ve also been sitting here wanting to draw and to paint again and there seems to be no time for both. What I did recognize was the “running away” or as my son Tim says procrastination. It’s his birthday today. When we met for dinner last week I mentioned that I feel stuck and it is almost a depression feeling that I get between projects. My friend Deb calls it a “blue funk” and that is what it feels like. I’m not really depressed just listless when it comes to the art. So instead I sorted and cleaned the beads. I sorted clothes and took unused and unwanted to the Salvation Army. I’ve even done dishes.

The only solution I can figure out is to go away and have a cup of coffee and take my writing materials. I go to the coffee shop and journal. I write and I ask myself questions, P-writing it is called from the book Writing the Mind Alive.  This method helps to clear the muddle and the fuzziness of not really knowing.

Also, I’ve noticed while watching my thinking that I seem to feel that I need to show something on my blog, some piece of art instead of just writing. How silly is that. I’m a writer as well as an artist. So I’ve decided to put a poem on my blog. This poem is from my book of poetry published last year. I hope you enjoy and I will write more later.

collective consciousness

as I stroll through woods
of sugar maple
their cover of crimson
gold ochre and green
now discarded
crackles under
my footsteps

Alleghany Mountains surround me
worn and rugged
their faces hold many stories
their aura touches and comforts me

the earth in her glory
soft and warm with birth and death
invites me
sit for a while and rest
listen to the gentle winds
drifting through the trees
I hear those voices
words that float
on breath
from generations past

I am told they are veiled
yet I see them
dressed as pilgrims
and traditional Iroquois style
English, Scots, Irish and French
mix with Mohawk Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca

they are visions
for those who see
they are voices
for those who hear
they bring stories
told for generations
that one day I will tell

Barbara-Helen Hill