Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting and Walking

Solstice Fire at RavenWood

Overwhelm - that's the truth of it. I held the dream that the break between 
semesters would give me needed quiet and inspiration as I set up the space 
in my new studio and found my roots in creative process again. But I see my sacred, 
winter break slipping fast away as I wait still for the heater to be properly installed 
in the studio - days turn to weeks and I wait. Tomorrow it seems, the man that sold 
me my heater will come and put the piece in place that the gas company forgot to, 
so it will all be safe to use. 

Bigger than this, though, is finding out that a family member is facing a health 
crisis. It seems we have just come up for a bit of air, finding some normalcy after 
losing my niece's husband last year. Without much time to breathe, we've plunged 
deeply into another intense journey. I know that through these dark and 
challenging moments I am being given the opportunity to show up fully and learn, 
but I am truly craving relief. The moment to moment shifts inside me are extreme. 
Taking myself to the land is the most healing balm right now - and always. My nerves 
are soothed by the daily visit and calls of the morning crows and the enormous 
flock of juncos that peck around the moss garden. 

The first day of January was warm following a night of rain showers. The mosses 
glowed green and the light seemed more like spring than early winter. Usually we 
are snow covered by now, at least a few inches. Until yesterday a few snapdragons
still bloomed on the porch. 

I walked slowly, close to the house, noticing small details, 
A rune-like scratching in the red squirrel tree: 

I've been watching this pincushion of moss grow 
lovely reaching rays for months. 

And Pasha has grown his winter ruff. 

Thin ice, just at the edge of freezing. 

The garden looks more like it does in early April 
than January, but the cold came today transforming 
soft and green to hard and brown. 

Though I grumbled and moaned at the start of this post, 
let it be known that my excitement about this new space 
can hardly be contained! Here is the completed studio, 
waiting for heat so the walls can be painted, 
the shelves built and everything moved in. 

Looking from the front door to the back:

The front door and storage loft above. 
Behind the partition wall is a closet. 

The beautiful gas heat stove on a test fire:

Inside, One can tell the temperature of the wood stove by how 
close Pasha sits. Here, he's far, but this morning after his outside rounds in 
the cold 13 degrees, he was practically on top of it!

The house is dressed up with the Christmas tree turned World Tree that 
holds white feather prayers from all who visit. 

and of course, there just wouldn't be magic without owls....


Unknown said...

Dear V - I am so glad you have your lovely woods to sooth during these dark and impatient times, and that Pasha is a faithful presence. The interior of you new studio is absolutely wonderful, so much light! I send up healing prayers for your loved one... -sus

Tammie Lee said...

oh, i am sorry to hear about your family health crisis! I send you and them light. so glad that you know where to find peace with nature. your photos are gorgeous as can be and your studio makes me wish for one myself! one for art/office and one to put my guests in as i have no room in my wee cabin.

wishing you all that you need and more. xo

Charlotte said...

How beautiful your new studio space looks, like a blank canvas waiting for the first brush stroke.

I am so sorry to hear of the health crisis. It is something I can empathise with as similar is happening to our dearest (family) and nearest (a far too young neighbour).

I hope your forest heals your heart and your Pasha gives you solace in times of need.
All the best,

Donna~Q~ said...

What a glorious dash of sun-ray-shaped moss ~ it's like a touchstone of warmth and light, a bit of summer's presence lingering even in the time of cold and dark.

The temps have gone from fairly moderate to BRRRRrrrr here as well. Like Pasha, Jules is sporting a rather impressive ruff, though the elegance of it all is slightly diminished by static cling issues :~/

Sorry to hear about the health crisis. Wishing you strength and as much comfort as possible...

Rowan said...

How sad to begin the New Year with health problems for a member of your family.I hope things will turn out well for your loved one.
Your new studio is wonderful, no wonder you can't wait to get in there and start creating.

gz said...

The studio is beautiful, ready to mature as your home alreadt has.

You have a good place to regain strength , ready to give to others.

Penny Berens said...

Thinking of you.

ArtPropelled said...

"Taking myself to the land is the most healing balm right now - and always" .... this is true for me too. It's a simple way of restoring some sort of balance when we are shaken by crisis. So sorry you and your family are going through this. On a much brighter note, your studio is looking wonderful and I hope the heater is installed safely soon.

mairedodd said...

hoping that the stove gets fixed properly so that you can at least feel free to work in the studio... that feeling of tension, permeating your life in different ways, needs release... getting outside is always soothing to ground and gain respite... but i do hope for a reduction in stressors... we all need breaks - perhaps the lunar new year will change things? (fingers crossed)

steven said...

valerianna wow! your studio - i could so very live in a space like that - lucky lucky you!!!! the moss garden is gorgeous - but how could it help that?!!!! and the reaching moss star ... mmmmmmmm! steven

Valerianna said...

Susan - thanks.... and it is comforting to have such a long-time cat love to help me through life!

Tammie - Oh, I hear you about guests! Mine sleep on air mattresses in various nooks, I've been toying with the idea of making the studio work for that, too, but with no plumbing, it might be a challenge for middle of the night bodily needs!

Charlotte - thanks, and healing blessings of healing to all those in your life who need healing.

Donna ~ Q~ Isn't that moss amazing? Its like a small, green friend that I witness growing inch by inch. The mosses are amazing as they stay green all winter, as long as there is sufficient moisture. I love that - magic!

Rowan - Yes, I'd love to have come out of a difficult year with a sense of renewal and excitement for the new one - I guess there's some of that with the studio, but there is also a heaviness. I think the studio will help, once I'm in there!

gz - Both the forest and the studio will bring me needed nourishment right now I'm sure - and dreaming all the magical things that can happen now that I have the space will be good.

Penny - thanks!

ArtPropelled - Maybe the heater delay is the universe's way of forcing me to rest and take care of myself in a deep way. Its been a week of sleeping really late and hanging around the fire!

Marie - Oh, that's a good thing to hope for... solace at the lunar new year.... thanks for that!

Valerianna said...

Steven - yeah, how about that reaching moss star. I've also been thinking that with the addition of a bathroom and bedroom off to one side, I could surely live in the studio!

Suz said...

So sorry to here about your loved ones illness...But I am comforted knowing that nature comforts you
Your moss is pure magic
Your studio .. a dream place of creativity and light..great job
and of course your faithful companion, Pasha...she fills the house
Hope your return to work will be blessed with joy

Suzi Smith said...

Oh... that studio.... what a gorgeous space.... it will be ready! The woods are looking lovely... maybe its time just to enjoy them while other things are going on. Don't fight it. Sending my love & healing thoughts to you & yours xo

ramona said...

Such balm for the soul your place is. Best wishes for the New Year!

trish said...

I wish you much healing at this awfully difficult time for you and your family.
The land is so very healing...soothing.
White feather prayers for all who visit...that is so beautiful.
Much love to you.

barbara said...

Valerianna, today I became aware that when I open your blog and all is still loading, I already breathe deeper and slower. I love your home !
These times bring intense journeys, our whole mother earth is on a good but intense journey and we are inside her, and you, you have your pincushion of radiant moss, how lovely and powerful, it shows me how my heart should feel : very véry natural green, round and relatively small, but giving light, she is sitting on this old piece of tree in her own forest no matter what happens in the world. Love to you.

Vilt og vakkert said...


Happy New year!

Where ever you are, what ever the weather is like, alone or together with an animal, a person or two... or quite alone, join us walking...
More information will be presented tomorrow!

Same procedure as in October:

Greetings from Bjorg Nina from Norway and living just beside Jötul where they make such fireplaces!!!!!

Saucy Siciliana said...

What lovely pictures, I especially like the lightly furnished rooms, we are in Rome temporarily in a very jammed tiny apartment so those rooms really appeal to me. As do the nature pictures, I miss the my Sicilian countryside. I will come back and follow you later, I'm using my daughter's computer and it won't let me follow anyone. But she can so she is already following you, she's HungryCaramella. Happy New Year!

Valerianna said...

Suz- thanks, Pasha definitely fills the house, and the bed at times! So interesting how a small bit of moss in the forest can now get attention from all over.

Suzi - I know I could practice surrender, but I'm having a hard time!

ramona - abundant creative and inspirational blessings to you, too.

Trish - thank you. I have a basket of feathers beneath the tree and all who come are encouraged to put a feather prayer on the tree - one for the planet, one for another and one for themselves.

Stille Linde - thank you and yes, this deep and powerful transformation happening... intense. I love what you say about the moss teacher, I'll sit with that!

Vilt og vakkert - Maybe I will get it together to join in this time... but there are STILL issue with my heat
:( However, NOT with my Jotul which I have loved since I bought it 5 years ago! Its wonderful. I often listen to my CD of Norwegian folk songs and stare into the fire in my Oslo 500 and wonder if I was meant to be born in Norway!

Francesca - Ciao! And welcome. I remember those tiny apartments in Rome! I studied - a Florencia - and even spoke pretty good Italian at one time, though I am very rusty now! Happy New Year to you, too.

Windsongs and Wordhoards said...

So sorry to hear of your family's troubles, I do hope you can draw strength from your deep connection with the wilds, for yourself and to share with them also.
Your studio is looking so inviting, a bright and inspiring space... I'm sure it will be more than worth the frustrating wait once you get in there! Beautiful pictures once again of your forest in its changing seasons, and such a metaphor for life in every way.
My very best wishes

p.s. the word verification is 'wurbough' - sounds like something that should belong in your wood!

Velma Bolyard said...

you've got a very full cup of living now. be gentle with yourself.

Sophie Munns said...

Sadness and sweetness both Valerianna.
I understand your aching heart and the thought..."no... not more!"
That beautiful moss is the one thing that makes sense ... well that and the woods and things of nature that remind us of the cycles of life beyond our control.
I hope once your studio is fully liveable in that you can takes what's in your heart now to that place where it can live in your work... the totality of life's experience seeping into the work, giving it marrow and bone!

Many blessings for 2012.

layers said...

It is wonderful how you notice such small details on your walk and you always share them.. and your studio is amazing.

(Karen) Lisa Daley said...

Last year was Mom, this year it's Dad - know what you mean about needing a break! Prayers sent for you and your family. Awesome new studio - there's a positive for sure!

Danielle Barlow said...

Your mossy star is quite exquisite! And your new studio looks like a beautiful, powerful space. Wishing you strength to find serenity amid the stress :) xx

jude said...

i am in between the things that disturb the peace, crisis behind and surely another ahead. it is nice to have this space. and nice to have that soon to be space to use as shelter when the storm grows stronger.

Nikiah said...

The light flowing from your words and photos is stunning! I was calmed and soothed reading your post today--thank you! I fully understand how the woods would soothe you as you journey though the stressful territory of supporting an holding space for loved ones who are sick, the woods in turn hold us, heal us. Fitting too that you should have a beautiful studio held by the forest, it is easy to see that you are supported in your work!
Bright Blessings

helen said...

Thank you for visiting Valerianna ~

I can empathise with wanting relief and the space to breath. Wishing you many moments of grace during the difficult times.

Oh! Your STUDIO :~))))

The little jewel of moss is now held in many hearts across the Earth...thank you so much for sharing its beauty.

Truly love your white feather prayer ritual

x x x

Valerianna said...

Swan Artworks - thanks, I'm sure I'll get in there soon now! Took the weekend completely off from most everything.... except the forest. And love that word "wurbough" - you suppose its a magical creature or a spirit?

Velma - thanks, yes, did that this weekend. Bone broths, kale, warm spiced chai, book and fire.... and a slow walk in the forest with Pasha - the good life!

Sophie - thanks, yes, the moss is wonderful. I'm glad
to have taken that shot as I keep coming back to it - very nourishing image to me.

layers - I do love to share those intimate, small things.

Lisa - hope both are well now? Good energy in the studio, this week I PRAY to get in there!

Danielle - I think it is a powerful space, I love being in there surrounded by the forest, the view looks into two beautiful spots on the land. I love looking out there. I wonder how this will influence my work?

jude - I created the space in between this weekend, it was a MUST!

Nikiah - I feel very supported here, by the land, the trees, creative work and spirit work. Its a gift to live inside forest medicine.

Helen - I love the white feather ritual, too. Friends who have known me a while say they look forward to it. Healing to you.

Lynn said...

Wishing you strength and comfort and creative energy for this new year and for the difficult time you're going through right now. I like how Velma put it "a very full cup of living." Best wishes.

Alexi said...

The studio is beautiful, how I'd love to have one like it - and in the woods!
I'm sorry to hear about the family health troubles, I'm sending many wishes and prayers and hope you'll continue to find solace in nature.

bright star said...

Awonderul post ,lovely studio!

deanna7trees said...

you are surrounded by such beauty and a magnificent new studio. wishing you well.

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh this is so lovely Valerianna... closing up the old year and starting up the new with establishing yourself in your wonderful studio.. It looks beautiful and so cozy with the woodstove. and so much light!

... love how you tell the temperature with your cat too!! guess she is a lot like our dogs.
my best to you.

Valerianna said...

Lynn - thanks so much, yes, full cup of living, that is a good way of putting it.

Alexi- thank you, I sat outside for a bit today in the relatively mild day and felt some roots go down into the earth.... very needed.

Angela - thanks and so excited if I can ever get heat in the studio!!

deann7trees - thank you much. Looking forward to getting back to creative process to SEE more of my surroundings in a deeper way again.

Gwenn - Its actually a gas stove and I'd love if it were cozy in there! STILL waiting for the stove to be fixed. I appreciate the simplicity of my Jotul way more now.... but didn't want to have another wood stove to run and needed full time heat anyway. HA, lets HOPE I get the knob heat I need there!

Barry said...

VA-agree with so much that has been said - am with you in spirit as you go through tough stuff with family crises. But on the art side the studio looks absolutely wonderful and in 2012 will offer you such opportunity to create. Go well. B

Anonymous said...

A walk in the woods is all it takes to find balance and understand that all is being taken care of.
When I am at my Dad's in the middle of the city, that can still be found. It's in the geese flying over, the trees that surround his home, and the clouds that float by.
Wishing you & yours peace & healing love,

Donna Iona Drozda said...

Yes the land...the Mother...the crows and owls and moss. All so soothing and embracing albeit testing and tempering the Art/Life is and does.

Your new studio space is so warm looking even prior to her real heat being available...tho by now I'm guessing it is all toasty from the fire glow.

I wish your family all well...transitions of a health crisis kind are the toughest...trusting that all will be well is clearly a test.

I send Metta

Lisbeth Williams said...

It seems we have similar weather, though the Atlantic sets us apart!
Congrats on the new studio. I hope all the positive thinking involved in planning for the workspace will balance up your current worries. /Lisbeth in Sweden

alek said...

your new studio space is gorgeous, really, a forests are such magical places