How glorious is summer?! The sunshine is just intoxicating after many months of gloomy weather ..lots of rain, then more rain…as the the days stretch out, my soul is crying out for the beach……..for the surf, to walk for miles on the ocean edge…….beachcombing for treasure from the sea.
We have had a couple of 4WD excursions down the coast & it’s been amazing. The sky on this day was surreal. SO BLUE.
I am blessed and constantly enriched by the lives of our grandblessings……….and without going into a whole ‘Nonna Brag Session’ (which we grandmothers can very easily do…) suffice to say we passed a significant transition time as the two older ones head off to school this week for the first time. Milestones in their lives, create markers in mine…….ever aware of a countdown happening in my body. There are days it hurts so much it’s physical, there are other days, when I am so busy going about life, I hardly notice the sand rushing through the glass.
As I have been saying for some time now – we are mentally (& physically) getting ready to move from our family home of 20+years at some point in the near future. This has made me more critical of the value of things I create. Where am I going to put it – how will I store it – am I ‘making’ for ‘making’ sake & there is no real ‘value’ in what I have created……(a technique refined, a new material/method explored, a gift or occasion marker)…..It was this contemplation – along with my confessions of the last post (seeking the ‘fresh’) that I decided a few months ago that I wanted to give each member of my family something meaningful, made by me for Christmas. This meant putting aside some of my artistic preferences to accommodate the recipient. I made a list, which, even to me (oh thee of little sleep), was a little ambitious…….and I didn’t get there in the end…..but here are some of the pieces I did finish……..Above are ‘envelope’ books I made to hold all of the school treasures…………below……….6 METRE accordion fold out (YES – that is NOT a TYPO!) & 160 photos – documenting the first five years of mile stones…….
For our precious DIL – I made a series of 5 canvases, with personal messages……here’s some vignettes……
As a ‘Natural Born, Card Carrying List Maker’ I have spent a little time making a life ‘to do’ list. Since that film came out with Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson in it the term Bucket List’ has almost become a noun……. but I think that’s a morbid term, I don’t want to ‘check off a list’ and then I’m DONE – A lesson I learned from the seemingly random reasons why one person was in the towers (who should have been) & another (who should have been) wasn’t – is I’ll be ‘DONE’ when it’s my time & I KNOW that won’t be the end of it! Being around New Years it’s the time I like to revisit these kinda things & see how I’m tracking – reassess, whether what I have written there – is even important to me anymore. This year I am hoping to be a little kinder on myself – instead of a punishing ‘to do’ – balancing a little ‘slow time’ and ‘grateful’ acceptance……..am I mellowing? Is this what growing old is – perhaps a little ‘wisdom’ is starting to be evident after all! I have lived long enough to understand life is not an event….or a goal post – and that no achievement ever creates a true sense of self.
There is conflicting information out there on the value of this – one school of thought says JUST by writing down my goals (even if I don’t refer to them again) I am more likely to achieve them. Derek Sivers advocates that if you tell anyone about your goals – you achieve social accolades as though you have achieved them already & you are less likely to actually do it……You can watch what he has to say here…….kinda like this new eco house that is seeming like it is NEVER going to happen! But then – this runs a different kind of problem……..
“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course I’ve got dreams. Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep, they’re still there.” – Erna Bombeck
So – here I am JUST putting these out there – just to write them down – to clarify them in my own mind really – NOT to receive any accolades from you, my special online friends. As a certified ‘list maker’ it does seem to be like garnering resources for the future & providing direction for the now. It helps to eliminate peripheral …..that prove to be only sparkly distractions for the now & not what you TRUELY want…
they loosely fall into 4 Genres: travel; personal; family; creative
1. Photograph architecture in England – I’d actually like to spend about 6 months to a year there – but may need some ‘fairy godmother’ intervention for this! LOL!
2. Photograph doors & windows in Italy (esp. Venice & Florence)
3. Shop for Christmas deco’s in Germany
4. Improve my conversational Italian
5. Fly first class
6. Do an extended (?3+ months) road trip to explore Western Australia, Northern Territory
7. Fly to USA & meet some long time art buddies
PERSONAL (I have about 6 other goals that are too personal to waft in cyber space)
1.Improve my knowledge of manual camera functions (F stops ‘n’ stuff)
2. Refine plans for eco/recycled materials home DONE
3. Participate in building our forever house – complete with Blow your mind Garage for hubbie & Studio Amazing for me!
4. Improve my fitness to make travel more manageable (i TROOOLY, rooooolly want this to be in progress – but it’s not!! No travel on the horizon = no incentive)
5. Settle into a manageable employment groove (manageable hours & expectations for a moderate return that still leaves time for a ‘life’ out side of work) – a cuppla false starts here – still hopeful.
FAMILY (likewise – I DO have other Family goals beside quilting! LOL! -ditto about the wafting in cyber space! LOL!)
1. Finish mini Princess’s quilt – in progress
2. Make single bed quilts for older grandblessings – purkulating!
3. Finish large quilt for our bed – in progress – but not recently!
4. Take EGF to Venice for her 16th birthday
5. Lay up an inheritance for my children’s children
6. Make meaningful contributions to each of my (grown) children’s lives
7. Support my DH achieving his dreams
8. Build a ‘home base’ for my family that will become their inheritance
1. Transition to primarily using my own imagery for all of my artwork
2. Publish a book (NOT progressing – not because I haven’t started – because I vacillate between wanting to write an art book & wanting to tell my story – I have started both!)
3. Create an inspiring website that I can edit & update myself – no more ‘web boys’ who talk techno speak!! LOL!!! – in progress.
4. Design & run some online classes – in progress – doing the ‘field work’ at the mo
OH – I forgot to show you my CHRISTMAS architectural TRIUMPH – my very first gingerbread stable (house)
“One ship drives east, and another west
With the self-same winds that blow:
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
Which decides the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As they voyage along through life;
Tis the will of the soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox