I thought that spiral drawings might be the first work to be made in the new studio,
but inspiartion came in the form of misty mountain ridges and dark, reaching trees:
small paintings that relate to the ones I was doing when last I worked. The studio is
starting to feel lived and worked in, with familiar piles of spiral drawings on the table
and small inspiration shelves above that are beginning to collect objects.
Very exciting news for me - and anyone who comes to do a workshop or take a class-
is that they can now meet most of their needs in the studio! Thanks to a generous
loan from my mother, I've installed a Nature's Head composting toilet. Originally
designed for boats, its smaller than most others of its kind and about half the price.
It will also be a wonderful way of introducing people to green technology as all the
toilet needs is some peat moss, a vent to the outside and a tiny bit of electricity for
the built-in fan. Lots more about it on the website in the link above. I'll let you
know how it works as time goes on.
Pasha has made much progress making friends with the new space. The photo below
is from the early days when he wasn't quite sure. Now he comes inside to visit for
fifteen minutes or so, several times a day. He no longer seems to think that the
ceiling fan is a huge bird of pray which was quite scary at first!
We are in a strange cycle of unusually warm days when soft spring-like winds
call me outside. From the back door of the studio, a trail winds through the hemlocks
to the mossy wetlands.
I've never looked quite as closely at this plant before and am
struck at how much it looks like a succulent.
The deeper we venture into the forest, the deeper the snow, and Pasha finds
the mossy trunks more comfortable than the hard snow.
Little more than a husk, this badly diseased beech tree clings to life.
At the top, it rests on a hemlock tree, and maybe because it is supported there,
the trunk rounds out again and isn't quite as ravaged looking.
The forest has much to teach me if I slow enough to notice it.
I've been watching this tree carving being worked on for months, and now that
the snows have melted around it, a large mound of woodchips is visible. I
told the pileated woodpecker to stop here, but alas, woodpeckers are not
quite as receptive as my students.
Pasha and I walk back towards the house, passing the brown and shriveled
garden to the lookout bench on the ledge.
I lower myself very gently onto the bench as I think it may not
last much longer, and wait for Pasha who has gotten side-tracked
in the garden.
Here, the sunshine has melted most of the snow, and we drink in the
green moss medicine and delight in the compimentary color scheme.
As if announcing their arrival, a band of crows calls out just as it flies
over. I shift my gaze from the microcosm to infinity, and so does the camera.
Even a tiny stroll in the forest weaves invisible threads of belonging,
and seems always to stitch Pasha and me closer together.