friendly little jack-o-lantern by my potter friend Julie Whitmore
i can't believe it is the last day of october. what an incredibly beautiful month this one has been; the colors were more intense, and longer lasting (still, they linger) than i recall for years and years. there is one tree that is glowing out in the late afternoon light; it is the color of mr. jack o lantern above, but ruffly like an amber petticoat laced up around the trunk of a stubborn tree. i could try to show you the tree, but at this point - after i've spent 9o minutes writing a post that mysteriously again disappeared with a single slip of my little finger, i don't have the time to walk outside and try to capture that tree in its fading glory. i've written to you of the upheaval of my studio, i've posted photos and words and now it has all gone away. and i know what some of you will say - i know damned well that i should have hit the save button every now and then, but who thinks of that enough to stop and save?! nevertheless - what i had was this photo below: (and here i click on save) and this one (click, save) because i wanted to share with you what i've got here in my hands after trading all of these boxes that you see stacked here in the house with a duct-taped box that my mailman pulled out of his car after loading all of my cartons into his car. (insert here, "dear typepad, right now i do not like you". right now i want to kick the computer and then i want to tell you again that i do not like you right now, typepad. i do not like you at all".) save. when i opened that duct-taped box (what is it with boys and duct tape?), out fell dozens of wadded up newspaper insert pages, then an ecuador t shirt-wrapped long rectangle, which was this: you'll have to click on the photograph to more fully appreciate the detail of his artwork, his attention to detail and authenticity to place. i remember that tree. i remember those bald faced mountains, one of which we ascended and descended again, in the course of a single day ("little green" is the central mountain in the distance, past a forest of pines through which we hiked in twilight to get back to our car). with the artwork was a letter, and of course it made me cry (save, save, save): "dear mom, i hope your birthday was as great as you deserve. although we couldn't celebrate with you, i am so glad you, robin, and i had the time together that we did. it was really good to be home in the fresh mountain air. this picture was drawn as a memento to our trip to panthertown, and as a testament to all the mountains you have conquered in life. if you look closely, you can see the arduous path that we took from salt gap (the vantage point), over little green, and through the valley. here's to you, mom. love, roy". well. i've done two things with beauty and grace in this life of which i am most assuredly aware, and they are called robin and roy. in the midst of all this studio upheaval, i've managed to eek out some moments of grace and loveliness here and there, as you can see. friday, alllll day long and into the night, it rained and blew and rained some more; when i woke saturday morning to sunlight that was just beginning to peek up over the eastern mountain ridge, walter and i walked out to find dozens of upturned leaves that had been dressed overnight with momentary jewels. they shimmered and they glistened, and i had to turn right back around from sleepily stumbling out the door to go back in and grab my camera. sometimes these photographs will work, and the light will shine and reflect as i want it to; most times the moment is lost. i look at these smooth round orbs of morning light and wonder what goes on in each of those drops, before the sun comes to take them all away. that blasted studio just continues to spew forth flotsam and jetsam from every drawer and shelf and corner of the place, no matter how much time i spend in there (all day, every day, for the past six days); how can one person gather so much of everything, then misplace it for years, thanks to a complete lack of organization? i can't yet tell that anything has been removed - how is that possible?! walter has not been happy in the least during this current undertaking; he walks around with a worried expression on that furry face of his, thinking - i guess - that i'm packing up to walk out and leave him behind once again. note how little walking space there is in there, right now; note how much space that pup takes up, just to get his mother's attention.
i'm continuing to take orders for the things that i do not have the space to save anymore; the work table has yet to be sorted through, and there are drawers upon drawers of little trinkets and fripperies that wander through my world. if any of you are still interested, please do contact me and let me know. i'm going to continue shipping both larger sizes (medium, 30.00 plus 11.00 priority shipping, or large, 40.00 plus 15.00 shipping) and will also be packing quite a few of the small flat rate boxes (hardback book sized, roughly) with the smaller goodies - beads, findings, things like that - and selling them for 25.00 plus 5.50 shipping. just let me know if you are still interested. here's what one gal who ordered a box had to say: "your package arrived today and I am pretty tickled at the goods you sent my way! I hope that you were able to clean out your studio succcessfully! I know we are all very happy to have a little piece of you in our studios. I love love love it. Thanks again Nina. You are always an inspiration." i extend an enormous thank you to those of you who've placed orders, to those who have offered your warm encouragement. it does mean a great deal, and the fact that i am both funding my bills with studio overflow, as well as recycling art supplies, makes me feel much better about my state of things, indeed. that, and the love of my boys. enough said. xo