Thursday, December 22, 2005

The beginning of spring

While the rest of the northern hemisphere greets December 21st as the beginning of winter, I prefer to think of it as the first day of spring. I have survived another short, dark day. For the next six months or so I will celebrate each extra minute or two of sunlight as the days grow longer.

The darkness is hard for me. When twilight falls before 5 pm it's tough to carry on into the night. I've never been a night person, ever. The night is a scary place for me, where evil lurks just out of view. I'm not much for artificial lighting either. Fluorescent lights make me feel jumpy. The light is cold and harsh. Regular bulbs aren't much better.

The so called natural color lights are an improvement. My studio is illuminated by them, making my time at the sewing machine the perfect cure for the winter blahs.

In two days my family will gather here to celebrate Christmas. What a perfect tonic for the darkness of December: family, laughter, food and the promise of the gift of eternal life. And the earthy presents aren't so bad either.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


It's a embarrassment of riches, to have so many opportunities available that I can't choose what to do next.

There's always the next book to write, that is my bread and butter, my day job, I guess. But gee whiz, that's a pretty cool day job, wouldn't you agree? The hardest part is getting started.

There's the hundreds of yards of fabric that the manufacturers have sent to me. How cool is that? Free top quality quilting fabric has arrived at my studio door by the box load. And I feel guilty about it! This fabric has real value to me. I take my responsibility to use the fabric in a way that promotes both my designs and the fabric very seriously. So, I'm nervous about cutting into the free stuff. I'm working on getting over myself!

And then there's the possibility of creating my own fabric line. Gosh, that's so beguiling an opportunity that I can hardly wrap my head around it. But I'm not an artist, at least not a trained one. It will take weeks of work to make the designs come alive. And I have a book to write.

So, here I sit, bloggging away. I'm hoping that just throwing down words, playing with them for a bit and moving on will break the log jam in my brain. I think it's working. I cleaned my desk off yesterday. Clearing the cutting table is next. And then I'm going to cut fabric. Really I am.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Taking Time

Yesterday while getting my blood drawn for a routine test the lab tech bemoaned the hurried pace of our society.

Take time to enjoy the day, she said. I thought that was a pretty funny thing to say to someone while poking them in the arm with a needle. Yep, getting stuck with needles is right at the top of my list of things to do to make the most of a day.

Of course then the phrase "take time" stuck in my head. Take time? Where? Where would time like to go? Seems to me that time already goes too quickly. (Unless you have a needle in your arm and then time moves at a disconcertingly leisurely pace.) Time doesn't seem to need my help getting anywhere. Wherever I go, time is already gone.

Take time? From whom? I can take MY time, sure, but can I take yours? I guess if I made you do something useless I would be taking your time too, but most people frown on that. If I take my time can I give it to you? When we do things for others which will free up some of their time. Then they can decide what they are doing with all that extra time.

But my whole problem with time is that once it's gone there's no getting it back. We can redo a task but we can never relive a moment. The remembering takes yet another moment. Time moves on whether I take it, waste it, make it or try to keep it.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The deep midwinter

Okay, it's true. I love snow, and since my inner child started playing with matches, I prefer the cold as well.

There are few things more beautiful than falling snow.
Sometimes the snow is heavy and wet, dropping from the sky in huge, exuberant globs. Other times the dry, crisp snow sparkles its way to the earth.

The sound of snow as it falls is the most gentle sigh, one of deep contentment. The quiet is deep and comforting. The harsh sounds of modern life are buried in the cold blanket. It doesn't hurt that snowy roads slow the traffic on the highway out front. As the break-neck urgency of the present gives way to the cautious crawl on the slippery drive I am reminded that this road, which began as in pathway for the native people, has welcomed travelers from ages past.

Living in an old house is always an adventure. Many of the windows still hold glass created more than 150 years ago. As I watch the snow fall I wonder who else has watched the seasons through these panes. Did she too try to capture the spell of the moment? Did she store up the textures and sounds in her minds eye? Perhaps she was too practical for so frivolous a pursuit.

Snow will come again, but will I be here to see it? I'm watching, listening, learning just in case.