Tag Archives: saying no

Saying no and snow

Two or three inches fell. It felt like a surprise but it shouldn’t have.

It was a week of honoring my basic preferences and screwing up the courage to say ‘no’ in order to do so. One small ‘no’ helped me say a much bigger ‘no’ a few days later.

Both refusals created a feeling of spaciousness and relief. Confirming feelings.

Itchy ambivalence can usually be resolved in favor of one’s own need, experience, and felt sense of the world. To not do so is to stay itchy.

Pretty basic, especially for a sixty year old, but it’s amazing (and common?) how quickly clarity can be clouded by others’ needs or by anxiety about self assertion.

I don’t need to say more now. Just this: it was a week to remember that I bought my first book from Shambala press in 1973. I still have that volume (by Chogyam Trungpa) 43 years later, which is really saying something — do you know how many books didn’t make the cut?

What happens to you when you don’t honor your basic preferences and how do you course correct?

Bitterly cold here again today and I hear that more snow is on the way.

Have a great weekend!

Call me a notebook nerd!

IMG_0516How I love September!  The air gets deliciously cool and sweaters are pulled out of closets with a sense of cozy relief.  I feel this way every year.  For as long as I can remember.

I like the sense of new beginnings wrapped up in the anticipation of winter.  I like the way the the shortening of the days seems to mandate a quiet looking inward. I like how the trees disrobe. I like (gasp!) Christmas shopping.  I really do.

Did I miss going to Staples with one or both of the boys last week?  I don’t think so.

I took part in that crazed shopping ritual every September for more years than I want to count, so its absence WAS noticeable.  Another marker of change.  But to stand in lines sometimes stretching from the register all the way to the back of the store, because I, like so many others, had waited until nearly the last minute?  Ugh.  To anxiously check the list and the items in the cart, hoping we selected the right size or color index cards and the exactly specified composition book?  No, I didn’t miss it.

I can go next week.  Or, not at all.  But, probably next week, because what is September without the purchase of some snazzy new notebooks and a dozen or so workhorse pens (I prefer Bic blue medium point).

Okay, so I AM a notebook nerd.  I probably buy everyone on my gift list a blank book at least every other year, because I can’t help buying them and because to me, they would be a welcome gift.  Tell me to stop!

I cleaned the boys’ rooms this week, partly in anticipation of company, partly as a way to acknowledge their absences.
IMG_0467Well, and in C’s case — in the service of hygiene.  I was so relieved to discover a very old plate of pulled pork on his keyboard tray (oh god, it was gross!).  Relieved, you ask?  Well, yes, because that meant that there was not, in fact, as I temporarily supposed, a mouse corpse wedged between inaccessible joists behind the desk (mice take about two weeks for their stink to rot away).

With the cool air on Sunday (hallelujah, rain storm!), I could run the fans all day and refresh the whole upstairs.
IMG_0352I let this dinosaur have his way with the fruit bowl — in honor of days gone by.  Some things I will save forever!

IMG_0479Pretty soon, sedum will be stealing the show.

 

 

whale bone and other treasures

A IMG_2704Spine. Having a spine. Standing up for oneself.

Having just bailed on a volunteer commitment that was way bigger than expected, I am having to rest in the awareness that I am better off suffering temporary negative judgment than jostling a set of tasks that I really really don’t want to perform. Oh well.

C. came and went last week. We hardly saw him. As it should be. As it should be. Meanwhile, my younger son is making prom arrangements. As the light lingers well past dinner time, the season reminds us all of the inescapable passage of time. Sometimes we meet the changes with a glad heart. Spring is comin’!IMG_7526 Scrubbed a wall and floor in the studio on Monday. Dead mouse stink is a great motivator. (Product note:  I have fallen in love with orange-scented oils to clean wood). Little fella below was discovered around this time last year.
TRAYThe space is beginning to feel welcoming. Open. I burned sandalwood. I moved stuff around. At this point I am not getting rid of clutter so much as consolidating it.
IMG_7518Lastly, I bought one of Saskia’s beautiful pieces (more pix soon). Just look at it! It couldn’t please me more. It feels important to recognize the economies of happiness. It’s different for everyone. My recent rather pedestrian conclusion is that such domestic equations rely on more than dollars and cents to come out properly.

Is it an indulgence for someone confronting TWO college tuitions this year to buy a piece of hand-worked art? Perhaps. Perhaps. But when I consider how much pleasure it gives me, the calculation comes out with a different answer — absolutely worth it; a bargain.

Reminds me of a Nicole Hollander cartoon from ages ago, where her character, Sylvia, asks, “What is a good hair cut worth?”  The answers were:
a) three months of therapy; or
b) six months of therapy.

And check out the package Saskia used to ship my quilt from Holland.  And, I’m not even showing you the handmade paper it was wrapped in, or the lovely laminated tag enclosed. Delight! And more delight!
IMG_7519If you are not familiar with Saskia’s work, you are in for a treat. Her blog, Tales from the Birdhut, is listed on my sidebar under her name.

(And by the way? That cool skull block print in one of the studio shots was a freebie (!!yes!!) by Brenda Beerhurst, inserted in a package when I bought a print of a banana bike from Rick Beerhurst a few years back).