Sunday, May 20, 2007

Creative Space

It is spring. And this year, I am no longer in the city. Instead I have flower beds and gardens and beautiful warm sunny, quiet days.

A few weeks ago, when my parents were visiting, we unpacked and set up my studio. Something I had been wanting for months. However, I haven't had a lot of energy these last few weeks and therefore have not actually used the space yet.

When I do have enough energy to be active, I find myself with dirt under my nails tending to and organizing my flower beds. The house we moved into has very beautiful, mature perennials beds. I love them. In Pittsburgh, I waited three years for flower beds and got them months before we put the house on the market. It is a very different experience to start with nothing than it is to start with twenty year old beds.

We have pulled out the "snow on the mountain" or "gout weed" that had taken over the front bed. We have moved a lot of plants that needed to be split or had self-seeded to close to others. We have added a few things of our own--strawberries, a raspberry bush, some dahlias, chicks and hens, and some more seedlings that should be transplantable in the coming weeks. I realize that this has been my creative outlet.

This morning in our small group, we discussed the use of time, and how by giving ourselves time, we are more open to experiencing the blessings that we have. It was a timely theme and I had many things to say on the topic, but never got around to sharing anything. I know that the time (2 months) I spent recuperating from a surgery two years changed who I am and in what ways I am driven. I know that the last five months have been hard, long, months and now that life seems to be stabalizing, my body is shutting down to reclaim the space and time that it needed to process the stress and anxiety that we have gone through. In many ways, time is all I have wanted, and yet I haven't been able to ask for it.

For as little as I have been blogging, I have definitely increased the number of blogs I am reading. I am constantly amazed at how much people are willing to share. I don't know if they are naturally that open about everything or if they don't realize that it is actually out there for anyone to see. I struggle with knowing how much I want to say or how trivial I'd like to keep the entries. I still haven't decided. However, I decided to share some of my understanding of time because I seem to need to be retaught this again and again. I believe that it is important and okay to take time for ourselves, and I just want to try to continue to remind myself that it is more than acceptable.

During our small group time, the children were asked to describe their perfect day. This afternoon as Nick and I were planting the garden I realized that my perfect day would be to have all of the time and energy in the world to work outside in the garden and beds with him. That's all I really want...the energy I need to do the things I love.

So, after this ramble of thoughts, I wanted to share some pictures. The first pictures are more from the flower beds. Maybe it is obvious, but I like to take close-up pictures of flowers. I find the details, shapes and colors to be amazing and always just want to take a closer look at each flower. The final two are pictures of my studio(in process) that I hope to get into someday soon.

Not that I get many comments on my blog or anything, but if you're willing to humor me, I'd be interested in knowing how you'd spend your perfect day if you were to take the time for yourself.


andrea said...

I think the perfect day involves a good breakfast, creative time, time spent with a friend, and time spent giving order to chaos. Maybe I just feel that way now, when my days have had so little of any of those things -- mostly right now all I do is feed and change a little baby (who's a darling, don't get me wrong, but he's not much for conversation or creative play right now) and watch as the mountains of unfinished work and unfiled papers and miscellaneous crap that I haven't figured out what to do with grow higher and higher around me. The house is literally as chaotic and messy as it's possible for a house to be without having suffered some deliberate vandalism. And I go back to work tomorrow morning!

TIME. You're wishing for energy, and I'm wishing for time. I think they're both part of the same wish -- to have the capacity to get good work done, and the mental wherewithal to enjoy doing it.

Miss you! Hope Nick is healing well. Little Zenon is growing visibly every day... and he really is a love, I hope you can meet him soon. Say hello to Jess & Chad when you see them -- we miss them already, too.

hippiepotomus said...

I have a hunch my perfect day now might be different in a few months, as it is already different than it was a year ago.

It would be a nice day - in the 60's with blue skies. Raph and I would go for a hike. Somewhere with a nice view because he loves hikes with views and I certainly don't mind them. It wouldn't be too hilly though. And then we'd eat really good vegetarian food, after cooking it together. Then I'd get a block of time to quilt or do something creative on my own while Raph would get to do something he likes to do. And we'd sit around and talk as the sun sets and the house darkens.

I miss you guys.

Brooke said...

Beautiful photos. So fresh and vibrant. Hmmm, a perfect day could be so many things. It wouldnt be rushed or busy. There wouldnt be too many plans. It would include good conversation and good food. There would be an ocean with a salty breeze and plenty of rustling trees. I would make something that surprised me. ray lamontagne would play my favorite song. I would watch a secret episode of The Office that I had never seen. There should also probably be a massage included and some baby animals hanging around.

Jonathan & Kaethe said...

The perfect day...beautiful sunny and warm weather, ideal for a long walk in Frick park. If there was a way to split half of the day catching up with friends and family, especially those not living nearby and the other half just relaxing at our home as a family, it would be the best of both worlds. Cooking and eating delicious but simple food would also be in order. Maybe an impromptu cook-out with neighbors. And I do think that there would be some time there having time to do the little tasks, like a load of laundry, that certainly grow monotonous, but need to be done and help me to care for me family. Lots of laughs and kisses from my little girl, preferably without her throwing too much food. And I have to agree with Brooke--wouldn't we all love to find a secret episode of The Office?

andrea said...


A day so happy.
Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.

Czeslaw Milosz

Andy said...

I cool summer morning after an overnight city thunderstorm knocked down all the humidity. No loud music from next door or pressing plans, only dinner with friends to anticipate. Day would be split between making Sara laugh and becoming consumed in a trivial peice of handiwork, perhaps repairing some small, old wooden box I found in someones trash. Then the dinner with friends and home in time for reading and soft goodnight kiss. All that can happen with a baby, right?

Erin said...

Perfect day: spent outside with beautiful scenery, good food, good drink, good company and something unexpected. Truth is, I have a lot of days like this that I don't realize are perfect days. I'm often too caught up in what's not perfect about things--what's just too ordinary. But fact remains that my life is constantly cluttered with the makings of the perfect day.

So my wish? Contentment. The ability to really live into and enjoy the moment and not put my energy into thinking about what the moment is not. So I guess my perfect day is less about what's going on and more about my ability to enjoy it, no matter what.