20 January 2010

mining the dark days of winter

Ahhhh, now to catch up a bit .....
Quite a range of life experiences happening in my little world since I last wrote.  We joined the Y, I tweaked my knee straight away and decided to rest it for a couple of days, not being able to sit still, I took on a major reorganization of my studio, got my second cold in a month (thank you YMCA petri dish), parked my butt and read for a few days, Dave's Uncle Bill passed away (after a long illness) on the 9th, still trying to rid myself of the cold, worked on some new talismans - one for Haitian relief efforts and one for a friend that's going through a tough time, family arrives for funeral services and a couple of days of getting together and that brings us up to today.  Goodness!
As you can see, it's been a month of letting go.

It began by preparing myself to give away my Ornament magazine collection - 20 year's worth - to blog buddy, Cindy.  I got to thinking - that new blank spot on my shelf might just fit a couple of the bead units on my worktable.  Armed with one of my new books, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, I stepped back for an attempt at seeing my very full workspace with an objective eye.
The initial and most obvious observation, I had created a wall around my central creative space, my worktable, and it's no surprise that I was feeling 'blocked in'.  I was, quite literally, blocked in.  So it began - the big shift.
I had grown weary of my 'clever' use of old stuff.  My hodge podge of old dish drains and milk crates and dryer racks at first all seemed so organized and, well, clever.  Armed with a gift card and a discount coupon, I loaded up on my implements of organization - new storage, operative word here NEW.  No more rigging and balancing and making do.   

Shelves were unloaded and relocated and rarely used beads were moved into the closet in the space that was cleared by moving jewelry books to one of the new shelves and everything on the worktable got shifted and sorted or ditched and another new shelf, the taller and more open new one went into the corner and, lord mercy, such a lot of sorting and moving and sorting and moving.
I took down the patchwork of drapery surrounding the table and replaced it with an old Indian print spread, not in very good shape, but I like the lighter colors and single pattern ... much more soothing to my eye.  It took two full days to finish this stage of the purging, but oh what splendid results!  I can breathe in this space.

I still have more to do, but that's when the latest cold started to take hold.  I usually go years between colds, so two within one month is positively annoying.  The cold pretty much took over my to-do list.  Basically, I parked my backside on the couch and read for 3 days.  Luckily I had found a couple of prizes at the library that kept me thoroughly engaged, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane followed by The Rose Labyrinth.  Both books are my favorite combination of period mixed with contemporary wrapped up in magic realism with a side order of
mystery for fun.  Fine literature they are not, but fun they were.
After polishing off my book stash and still in the grips of said nasty cold, I wondered what I else I could do that required virtually no physical exertion.  My attention went to the file cabinet in the corner, jam packed with old photos, all the legal stuff from all the houses we've ever owned, maps and more maps, along with bills and check stubs - old and new.  It was the old photos that piqued my curiosity.

I started at the back of the bottom drawer - the oldest of the old.  I pulled out stacks of old envelopes filled with prints and negatives.  But here is where I stalled out.  I marveled at all the addresses on the envelopes - amazing how many different places I've lived.  We figured at one point, we had moved 18 times in 14 years - oof.  Then, thumbing through the photos, I realized so many family and friends now gone.  When I noticed the cover of one of the envelopes, I stopped ... "Magic Moments".

I know this is part of what the dark days of winter are all about .... purging, introspection, hunkering down. I stopped plundering through the photos.  I sat in the midst of the pile thinking back to all the people I've lost during my life.  I've had an astrologer and a psychic both comment on the number of connections I   have 'on the other side'.  It's my life and as such seems normal, but I realized there's probably not that many people who've lost friends by a crazed neighbor with a high powered rifle, who emerged from his house (on my old street) and took aim on the neighborhood kids, killing two, including my brother's best friend, and wounding two.  The next day at school was wrenching, everyone chattering about the murders, me sitting in class silently biting my nails and trying not to cry.
Hmmmmm, so this is where looking at old photos took me.  You could probably guess, but I found I wasn't ready to part with any of those old pictures.  I've debated about digressing in this not so cheery direction.  This blog is a way for me to process my stuff, but just as important, it's a way to share what made me who I am today.  Current events are fun and compelling, but the back story provides substance and maybe a bit of insight.

The pendulum swings and I embrace its sometimes overwhelming path and the accompanying challenges.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Magic moments, indeed.

blessings - kvk

p.s.  I was looking for some music that might tie into the time frame of my magic moments recollections and this seems to fit nicely.  My brother used to torture me with the Incredible String Band's album, Wee Tam.  Well at the time it seemed like torture.  Forty years adds a bit of perspective and I can look back and be ever so thankful for my big brother expanding my musical horizons.

once again - with enormous gratitude for everything that has made me who I am this day.....


  1. Those boxes look so familiar ;-).
    I'm glad to have been part of your reorganization...funny how getting the magazines ready to go seems to have been the start of the whole reorganization theme.

    I can relate to the idea of clever vs. new...over years of collecting shelf units, etc. this is what i have, and i would love to just toss it all and start over. And that's from being in the same house for 17 years! My, you've moved a lot!

    What a powerful memory that is...how old were you? Did you move after that? These things become 'normal' because we've lived it that way, but definitely take time to be able to digest. A close friend of mine accidentally shot and killed himself when i was about 20 or so. It still comes to mind and i try to understand the effect that it's had on my life.

    It's nice to have that vote for blogger. I've wondered if other blog platforms would be better, but i've always enjoyed using blogger. I think it's improved over time, too.

    I'll have to come back and check out the music later.

  2. Get well soon, Kathy! I'm in the middle of sorting things out myself before the big trip out west. I'll be flying into Asheville on Saturday and have a few days before we head out. Maybe we can get together so that we can finally give you your holiday present.

    I've strung up your beads you gave me and restrung them up and restrung them up. I want something to be just right... and I will.

    The new blog looks nice and I agree... Blogger is more user friendly. I tried my hand at Wordpress and even after blogging for over a decade had problems.

    And great job on your space. I'm in the midsts of organizing my space too. Hard to do when deadlines are overhead.

  3. Cindy! I added up lifetime moves - 30 in 54 years and 7 different schools and, no we weren't military. I think I was 12 or 13 when the shooting happened. Turns out the guy had shot 2 other people and the police were about 1/4 mile away OTW to question him about those when he took aim on the neighborhood. It's a curious thing to look back at that aspect of one's life.

    Hey Andrew! Yes, let me know when you're in town so's we can rendezvous. I have no doubt you'll come up with a perfect design for the beads, oh gifted one that you are.

    Still figuring out the blogger thing. I really liked Typepad, but see no reason to pay 80 something bucks p/yr. Feedback is very much appreciated!

    xoxo - moi


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