Thursday, September 09, 2021
We made a small day trip, with a picnic, and hats for shade. It was beautiful, and the lunch we packed was delicious. We enjoyed the views, and trekking around, but... I think our favorite part was driving back West, as the temperatures fell with every mile until we were home, again! Somewhere enroute it was 97° F, and we simply have not been acclimating to those temperatures. Oof! So, yes, we saw birds and hiked a bit, we took deep breaths of mountain air, admired oaks, manzanita, old barns, and country roads, but I don't think we will be returning until hot Summer gives way to cool Fall.
I have been mindfully practicing not complaining about the weather. I will note the temperature, or whether or not it is raining, but as I am aware that the world is overcome with some truly awful weather, and other disasters, I want to zip it when it comes to hyperbolic weather whining... (even though it has been shown to afford modicums of relief to briefly, occasionally rant.) While we were coping with thermoregulation in Julian, for instance, Bambi was in New Jersey, where the remants of hurricane Ida was blowing through, and our weather woes pale in comparison with tornadoes and flooding. Thankfully, Bambi and Gordon, and the rest of her family, were all safe.
More weather talk? Mind you, I am not complaining. I can't help, though, noting that this has been an odd summer. Really odd. There has been practically no heat near the coast. And I don't want to tempt fate, because I honestly have loved it, but it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I dread the prospect of suddenly having a blazing autumn. I hate to ask, When is the heat coming? It's been humid, overcast, and we have had more than one good rain, even thunder and lightning... unheard of conditions in August, September. In fact, many days this summer it's looked on the verge of a downpour. Did I mention, I love it? The question, well another question, is: Is this unseasonal, or is this a new normal? Will summers be this way in a trending way, or are we going to remember 2021 as that anomaly year for local weather?
I wonder how many times in September I have written a blog post about how eager I am for Fall, for classic fall weather, and to feel the whole Hollywood treatment, with sweaters, boots, fallen leaves, brisk breezes, and oversized mugs of warm drinks? It's kinda happening, people. We may have even set up a display with our ceramic barn and Halloween figures. William is tuning-up the Cat, and I am going to make meatloaf for dinner, again. It's never cool enough for meatloaf in September. This is magic. From Instagram, where I am curating my own therapy, affirmations, and safety-net. Yes, there are social media pitfalls, but. Well, some of it is gold. For instance, Marina's post, of her beautiful yarn... and she posed a question that kind of broke through my foggy, muddled head. "What are you working on?" And her question stayed with me, compelled me. I finally sat down, and made up my mind to do something. Something with paper. Something with a pencil. I kind of went back to the beginning, when I reminded myself to start, without obsessing, without judgement, without worrying about making something "good." Starting can be as hard as the doing. I am glad I saw your post, @heartbunknitsandmore. Actually, I would like to take this moment to thank all of the creators I follow on Instagram. Thank you, for making art, for sharing memes, and making Reels, thank you for posting your selfie, whether you did it doubtfully or boldly. Thank you for explaining about advocating for racial equity, Marie Beecham. And No Ordinary Moment, thank you for opening up about your journey through grief, with heartfelt expression, in words and intuitive art. Oh dear... I always have this impulse to start sharing my gratitude and highlighting everyone I admire and appreciate, and then I realize I am going to get in over my head! There are so many talented, kind, generous, inspiring, even challenging people sharing their journeys, their missions, and passion for justice, for art, for the environment, for human connection! I want to highlight dozens and dozens, a hundred or more. And I don't want a friend, or aquaintance to feel left out. It makes me sad to leave people out, for them to think I didn't think of them. Ok, so know this, if I am following someone on IG, as ChickenBlogger, or as BoomNerds, then I like your message, or your humor, or you are helping me figure things out, expanding my view, making me think, giving me hope. Thank you.
It's been awhile. I have a long list of excuses. Reasons? Well, stuff has been in the way of me doing things I enjoy, and quite possibly it is me, in the way. Maybe time off from creating isn't neglect, but rest, being restorative. I miss crocheting, sewing, quilting, painting, sketching, cooking something better than basic, making big plans, gatherings, hosting, playing, sharing. We know... don't we? We know the world is stranger, harder to navigate, not so familiar, because we are each negotiating, with what's safe, appropriate, comfortable. Sometimes, the hardest part is observing some people carrying on as though there isn't a pandemic, climate crisis, etc etc etc. I remind myself that we have our own paths, and our own desires and things that are essential, and obligations that are requisite differ from person to person. But, please, wear a mask. And don't recall the governor of California. You don't have to enjoy the mask, or like the governor, but the alternatives are actually much worse, the consequences are not worth the tantrum acts of so called defiance.
How fairy mice with flower petal wings, and fern tendrils in bell jars appear, when my head is full of angst... I can't explain. I have set my pencil to paper with fury or indignation, intent to release rage or sorrow through art, and for my effort I get cherubic ratty-rats, and mossy forests with acorn lanterns, and cats in cardigans. It brings to mind every Halloween when all I wanted was to be something pretty, or sweet, or lovely, or funny. I think it's because scary, uncertainty, fear, pain, were too accessible, too close at hand in my experience. The worlds of whismy are the escape, the departure from reality, the make-believe of comfort, and safety, and I've never known them to be bland or dull, not common, not familiar. I have a craving for sweetness, and gentle moments. And I think, Don't underestimate this ratty-rat in button down sweater, with wide eyes, she is fierce, she is courageous, and righteous. She overcomes obstacles, and defies injustice, cruelty, to take tea from a sea-shell cup, and sit in company with her friends, the birds and the toads.
Geoff and I have been taking longer and longer bicycle rides. Lately, it's not unusual for us to ride twenty miles, or more. And my favorite part is when the last 3 or 4 miles become long talks, as we pedal north, then south, then north, again. We talk about the young folks, what they are up to, and what lies ahead. We talk about adding on to the workshop, building, designing, planning. We talk about going one direction, but then turning around, and starting another way. We talk about how fortunate we are, because even when we get off-track, we always want to go forward together. Yeah, that's figurative, and literal. I love our bike rides. I love our talks. I love Geoff, and how with him I feel lucky, I feel like my life is more, and better, than I imagined it could be.
It must be obvious, but I don't always know where these posts are going to head. Just now, I feel like I have been driving back country roads, and just narrating the sights, the big views, the immediate impressions, and concerns. On the left, we see some cows beneath oak trees, and ahead a bakery. Blogging is a funny thing.
Posted by Natalie, the Chickenblogger at Thursday, September 09, 2021
Labels: Alex, Amor, Art, Autumn, Bambi, California, E-Bike, Friends, Life and Details, Maria, Max, Nature Time, Picnics, Ratty-Rat, Road Trip, Summer, WAMMO, Weather, William
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It really has been an odd summer - and like you, I've really, really enjoyed it.
I can't tell you how happy it made me to your pencil turning to ink drawing. Having a fellow artists community is so valuable, isn't it? And, thank you for finding value in my grief journey sharing. It's been necessary for me and I hope that others are, even though none of us have identical journies, able to get something for themselves from it.
And the blue in your painting is so delicious. I love the palette you created--- it's all just so nurturing.
And your bike rides -- longer and longer! That's a lovely happening! :) You two are goodness.
I love your blogging trails... thanks for inviting all of us along.
You and I are Autumn Sisters, always ready for dappled light and a good downpour! I love it!
Grief is an individual, personal journey, but I think we are also in a cultural transition where we don't have the same built in traditions around death and mourning, especially if we aren't strongly connected with a church, religion. The old ways helped create cushions, and space for grief, and gave us guideposts through otherwise strange lands. As society becomes more respectful of emotional expression, and stages of mental health in transition periods, I think we are going to be looking for more ways or new ways of stating: 'I am in mourning,' or 'This is a new stage in my life.' Recently, I've been through large, significant life transitions, with family deaths, illnesses, and trauma, but I haven't had any (or very few) means of ceremonially, or 'officially' recognizing, acknowledging and processing, and I think it has been detrimental. I respect and appreciate that you openly seek a path with grief, through grief. You make it easier for the rest of us to at least consider that this is real, good, helpful, necessary.
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