Archives for category: autumn

Yesterday was very productive. I got an exceptional night of rest, and looked forward to a day fully at leisure. I guess I’ve had that…sort of… an errand that I counted on to be sort of short turned into half the day, and I overlooked that I’d committed to going to the store, too. I end up here, in early evening, at long last taking some time purely for me. It feels good – enough so that I’ve already looked past how brief it turns out to be. I’m too tired to waste precious time on bullshit. 🙂

I drink some water. Listen to the soft whooshing in the background of the air conditioning. A bit more distant, faint and in the background, I hear a power tool of some kind… a saw? A grinder? I don’t know – I just feel a certain comfort in it. It is the sound of my Traveling Partner and his son, happily productive in the shop together.

I smile. Life is not complicated at the moment. I mean… mine. Right now. Not complicated. Slow and easy. I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Blue skies after days without.

…I hear the neighborhood dogs begin to bark and carry on dreadfully…

…Already time to begin again, is it?

I woke abruptly from an unpleasant dream, this morning. It was much earlier than I needed to be awake, but I couldn’t go back to sleep. After a few minutes, ruminating over my dream, I got up. My Traveling Partner and I shared coffee. The day began.

Now I’m sitting contentedly in my studio once again (no, the repairs have not yet been done, and the wall and closet are still “torn out”, waiting on those repairs). I was inspired to get moved back in by my unpleasant dream. The details are not critical here, the fundamentals were what got my attention, and I woke motivated to act on what was “suddenly so clear”; I needed to have my studio back, like, immediately. Having my workstation (and conducting my day-to-day work) in the dining room was an acceptable short-term solution while the water damage in my studio was being addressed. (The big air movers that were shoved in to the smallish space were reason enough; it was way too loud for work.) That’s all over with, though. Right now, it’s just a room waiting for some dry wall to be replaced, and some finish work. I’d cluttered up the opposite side of the room, making haste to move paintings to safety, and bookcases out of harm’s way, and the big deal at this point was that I couldn’t get to my desk! I woke from my troubling dream with a clear plan how best to regain the lost space and move forward.

…And it’s not as if I have any expectation of the repair crew coming this week…

It feels particularly good to be seated at my desk. I smile, and gaze out the window, content with the small view of pear-laden trees on the other side the fence, and a wedge of sky beyond my neighbor’s house. My desk is clean, tidy, and looking around the room with some satisfaction, I note that things are as well-managed and neat as before we noticed the leak that caused me to be temporarily kicked out of my studio. In some ways, it is tidier, simply because most of the canvases were moved into another space in the house (permanent solution still tbd).

My Traveling Partner was also inspired to begin “putting things right once again”, and between coffees tidied up his workshop, and rehung the sun shade “sails” that make the deck so pleasant on sunny summer days. They had been taken down during a wind storm, and we didn’t bother putting them back up while the air outside was indexed at “hazardous” – we weren’t spending time outside!

We each (both) remarked how much difference it made to our general feeling of emotional wellness to have the dining room restored to it’s ideal function (as a dining room), and my workstation back on my desk where it belongs. Reclaiming that living space was a big deal for both of us. Reclaiming this space (my studio) was critical for me, and probably pretty fucking helpful for my partner, too. It was getting beyond annoying to have business calls going on all day, in the shared living space where one might expect to be able to just relax and watch a damned video, or read the news. I know it was messing with my partner’s morning routine. It was challenging for me to deal graciously with life and love being so intimately present in the midst of work – my attention was unavoidably divided, and however much I might prefer to turn my full attention to matters of home life and love and my lover every minute, every time, I also felt the tug of the paycheck; my time is not my own during those working hours. It was hard on us both. I had started to feel pretty trapped. My partner made it explicitly clear he was having some feelings about it, himself. It was not a sustainable arrangement.

…I’m almost eager to face Monday’s calendar, from this seat, in this room, looking across my monitors to this window, and those trees beyond. Once again, I feel “at home” – which is much nicer than feeling chronically uneasy and displaced, for sure.

The morning was fairly merry. I find myself ready to begin again. 🙂

My coffee was some time ago. I’ll have a second, “soon”. I took a few minutes to run an early errand, before returning to work. Something like a “lunch break” I suppose, since the rest of my day is locked up with back to back meetings. I’m not bitching, I’m just observing that it is the state of things, today.

Hints of autumn begin to appear.

I had noticed, a day or two ago, that it seemed some leaves were beginning to yellow in the trees here and there. I wondered if it was the dry weather? This morning, hints of amber, orange, russet, and red are turning up, too. Fall? Already? It feels as if there was barely a summer, although the few days of summer were quite hot… but pandemic life being what it is, the days (and yes, seasons) blend together a bit.

I pulled the car over, while I was out, adjacent to a nearby farm property that presents a lovely view, itself, the barn and house a bit distant, with the more distant foothills fading into the morning fog. Pretty picture. I sat a moment looking out across the landscape, before continuing on my way. Time well-spent, frankly.

…When was the last time you just “took a minute” for some small thing, a view, a flower, a bit of music that brings back memories…? I found I was overdue for it, and enjoyed it immensely to take that time for me. 🙂

I thought of a lovely compliment paid to me last night by a friend who reads my work (thank you!), “I like your writing, and the everyday-ness of what you share…”. I’m still smiling. I mean, I’ve said before that I write for me, as much as for anyone, but it moves me to be appreciated for the very thing that sometimes causes me doubt; I write about what is so ordinary. 🙂 Thanks for reading. ❤

…So…fall creeping up on us already? Well, then. Seasons still change. 🙂

I take a moment to make a second coffee for myself, and for my Traveling Partner. We exchange gentle teasing words, enjoy some merriment. I make raisin toast – apparently a childhood favorite for both of us, and oddly, that’s new information for me (at least where he is concerned)! We’ve been together a decade, and we still learn new things about each other. It’s lovely. 🙂 We share coffee, enjoy our toast, and resume the forward momentum of the day. Chances are good that this gentle loving moment will be the one we remember… not the work we did later on. I’m just pointing that out – invest your precious limited lifetime wisely (it’s definitely not “about” the money).

Huh. Look at the time – already time to begin again. 🙂

I’m drinking cold fizzy water. My work day is over. My Traveling Partner is in his shop, making something specific of nothing-much components – tools and knowledge make a lot of things possible. I reflect on small irritants, and things for which I am grateful, too. Sometimes the irritating things in life feel damn near inescapable. I often find that taking time to savor the things in life I cherish, and to reflect gratefully on the many many things in life that don’t irritate me, is time well-spent and a helpful anodyne to the plentiful aggravations life may throw my way.

Perspective matters.

Yesterday began well. A lovely day.

One very cool thing about perspective is that it can change. It can be willfully, deliberately, altered – by choice, if you’ve a will to choose to do so.

A strange haze began to develop, later in the morning… or was it just a trick of the light?

It’s tempting to see perspective as a single point, just one way of looking at something, or one position from which to consider things. Is it, though?

There’s definitely a haze, later in the day, and a high wind storm warning to go with it.

There’s often more than one “right answer”, more than one solution to a problem challenge, more than one way that “things go together”. On and off I keep contemplating perspective, and how best to make use of it to understand the country I live in, my own circumstances, or the strange times I find myself in. We’ve only got this one planet, and these all-too-brief mortal lives…

The otherworldly result of smoke from distant fires.

…somewhere, communities and forests and fields are burning. Fire season. Cities, too, for other reasons. It’s a very good time to contemplate perspective – and to broaden it. There’s more to understand than I can even grasp. I have another drink of water. I’m grateful for cold clean drinking water. I’m grateful for this place I call “home”. Even that sick strange orange sky – I’m grateful to be able to see the sky, and to breath the air. I read some of the news. It’s bad in some places. I put it down – it’s not new news, just words about things I’ve read before.

What are you “for”? What are you “against”? Why do you feel that way? What have you done to test your assumptions? (I’m betting you’ve made more than a few assumptions, without testing them; it’s very human.) Would you refuse to test drive a change of perspective if you knew doing so might change your thinking? What does your answer tell you about the person in the mirror?

Too many questions, and my water bottle is empty. The sky is still a crazy sort of orange that fascinates and alarms me. One way or another, we’ve got to begin again.

I slept poorly last night. I’m not taking that personally this morning. It’s a lovely morning. I sort of slept in. The coffee, shared with my Traveling Partner, was quite good. We sat out on the deck, listening to the birds, watching clouds drift by, and enjoying gentle conversation. I can’t imagine needing more than this. I sit quietly alone for a few minutes, here at my keyboard. I give myself time to savor these precious moments.

There is a day, and long weekend, still ahead.

My partner points out that the deck is spacious, suitably so for painting. He expresses some surprise that I’ve not yet had my easel out on the deck, painting. I find myself surprised, too. It’s been a busy time since we started down the path of moving into our home… little time, it has seemed, for painting, or really any sort of creative endeavors…only… I hear him in the garage, this morning (which has fairly quickly become a very organized woodworking shop through his efforts)… I find it inspiring to hear him working creatively. My eye wanders to the deck. I think about the tasks ahead if I were to undertake to paint out on the deck, this weekend… my studio is still in a sort-of-orderly state of disarray, awaiting repair work. My easel? It’s in the farthest least accessible corner of the room, tucked in behind the long expanse of my desk. Paint brushes? Put away in the drawers where I keep them… which happen to be those on the far side of the desk, over there near the easel. Paint and canvas are much more easily within reach, requiring only some general care and common sense to get at them. That easel though… I’ll need to move two bookcases… and move them back… and a stack of paintings that are placed “just so”, safely out of reach of contractor work space… with some care and patience, it’s not that big a challenge. It’s just some physical effort.

…Do I have the will…?

I smile and sip the dregs of my coffee. The day had originally been forecast to be very hot. It’s not looking like that will be a concern today, really, and the forecast has since changed. Cooler temperatures are now in the forecast. Suitable for painting outside? Yes, and for walking. 🙂 I think that’s my “next thing”, today – a walk. The nearby farmer’s market at the grange will open shortly, and it is pleasantly on the way for most walks I might take near home. They practice good social distancing, and folks are comfortable staying masked, which I appreciate. We finally found a good value in a set of pots and pans for the new house (many of those I had been getting by with before had lived out their useful lifespan and needed replacing). We’ve been doing a lot of summer cooking, out on the grill, and pots and pans were a low priority, but occasionally cooler weather reminded me they’d be needed for soups and casseroles, and things cooked in pots, generally, and my high level of background inspiration also finds me wanting to cook, to bake, and to make things at home. I remind myself to bring a re-usable bag along with me when I go walking.

Home. Feels like we’re really “there”… here. 🙂

Contentment can be cultivated. 

I did not notice until I sat down this morning that the busy week had so occupied my consciousness that I haven’t written in days. Funny that I failed to notice it altogether. (If you have been missing me, I recommend an assortment of older posts – so many words!) Strange to be this content, moment to moment. Even my “to do” list is taking on new characteristics, as tasks associated with moving and with getting settled are slowly replaced with routine housekeeping tasks, and items like “water the lawn” and “write a letter to ____” begin to show up.

…Yesterday, I sat so quietly on the deck, as evening began to take over from afternoon, a hummingbird landed on a taut bit of line that anchors one of the shades over the deck, very near me. We sat regarding each other for some time. I made no move to take her picture. It was simply a moment shared between creatures. There are more of those such moments as I get acclimated to the new environment, and slowly build new routines. I’m less patient with myself – and the process of getting settled in – that I would like to be. In spite of that, change is, and things are slowly finding new norms.

I look at the time. I feel the quiet of a Saturday morning. Seems a lovely morning for a walk… and I think it’s already time to begin again. 🙂