Friday, November 11, 2011

meeting with Henry David Thoreau finally.....and The Bio Regional Swap

.......I am reading Walden, I think it is some kind of critical point. I have seen so many quotes from it on other beautiful works that I knew one day it would pass into my hands. It will offer me something, I am sure.

I came home yesterday with a bundle of books from the library, some I had ordered, some on Rudolph Steiner ( looking for a deeper understanding) and others, part of a list of poets and writers I have made, that I thought its high time I looked into a little further.

 I am feeling very studious at the moment, having rekindled my love of reading. I am quite comfortable of an evening with a wee stack of books beside me, a pen and notebook. That would have been such a far away feeling for such a long time.

I feel all alight with excitement. I am applying for a bursary for my art, and I guess that means I am serious about what I am doing here. I yearn for the studio each day, and to accomplish something there. And at night I am reading and snuggling with my sleeping M.

 I feel I am engaged with the artistic process, which I think I am finally beginning to know, I guess I have mentioned that before. I need to write a whole post about that.

I am taking my place in the auditorium of this art/life, which happens to be in the woods, Great!
A student of Being and so willing am I now to be myself here.

I have come to realize that it is not that I didn't like to read since my husband died, but that I have changed so much, and so has the kind of book that captures my imagination, that has me smiling in the half light of night reading.
I want to read about life now in all its spectrum, of experience in nature, exploring the infinite depths of this reality in all its forms. Poetry about moments of being and feeling alive, its pain and joy, its tears and laughter. Right down to the depths of things and up to the breathy heights of lightness.
I am on road where my signposts are marked with inspiration. Each twist promises another experience, another chance to be alive and open eyed to the mystery, I hope to stay with it a while now.

Its morning now, I have returned to my home, having been away from it for a wee while. I have been staying with a friend who is unwell.
I come back in here, to cold, no heating downstairs for a week, its raining outside, but the kettle works and there is broadband.

So my orange teapot is beside me, and my bright screen in front of me, I had to write a few lines before leaving again for the studio an then to pick up little M.

I noticed when I came in the little things about my house, the way I had placed things, the colors seemed brighter, it all seemed strangely cleaner and new, a little time away is good for my perspective. I also noticed the things that Milla had sent, and how quickly they have become a part of my home.
Milla was my bio regional swap partner, It was Mary's bright idea, she had asked on her blog Terrallectualism, if anyone would like to take part, and we did. We all sent each other parcels from our bio region. My take on it, was to put a little of ourselves, where we are and who we are in there and to send it to someone far away, to share a taste of your place in the world.

Little places and corners and stacks of things today, and here Gary Snyder's Poems on top, a book sent by Milla

 I will tell you this story of the day my package arrived!

Sunny day

I sat in the bright sunshine one October morning, I parked myself in my rocking chair, just inside the doorway of my home where the brilliant sun was warming the stone around and stretching itself long and bright in rays across the floor of my house.

M was ill with a cold and playing quietly upstairs.

I was feeling a little blue about things, remembering people I loved and trying to put those feelings in order a bit as I let the sun warm my face, eyes closed with birdsong soothing me.

A shadow came across the doorway then, I opened my eyes to my postman, smiling with parcel.

I signed for it, curious having not expected it so soon.

I realized it was from Milla, and called little M from upstairs. There was hardly time to get a camera out for the sudden rush of excitement but we managed a few shots at some stage. She was so excited, having helped me gather things for Milla's parcel, she has imagined what could be in it.

And so it was opened with a whole bunch of giggles and wonder, and an island poured out upon the wood of the floor. Pebbles and feathers, dried rosehips and teas, berries, dresses and books, a dreamcatcher and wee pretty cotton bags, Jams and peaches.

Blending into our home already!

We were enthralled, and there was love in there too, lots of it.

We felt so pleased. Milla had included a book of Moomin stories, a finnish series of wonderful tales for children, that any adult must read too. They are some of the best stories I have ever read, by the author Tove Jansen. One day I shall write just about her, but here are some picture of her, what a wonderful face, it may inspire you to seek out her work, if you have not already come across her.

There was a dress for me, covered in butterflies, that fit perfectly, now how does that happen without a bit of magic?

There was just enough heat in that October sun for me to flounce about in it for two days. Now it hangs on the wall in my bedroom and causes me to smile when I pass it in anticipation of a warm Spring day, when it will be worn again.

If you know the Moomin stories, you will understand me in saying that this whole thing was a very Moomin kind of moment. We had pancakes and raspberry jam for lunch, and sent hugs and kisses and thanks across the many miles of ocean to the shore of Milla's island, to her, her spirit, her husband, and her heart.................And to Mary.

A friend was round before the end of our sunny day to take this take this : )

So now off to the studio for a wee while, its chillier and chillier down there, hence my work is changing its colors and themes, my dear friends next door have left for the winter, so its quieter too. The sun doesn't shine in the eastern windows anymore in the morning since we changed our clocks, so its better now to go a little later in the morning when it shines from the southern side.

Here is a little look at what I am making there, I have made this pod drawing, unfinished yet, a woman in a pod for winter- deep under the fallen leaves staying warm and safe till spring when she will unfurl and uncurl like a great fern with a book of bright pictures: )  underneath is another painting in process of layers of leaves.

 And here is the Butterfly Girls almost finished!

Thank you dear readers, and for all your lovely visits and comments. It is wonderful to be communicating this way. I do always respond to comments though it does take me a while sometimes.

What a mixture of a post, I think its packed in as I feel like I just have this little time to be here. Its a catch up. I have other posts in progress, things I just want to explore and share.......................

I will come again soon and to catch up on all the others lovelies sharing their words and hearts, until then its off to Walden.

xx E


  1. your paintings are breathtaking, full of color and lively light, so beautiful! and what an enchanted package; how nicely your butterfly dress suits you. that milla, she's a fun one for swapping alright :) so glad your friend happened by, the picture of you and your daughter is just so dear and warm. it looks like a truly lovely journey this fall!

  2. Must feel wonderful to be so involved in reading again Liz : ) Loved hearing about your treasure trove parcel...and that butterfly dress, so beautiful looks like it was meant for you, and as for the butterfly painting
    Wow! xx Happy reading, happy painting what a wonderful way to live x M

  3. your paintings are beautiful!

    lovely post :D swaps are the best! nothing beats a package full goodies.

  4. Oh, it was such a pleasure to read this. Makes me feel really happy and warm inside to know that you and Maddy are doing so well. The drawings are amazing, very beautiful..full with an inner light! Thanks for sharing this xx natalie

  5. Beautiful, and what an amazing dress! You two look so peaceful in your rocker. I'm reading your words about the changing sun, and am reminded of how it is changing here be up for longer and so much more heat in it. Our weekends are full of hacking and threshing the overgrowth of the past year; Spring is always so full of promise. And greeny greenish green-ness.
    xx Good luck with your studying

  6. I really felt whilst reading this, yours and Maddies excitement at receiving such a wonderful parcel...and I just love the butterfly dress. Love your work in progress Liz..there is a lovely purity in it. I too am having to change the times I use my studio due to the light, but have just had a very inspiring week in which I produced 4 new paintings. Keep up the good work. xxx

  7. Thank you Heather, Mia, Anne, Teeny, Lori and Nat xxxxxxxxxx E

    Oh Teeny love to hear about those greens and Lori, can't wait to come visit you one of these days and see all your creations!!!

  8. Oh! That picture of you two makes my heart sing, as does your beautiful painting. I'm so happy to see you two sharing the sacred mother-daughter act of reading, something that bound my own mother and I tight for life. It is thanks to her that I love the fine books I do. I'm so so happy that we share Tove all of us. She is a treasure that I feel shaped my life much. Still does in fact. Sometimes I feel I'm living in a Moomin Valley with my storms and boats and adventures...

    I adore M's little mischievous smile. She is such a little Tomte...

    This whole post is like medicine to my soul. Your paintings are so amazing. If I ever wrote a children's book, you would definitely be on top of my illustrator list :) My gosh you've got talent.

    That the dress fit, is such a joy to me! Golly! You look lovely in it.

    And I'm sorry it's been so long since I got your package and haven't sent a thank-you to your lovely selves. I'm blogging it right now. But sadly the scarf won't be in the picture. Why? C happily commissioned it on these stormy days. He sends his thank yous and I much love and light.

  9. And I forgot to mention that your reading Thoreau fits so well for perhaps meeting Mr. Snyder and his Han Shan translations. Just as it's wonderful to be part of a long loosely strung string of pearl woman connection of Tove-readers, so it is wondrous to witness the unexpected unity of ideals and thoughts of these writers spanning hundreds of years. A beautiful tradition in the finest sense of the word. Enjoy every bit of your time with Henry.

  10. Such a lovely and heartening post. Love your cozy little rocker. We enjoy our reading rocker by the fire, too. May your days always be filled with warmth (and good books!).

  11. Thank you for your lovely Thank you Gorgeous Milla, and from your mention on your post today, I think I have never had so many visitors to my blog in one day: ) xxxx E

  12. Hey Jenny, Rockers are the business. Mine was my Moms, so special to me. Thankyou for your well wishes and warmth xx

  13. only a moment to comment this morning, but i am all misty at the tale of your package...such beauty in the giving (milla! you always make me swoon!) and even more in the receiving (could your heart be any more grand, any more golden?). i am so happy it brought you joy...just what i hoped! lovelovelove to you!

  14. Ach Mary, lovely to have ya here if even for a moment sweetie.
    xxx E

  15. I am taking my place in the auditorium of this art/life, which happens to be in the woods, Great!

    I hope your continuous discovery of life and its possibilities keeps being joyful and full of wonder.

    At another blog I visit, Robert Frost's Banjo, he posted music that was inspired by Moominpapa at Sea (the music is a composition by Eberle Umbach):

    I hope you enjoy!