Sunday, May 5, 2013

I have been writing...just not here

As a female of the species, I excel at multitasking. Well, I did in my earlier life. Now I single-task in a multiple fashion. Moving from one thing to another, my mind plans the next foray with aplomb except for the occasional brain fade when I get to the next room and forget why I went there.

Single mindedness comes with age - at least I assume it does. It has for me. I savor more, do things completely so I don't have to come back to them and I ignore an overburdened closet simply by closing the door. Hey, it is important to pick your battles.

Art and writing are more important to me than dust. Lately, though, construction has planted plenty of the stuff on every surface of the house so I am back to multitasking. I write a bit and swipe a cloth over the desk. I sweep out the studio in prep for the summer, taking paints from their winter storage out to their regular home, while simultaneously swiping a counter top with a cloth as I pass by. I clean plaster dust and wood splinters from the inside of the washing machine (I mean, really guys?) and then do the wash.

The new bathroom is coming along nicely. I will be happy when we can stop going down two flights of stairs to use the other bathroom. It will be a twofold luxury when it is done in a few weeks.

I've kept up with my journal, adding watercolors to the pages when a light touch is needed and pictures of trips and construction progress to illustrate the dialog of my days. I spent four nights at an inn in Gloucester a few weeks ago, painting at a beach I found in Manchester-by-the-Sea on the first day. The air was cool - mid to high 50's - but the sun made it feel warmer. I sketched the scene, adding notes to my drawing so I'd remember the color of the water and the sweep of the clouds. The next day I set up my easel, digging the legs into the soft sand and, stretching a bungee cord over the tray, anchoring it with two big milk bottles filled with water. I accepted its quirky tilt - uneven ground being what it is.

Life is uneven. The axis tilts this way and that and I find my footing either by digging in and firmly planting my thoughts or flowing with it. Both work to different degrees. It would be plenty boring if there was a sameness to every day. I know people with lives like that. I guess they must like it that way because they continue to do it year in and year out.

I prefer edges that shift and change like the waves on the shore. When I was in Gloucester, the beach was different each morning. The clear, rocky beach of that first afternoon became riddled with seaweed on the second day. The sea pulled some of it out with the next tide so the arrangement was different - undulating strips of seaweed hiding sea glass treasures in with the pebbles underneath their mounds. I accepted the changes with a sense of excitement and discovery looking forward to rounding the corner to find out what I would see.

When things are serene, I find untold pleasure in my own discoveries. A good book, rhythmic stitches woven into the shawl I am working on and the plunge and pull of silk thread through a needlepoint canvas. Good conversation with friends culminating in laughter and hugs. I am grounded by my pleasures. They help me meet my challenges with a bit more grace.

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