Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mindfulness and Making Work with Your Hands

From the blog, On Being

"Our destiny is written in the hand."Renate Hiller,
co-director of the Fiber Craft Studio at the Threefold Educational Center in Chestnut Ridge, New York


Twin Towers, 1988
8x10 BW photo on Ilford paper,
photo oils, colored pencils

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mental weirdness

Fall approaches 
     In daily life, social interaction involves some unspoken cultural rules. This contact and social interaction creates rigidity and patterns, repetition, practice. Mental exercise can exhaust me as much as physical work. When I'm at a show or in public, even amongst friends, if the gathering is too large, I feel "on" and aware of my behavior and the perceived expectations of others. It alters and influences my subsequent words and actions regardless of my intention that it not influence my behavior. If the group is small, say one-on-one or -two, my brain relaxes as the "rules" lessen. So that means –sometimes– that when I am alone but not meditating, my mind relaxes yet is still stimulated. I let it free associate. Wild ideas come out. Odd pairings of words or sounds. Since it's just me and the cats and dogs most afternoons, I'll occasionally speak these things out loud and try to uncouple what I say from  intention and see what happens. If I'm feeling industrious, I'll write it down in a notebook. The act of writing, adding that motor skill, changes the free association even more. I try to expand the absurdity and let words and sounds affect the next word or sound without logic. Like playing with my neural connections. My notebook reads as if I'm on some powerful drugs. I suppose it's my way of letting my brain relax in a hot tub. 

     Or I'm practicing my dementia. 

     Namaste, y'all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fungus time

     Wet, and rainy recently. Very humid, hot days help the fungus come alive on the forest floor. At first when I took the dogs for a walk, I didn't bring my camera but I spotted so many different varieties I ended up grabbing my camera and doing the walk twice which pleased my dogs to no end.
First one spotted on the walk.
Interesting stem.
Shelf-type fungus
Fingers... Possibly Clavinulopsis laeticolor
You have to look close to find them peeking out of the forest floor but bright colors and
markings help. Some kind of bolete?
Bowl or trumpet shape. No idea what this is.
Dying mushroom.
When mushrooms decay, are they decomposed by other fungi?
And those fungi, decomposed by more fungi?
When does it stop or is it turtles all the way down?
A variety of ramaria sp., I think

Monday, August 25, 2014

Compressed time

     Physicist Stephen Hawkins said in an interview with John Oliver that he thought sci-fi authors hadn't yet used his concept of imaginary time yet in their work. Imaginary time. What is that? I'm sure I don't understand the "Stephen Hawkings" definition but it immediately conjured up a concept of my own frustrations with time as it happens and time as I perceive it. And yes, I looked up the summary of imaginary time and it doesn't really cover what I'm feeling which is the frustration of doing things and feeling busy and productive and then suddenly realizing that many more hours have passed and yet again, I'm behind and time is running faster than my perception of it.
     Is it because I'm wasting time? What is a waste of time? How do you waste a concept? Is typing this now and pondering this concept in of itself a waste of time? Or is it productive? All I know is that whenever I think I'm on schedule to do something or hit a deadline, there's always this moment where it's painfully evident I'm running out of time despite my best efforts. I'm about to give up on the whole schedule thing.
     Pickled beets. Pickled jalapeos. Time to get cracking on those.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


This is what 1,800 bricks look like not in the shape of a kiln. That's 7lbs each, by hand, at least four times. Brick pile to truck. Front of truck to back of truck, laid and stacked. Unstacked and brought to front of truck. Front of truck to back of truck, stacked onto pallets. Okay, maybe five times. What's the word for "beyond sore?" Kiln TK.
Kindly donated by Joe Molinaro and EKU Ceramics.
Keyser and pallets of brick

Monday, July 14, 2014

Read this

Things that have happened somewhat recently.

I have made many pots.
I have fired a wood/soda kiln with fellow potters at Bobtown Arts in Berea.
I have scored 1800 brick for a future kiln.
The Medicaid process has ended, all documentation has been completed.
I now have acid reflux.
I have begun the process of putting a deck outside the studio for a future mini-gallery.
Relatives have come to visit.
Tractor has been found and awaiting arrival.
Dad turned 90.
I am reading three books at once, rotating the subjects: Women Who Run with the Wolves (thank you, Kelsey), Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls (thank you, Frances) and How to See Yourself as You Really Are (thank you, me).

I am still menopausal.

Pix to come.