Saturday, June 28, 2008

So much..

The mason is working on the other window right now, so I have a moment. It has been a whirlwind of a week. I have so much swirling around inside of me, thoughts about reconnecting with old friends, trying to make relationships with new friends work, the city, impressions of people in the city and how much we change.

It is amazing how much life you can pack into one week. I'll just put down what I did for now and come back later with thoughts and impressions.
June 20th was my birthday, I worked at the store, lovely, then out to dinner with friends I've had since high school. After dinner went to my partner's gig, then my Philly friend and I went to another friend's house to spend the night. It was good to see those two connect.
June 21st got up early and did Tai Chi on the back deck over looking a field and river. Took a walk and went for a dip, no one else was up yet so a little gift time to myself. Said goodbye to Philly, and loaded up the truck with band gear (yes in my off time I'm a groupie/roadie). Drove to the NEK for a house party which was some fun. Back to my house late night. This band is comprised of old college friends.
SQUAGMYRE

June 22nd Up early again! Shifted stuff around and back to Waterville with the band gear. Came home and slept!
June 23rd, Closed for the mason! I got a new step off to Greensboro for a book buying from a Tai Chi friend, lots of really old interesting engineering books. Excellent to have this day to myself.
June 24th Worked at the store, Large Women's Support Group in the evening.
June 25th Off to see the Red Sox play the Arizona Diamondbacks at Fenway Park! The Big Unit pitching against Wakefield. It was great.
June 26th Home again...laundry...

A busy time, but some fun. Details to follow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Under Construction

New windows going in to the bookstore today!! Replacing plywood!! Hurrah for the light, hurrah for southern exposure! I'll put up photos.

Unfortunately the window being replaced in directly over the computer, so I will not be posting for a few days.

Until then...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Today is my Birthday


























June 20th, 1970 at 12:01pm I was born. I am still becoming.

I love my birthday. For me it is the most special day of the year. Vain glorious I know, but I am thankful for my life. I like to think of the births I have witnessed and imagine mine. I like to call my Mother and thank her for all the work she did to bring me into the world, according to her, it wasn't easy.

It is a good time of reflection for me. A time to notice the work I've done, a time to celebrate who I am, flaws and all. I am after all supremely pleased to be alive, to be alive now, to notice I am alive.

Happy Summer to all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Luck


Luck as defined by the American Heritage dictionary :
"1. The chance happening of good or bad events; fortune. 2. Good fortune; success.> v. to gain success or something desirable by chance."

For a long time now I have felt that I am an extremely lucky person. I am generally not superstitious, but it seems that many, many good things have come my way through no doing of my own. For example: I win things. Raffles, scratch-off tickets, fair games. I get itchy palms just before my luck kicks in...

But I worry. I thought that this luck was payback for some awful things that happened in my life when I was younger, now it seems the pendulum is swinging the other way, I have been happy and content for a long time, I live a blessedly tragedy free life. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for tragedy to strike, I would give up luck if it meant not having to worry.

My luck started at birth. Being born into a community where strife is not a daily issue. Being born into a country that is rich in resource. Being born.

I am grateful for all I have...and it is good to acknowledge that there is another side to this as well. Perhaps what I view as "luck", perhaps it is just possible that I was the impetus behind the good fortune in my life. Perhaps by caring about people, by being kind to others and the environment, by not asking for more than what is my lot in life, perhaps these things played a role in my luck.

This view point does not imply that those who are not so lucky have done anything to deserve it.

So...I will continue to be thankful, to try to be kind t0 people, to love, to simplify my life so it doesn't impact others in a negative way, to reach out to those in need. This is how I pray.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Liberated

I am feeling suddenly liberated. I figured out a way to solve my monetary issues and it is like the world got lighter.

It is good to be relieved, but I wish I could have not felt so dark and down-hearted about money in the first place. I am always "preaching" that these things don't matter, but when faced with them myself, I am sunk. I don't think I sank all the way, I was still living, but definitely on top of a lot of worrying. I will always worry, but I feel relieved and will worry less these days.

I am grateful for the plenty that surrounds me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Correspondence

I received a lovely letter via airmail from Sutton-on-the-Forest, York England. This came from a customer who has had a long exchange with the former owner and is keeping it up with me. What an art letter writing is. He is eloquent without being wordy, amusing, and kind. An elderly gentleman, a professor, who once traveled abroad often, but is no longer able to.

While I love the Internet and the speed that we can be connected, I also love receiving this kind of letter. It carries with it a sense of something exotic and foreign. It makes me feel connected physically to the larger world in a way the Internet does not.


And letter writing. Here at the store I have volumes of letters written by professors, poets, authors so eloquent and grand. It was in letters that these sages discussed their ideas and epiphanies with their colleagues, and we have these documents, a map of the progress these ideas took on their way to becoming. In 50 years will people have these maps? Will they be consigned to cyber-space? Short comments punctuated by abbreviations. What of our language? What of the poetry of words placed on a page thoughtfully set down to convey meaning to another person a world away?


I will continue this correspondence with my English gentleman. And I am now inspired to create more...links to my family, friends and acquaintances...links to the past.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Diving


It is so easy to push stuff down inside and hold it there, surf on top of it and live my life. Then every once in a while I notice it's there and I realize that I am only surfing. I haven't dove down into the deep of living. My Tai Chi teacher says this about Tai Chi also, you can float on the surface of it or you can work really hard and dive down and Chi will present itself to you.

I am tired of surfing, I want coral reefs, sharks, fish that glow in the dark...and ENERGY. In order to get to it I have to go through all of the stuff that I have pushed down where I thought it was out of the way, what I realize now is it's lurking, waiting for me to decide to start living so it can rear it's ugly head. I know there is a lot of metaphor here, but how else to discuss this?

In reality I've been pushing against this amorphous layer for a long time. I've just come up against something rather ugly (it has something to do with feeling lazy and not good enough) so here I am...trying to use language to sort it out.

Adrian Rich perhaps has already said it better than I ever could. (Reading this as I was typing made me cry, to think that someone else another human has experienced the same feeling, sanity)

"Diving Into the Wreck"

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
Otherwise
it's a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she. I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lonliness vs. Aloneness


"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne

I was thinking of a friend of mine who feels like he has to do everything in his life alone. Thinking of him got me thinking about this quote so I looked it up. At first I thought it would be something comforting, but what I realized is that this quote is about loneliness, not about being and doing alone.

We are linked, we are one as members of the human race and inhabitants of the planet earth. We are never truly alone. And yet we are often beset by feeling of being completely alone. Disconnected...it is possible to realize both sensations, connection and disconnection, at once.

I am surrounded by a large community of loving people. Family, friends, acquaintances and it is seldom that I have time to spend alone. Yet I am often lonely and I often feel as if I have to do everything alone, unsupported, out on a limb. This sentiment is nothing new, I know, but it strikes me how most humans have this feeling in common, but we do nothing to dispel it for future generations. I think we are a communal society, living separate from each other and all longing to go back into the fold. We are not made to do things alone. I think of how much happier I am when I am functioning as a member of a group and I know this is true.

We have so much more power when we are connected. This is the reason for the fear-mongering that goes on in the US. It keeps us separate, alone, and powerless...how do we find connection with one another? How do we show our humaness without fear?

How do we ask for help?

Friday, June 6, 2008

New Moon in Gemini

The book signing is about to start and there are a few people here. I have just a moment to jot a blog, my goal is everyday.

My Tai Chi Teacher was mentioning that the New Moon was in Gemini and that this tends toward leading people into having difficulty communicating.

This is true of me...at least it's not all my fault. (This I really do already know!)

Booksigning, happening now!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Being Delighted


I am working hard at being delighted today. With myself and my busy chaotic life. What I can notice and be delighted about is that all of the chaos comes from trying to get close to people. Physically and spiritually. All of this is for me.

Tomorrow I am speaking at the graduation at the school where I used to work. I am speaking about my intern and I am so looking forward to it. It is an interesting thing to watch young people in a four year period grow and change. It is watching a becoming. Usually they become more confident, more controlled, generous, they expand. When I think of my life in four year blocks I can see that I don't change as much. What a time of life. No wonder most people look back on it in horror.

So that is my morning.

My afternoon is a book signing. Harriet F. Fisher wrote a book called "The Darlings of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom". It has been a big hit around here, I've sold a lot of copies and I think it will be a busy afternoon. The interesting thing here is that Harriet is going to be 90 in July. She has written five books and has a sixth coming out in August. She is a historian and an amazing woman. Her granddaughter is a dear friend of mine, so I feel as if I have an in with Harriet. I don't really think I needed one, but we have known each other for some time and have some common ground to discuss.

The feeling here is about the juxtaposition of these two events. One in which I will see several young people begin new projects, begin the process of really living their lives as adults. What a growing time the 20's are! The second event is seeing someone at the end of her life, still living, but with the complete realization that she has a limited time to complete the tasks she has started. A beginning and somewhat of an ending.

And here I am right in the middle. Definitely food for thought.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Ballet

My niece danced a performance for her Ballet Class. She is so beautiful and graceful, I am one proud Aunt.
Here is the video.
video
video

Raining and 60 degrees

Summer has arrived. It is a soft and lovely grey rain, almost a mist but not quite. I love these days when the sky comes down and mingles with the leaves. It is quieting. In fact I often feel aggravated when a day begins like this and then changes to blue sky and sunshine. Interesting but true.

The seedlings are soaking up this soft, soft water-fall, I can see them settling in stretching out, when the sun comes they will grow, grow, grow. What a glorious time of year. My senses are still reeling after the large amount of snow we had. It was so white for so long, I think it will take a little while for the change to truly settle in...not that I want to stop noticing it.

I am going to the city this weekend. Trying to prepare myself for defense against the "city-monsters". Actually I love the hustle and bustle, I love driving in the traffic, I love the art and the availability of culture. I love to visit it. So I am looking forward to this. To seeing people I love (babies I love especially.), to listening to music and talking, talking, talking. Trying to connect, reconnect, be together.

What a beautiful life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Book Biz and Evolving

A customer complimented me on my store today. We had a nice discussion about how happiness isn't connected to money, how we can be complete in what we do without earning a lot. He noted that he had been in the store for over an hour and overheard many discussions I was having with various people, none of them involved money or even a monetary transaction. I am delighted.

This discussion follows a theme...I went to a wonderful housewarming/birthday party on Sunday. I had several conversations with people and most of them centered around loving what you do. Working in an area that you feel fulfilled in. One woman was a social worker and the gentlemen involved in the discussion drove a tractor trailer. Interesting how such variety and yet such contentment. I believe the contentment doesn't really come from the work, but from the essence of the people who do the work. That on some level we learn to love what we do, we take full advantage of our situations and do more than make the best of it, we revel in it.


If only this could be true of all humans. If we could find contentment in our daily lives and not seek something more. It seems to me that there is more than enough resource on this beautiful planet, why are we so fearful of running out?? Why do so many of us strive and fight and claw to have more than we need? It is some left over instinct from the past...we don't really need it anymore and it is time to evolve.


Got that people....EVOLVE! The Book Queen has spoken.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Planting

The best thing for me when I am frustrated is to do SOMETHING. What I did this time was planted my garden in the rain on Saturday. It was lovely. I got really dirty and wet and began to feel human again. I'm not sure my raincoat will recover.

We have strawberries with lovely cream white and yellow flowers, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, sunflowers, cosmos, carrots and parsnips growing. Saturday I planted tomatoes (2 varieties), peppers (2 varieties), marigold, basil, butternut squash, giant pumpkins, cucumbers, peas, beans, and zucchini (even though every gardener in Vermont grows it and there is always a plethora in the autumn). Tonight I am going to try to get the kale in the ground and some dahlias my sister gave me.

There is something fundamental about gardening. The growing of food for ourselves, the smell of the dirt, the glory of the taste...it touches a place within me that is ancient. It is restful and inspiring. It eases my anxiety about money (at least we will have something to eat!!) It connects me and quite literally grounds me.

When I was done, wet and dirty I was elated. I still am.

The Store

The Store
in all it's glory