a perfect wisconsin afternoon pocket of treasured time, photo taken by beloved katey
i don't know where this summer has gone. already, it feels as if it has turned around the corner from me, slipped behind one of these mountains to play a little hide and seek. days feel like hours, or single moments. plans go unheeded. things go awry. haywire. insane. i shrug as i write this: who hasn't known this part of life, the frenzy, the chaos? all of you have. this just happens to be my particular stretch of upheaval, right now.
yes, he was pulling them right off of the thorny vines, like a horse with curled lips. he could not get enough of those berries, and we'd spend early evenings walking down the
trail and down a gravel road to reach the prime picking spots. those were quiet times; i had a few moments, like that. this was a sleepy morning. see the green of the trees? it is still so green, here. we are blessed, in the western nc mountains, with afternoon rains that roll in from time to time. mornings are cool. afternoons, unbearably hot in this unconditioned house. breezes are treasured. for a few weeks, maybe three, at the end of june and beginning of july, i was able to hide away here on firefly road, to spend hottest parts of the day tucked away in the dark studio corner at my table, not moving, creating quietly. sometimes i would steal away to lie under the ceiling fan in the bedroom, late in the afternoon. i listened to birds calling, i listened to the sleepy rhythm of the fan as it turned and turned. it was a lovely period of reflection and of creating a collection of new bits of jewelry. it was quiet, and solitary, and there was no maddening going and coming back and having to suddenly leave all over again. i had the time to think back to my week at valley ridge - two back to back workshops, three days each, six straight days of teaching and sharing and being inspired by all of those incredible, wonderful women. new friendships were formed; we'll be friends for life, i know. there was much laughter, there were tender tears, there were lovely hours i'll treasure forever. first session, so many beautiful radiant souls!
second session, in front of that precious Tab camper of anita's - i want one! after six full days of teaching, i look absolutely wilted here, but was feeling SO good after being surrounded and embraced by these lovely, lovely gals... my dakota girls xo
kindred alabama spirit, dear katey; we found out after the workshop that we shared a plane ride right next to one another to detroit. an amazing thing.
robin was in alabama, recuperating from an extensive shoulder surgery that will have him out of work for three months; so in the midst of studio time, i drove the six hours down to alabama, visited with my mother a bit, then brought him back home to the mountains for a couple of days here with roy. then, a three hour drive to carry robin back down to the atlanta airport, another three hour drive immediately back home. i walked in the door at 7:30pm, burst into sobs from missing my boys, and within the hour, the phone rang - a call from my sister with the news that mama had collapsed in the middle of a grocery store, was in the emergency room. it was a stroke, she suffered no paralysis, just an inability to speak the words that she wanted to say. back to alabama i went the next morning, and stayed there for five days. mama is doing very very well - no lasting effects from the stroke - and will be wearing one of those medic alerts. the loving hands of mama's minister and our beloved friend david, who came to the hospital room to have communion. we all love this man with all of our hearts
i've reluctantly driven those well worn six hours back home to begin packing for my two week artist residency in breckenridge; i leave the day after tomorrow. now perhaps all of you will understand my need to stay away from the computer. even now, four hours after diving into this post, i am feeling the pressure of things that need to be done - laundry, packing clothes for a climate altogether different than my own, packing jewelry making supplies to carry out there with me. errands to run. purchases to make. all of that. julie is here, has driven down from ohio to carry walter back home with her. she is the best of friends - always here when i need her, will do anything she possibly can to make the world a better place. her last name is good. how perfect is that? earlier this summer, two days after my return from valley ridge, the two of us trooped out to western carolina university for a singalong viewing of The Sound of Music. there was a costume contest. in thirty minutes' time, we threw together what we wore up on stage. she, an edelweiss; i, fa - a long, long way to run. and i won, third place. we can't stop talking about it, all these weeks later.
next up is a lakeside viewing of Dirty Dancing, after i get back, with her/our beloved kim (it was filmed where we will be watching); we'll wear our frocks, and carry blankets to sit out on the lawn. we'll cheer baby and johnny on. (nobody puts baby in a corner...)... a good way to usher summer to a slow, sultry close.