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whew. done! i was up working until 2am last night, couldn't get my mind to settle down for sleep until almost 3. up again at 7:45, i'm a little very groggy this morning and still in pajamas at nearly noon - but i'm done with loading new jewelry into my etsy shop and the sun is finally shining again. before i dash off to get dressed and run the thousand and one errands, pack, straighten, and sort, i wanted to take the time to wish each and every one of you days ahead that are wrapped in peace and in light. the best of the season to you all, from here on firefly road and the winding, unending highway that carries me to my loved ones in alabama. xxx
i've tried three four.freaking.times to write this post, and if this evaporates into thin air a fourth fifth time, i'll take that as a sign that it is time to finally crawl under those flannel sheets and drift off to sleep (i'm a slow learner, can you see?). i've worked late nights every night, worked through this bleak and sorrowful past weekend, time grows short and i leave day after tomorrow, once again, for my holiday with friends and family. new jewels are now finally listed over in my little etsy shop; tomorrow i'll hopefully be listing perhaps ten strands of prologue pearls in cream, red, green, grey, teal, and white.
i had written heartfelt words about this house, about our walks through fog and rain that will not lift, about how good it is to force ourselves out into the wet woods, to stand in fog and gaze at bare tree branches reaching up out of that ethereal mist, and how good it is to finish those walks, dripping with the mist and the cold rain, and to walk back into the warmth and the glow of this sweet home and settle down before the fire and the glow of the little tree. but the words, entire posts, keep inexplicably evaporating, unlike the weather that has stubbornly hovered for days as this country continues to mourn, as our grief grows deeper as each day fades into the next. whether or not i'll have a chance to pop back in here before christmas remains a mystery. if not - i wish all of you the warmest love, the coziest glow, the peace that comes from seeking not the answers but the mysteries and strengths of what we firmly hold within us, of embracing life with its good and its bad, of loving one another in times hard and times tender and sweet. i'm grateful that you all keep coming back here, whether i'm in or not. i thank you for that. happy holidays to you, dear readers of Ornamental. xxx
Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive with one another, we walk here in the light of this unlikely world that isn't ours for long. May we spend generously the time we are given. May we enact our responsibilities as thoroughly as we enjoy our pleasures. May we see with clarity, may we seek a vision that serves all beings, may we honor the mystery surpassing our sight, and may we hold in our hands the gift of good work and bear it forth whole, as we were borne forth by a power we praise to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love.
i really am here, although you'd never guess it by coming here to Ornamental. i used to be diligent about writing posts - sometimes three or four times a week. what happened? i have no less time now than before, or more. i've just shifted priorities, i suppose, and realize that taking the large chunk of time required to sit down and pull my thoughts and images and words together is more of a commitment than i'm currently able. sorry, folks. i've not been the best of blog upkeepers here.
i'm as busy as you all are, i imagine, making and primping and hanging a little of this and that on a tree or a shelf or a table. this year, first time in three, i've a christmas tree in the house - one that is simple, and frosty white, one that reminds me of the forest in winter. there are minimal ornaments - a few glass pine cones, a bird, a nest, a couple of blue-green garlands, a tiny little snow village underneath the bottom boughs. it has brought me great comfort and peace to sit of an evening under the glow of those tiny white lights. sometimes there is a fading pink sunset out over the mountains behind the reflection of my little snowy tree.
pardon the double vision - what you see here is a reflection of my porch starry lights shining onto the sliding glass door, and the purple lingering sunset outside my living room windows... (thank you, little wintery forest beauty, for bringing the spirit of the season into the house with me.)
walter has been caught up in the firefly festiveness as well: yesterday when i was in the next room, i heard what i now recognize as excited, playful barks, and walked back into the bedroom to see that he had dug down into a plastic shopping bag and pulled out the toy i had bought to give him for a christmas present. that dog was bouncing all over the bed, elated over his discovery. a friend told me that his behavior reminds her of a toddler - which is so utterly true for this boy.
this is where he can often be found, late into the evenings, when i am working with jewelry designs in my lap. the look? toleration, with a trace of long suffering. it's hard for me to ignore.
(an instagram friend said that walter was hanging out in the "brocade arcade". i will never look at that chair the same way again.)
i thought i would give you a little peek at some of the work that is keeping me so busy and distracted these days. when i first began putting these latest wrap bracelets together, i had no concept whatsoever of the time/hand pain involved.
in chatting with a fellow artist friend long distance on the phone the other day, i lamented at those laborious amount of stitches, and said i didn't want to reduce the work involved by going the less- expensive no-stitch route. she suggested i call them the "bracelet of 1000 stitches" line, and we laughed - then agreed that it was actually a wonderful name. each stitch holds an intention, a memory, a little wish from me to she who will wear the ornamental piece around her wrist.
i love applying little stitched X's onto the whipped-stitched leather pieces, tiny little antique faceted steel beads that were once made for french beaded purses are now finding their way, bead by miniscule bead, onto my beading needle, then from that needle to a larger, sharper leather needle, pulled through the leather, once, twice for security, then on to the next pearl or little row of beaded X's. x marks the spot. x is a kiss. x is here. x is a crossroads. x is two fingers held up and interlocked.
i think of a rubber band, and how folks used to wear one as a reminder of something, anything. i think of the red thread, tied around a wrist, around a soul. i think of buddhist beads, i think of rosaries. i think of everything, late into these soft nights when i am sitting before the glow of my tree, sitting in winter silence as the forest beyond this house sleeps quietly in the velvet dark, and i am stitching my heart into the leather bit by bit, thread by thread, thought by thought. it works like that. it is worth the work. it is what i do.
every evening, i stay up far too late. when the clock strikes 12, i stand on creaky feet and make my wobbly way to bed, where i climb under flannel sheets and drift off to dream of old friends, of old places, of talks with those who have gone on to the beyond. in the mornings, i wake to a not yet risen sun that waits until after nine to climb up over the mountain ridge; a blanket of white and frost-kissed fog descends into this little cove, i make my dark, dark coffee (roasted long, french pressed, with a beautiful fragrant sheen of oil that floats to the surface of those first few sips) and i settle down with walter on the sofa for a few quiet moments before the day's actions unfold.
afternoons find me in the studio, sipping the smoky goodness of hot lapsang souchong tea or pungent orange and cinnamon market spice - each of these comforts, gifts from friends afar. i lift my cup to you all, i lift my cup to you here. i sip, and i ponder, and i quietly honor and celebrate. i hammer words of gratitude. i live. i linger. i move on ahead. xo