Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm Caribe Bound!

I'm bound for Tortola today. I'll be away, sailing aboard the Caledonia until the 24th and I'll be unable to update you on my travels until after I return home (kicking and screaming, no doubt). And so, Dear Reader, I wish you clear skies and calm seas.

Hate me if you must---my family does!
Photo is property of Canadian Sailing Expeditions.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lovely visit with Gwen

My friend Gwen came to visit today. I am sad to admit it, but we live, maybe, twenty minutes away from each other and this is the first time we have gotten together outside of ArtFest or the like. It was such a pleasure to spend some time with her. Gwen brought along several of her art journals to share and I am so impressed! She attended PLAY, an art journaling retreat that is put on by Teesha and Tracy Moore (who bring us ArtFest each year, bless their hearts!). Gwen did amazing work and I love her journal featuring hands. I have a bad case of journal envy! I'm going to have to seriously consider attending PLAY in 2010.

Be sure to check out Gwen's blog, HealingBalancePassion for more information on PLAY and some photos of her beautiful work.

Below are a few photos of my journal in progress.I have been working on my travel journal for my up-coming cruise. (Yes, I know. Poor me! NOT!) I leave on Thursday and will be gone most of the month.) I've been trying to get some pages painted with some sort of background color and I had notes on several of the islands in the Caribbean that I'll be visiting that I wanted to enter into the journal. I had a lot of fun working on two two-page spreads this last weekend. Now I have to figure out exactly what art supplies I'll be hauling on the cruise with me. Watercolors, permanent black pens, a couple of rubber stamps, some ephemera I've been amassing for the journal.....but what else? Should I take the few pieces of beach-y/boat-y scrapbook embellishments that I found floating around in the art closet? I could use 'em up that way.... do I have room for anything more?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March 1st

Ye Gods, where does the time go? How can it be the first of March already? It was just Christmas last week! When I logged into my email account this morning and saw "March 1," I was truly appalled. The silver lining part was that it reminded me of a poem by Billy Collins and I have now reread his wonderful collection Sailing Alone Around the Room.

Have you read much Billy Collins, Dear Reader?

Here's the poem that my early morning discovery of time flying brought to mind:


Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called
the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called "Find the Cow."
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were all the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms
of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent, a badly broken code.

The 1790s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down wheat they saw in their journals without
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We could surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a
few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over
the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

--Billy Collins