Spiral & Stone
Outside the snow has turned to rain, towards morning though, the freeze will come
again. Inside rain rhythms play on the metal roof. Pasha just left his rug by the fire
to sit with me. He grumbles when he sees the computer on my lap, and walks across
the keyboard in protest. Giving up he goes back to his rug. I'm feeling a bit guilty,
but have just settled in to this post so his invitation must wait.
After much fuss, the gas stove in the new studio is working well and I have been
painting the walls and getting ready to move in. I thought maybe I might need
a cargo sled to pull across the frozen driveway, but a warm week has melted
much of the ice.
I chose a white with a hint of yellow giving the room a wonderful, warm glow.
It was a practice in restraint to chose a subtle color as the saturated yellow-oranges
were tempting, but I'm delighted I resisted.
I wish I had two weeks to dream into my new space, but now that school has started, setting up the studio must be wedged in between class prep and the usual winter
tasks that come with forest living.
A deep longing for the feel of ink gliding from my dip pen and bleeding onto
paper pulls at me. I have been away long enough to loosen habitual ways of working,
and crave the structure of practice in my life.
Soon the sacred objects will collect on the studio table, and my dialog with
the new space will take shape. How will this new place inform my work?
What will be the first thing I work on?
Looking back at drawings and photos from my old studio, I feel myself entering into
my process even before my materials have found their place on the new table.
Tomorrow, I'll begin to transfer my things from the old studio to the new.
As always here at RavenWood, the land and creatures remind me of my
wildness, and with the snows I see who has come to visit in the early morning hours.
More than once today, while bringing wood inside, I paused to feel the cold
air fill my lungs and listen to the chickadees twitter in the birch trees.
In the early morning, just as the sun is rising, I light the fire and sit watching
as it catches. In these moments, I feel a long line of ancestors behind me whose
mornings started in the same way. My mother recently asked me if I minded heating
with wood. How can I explain the need for the first moments of fire when the
kindling snaps and the warmth begins? In winter, when the hearth is full of fire,
ancient, primal stories rise with the heat of the flames. No, I don't mind, in fact,
I am grateful.