Category Archives: Contours

Opacity on Our Periphery

Seeking opportunities for scholarships and/or artist-in-residence opportunities. I’ve been pondering “opacity…the in between worlds, the structures in our periphery that guide us but of which we are not fully aware.” I am looking for “time” to explore in poetry, writing, and photography these concepts.

If you know of other artists, books, resources please share as I take on this new journey and study.

Prayers & Questions

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It has been a week of muscles spasms and no exercise accept for a 90-minute restorative yoga class at St Paul’s in Marquette. I did not even feel like taking photos today. I just felt like crying. Thank goodness, I am blessed with a man who can lay beside me until I calm.

I chose a different adventure. To the Marquette Food Co-op for dinner fixings and a trip to Every Day Wines for a bottle of wine.

I know nothing of wine. I am nervous it will make my condition worse. But I am hoping, too for a bit of relaxation.

My muscles spasms have raged this week, at times incapacitating me. Then sometimes they are just annoying. I almost cried at the Marquette Historical Center when I was up on the second floor trying to shoot the dome straight up and a lean to the railing almost dropped me to my knees.

My legs are even sore. (They were not the week I ran three times.)

The cramps and spasms started Sunday (today is Saturday) on the trails of Presque Isle. My body had gone into a fit. I call these flare-ups. I hurt from between my shoulders, to my toes.

Some weeks I can run 3 times for a total of 8-9 miles, go to yoga, help with a special needs swim, and hike. I can shovel snow. I can do my job with ease. Then the next week a flare has me in its grip. All I can bring forth are tears.

I thought long today on “nests” and “nesting” how I wanted to be cradled and lulled.
Some may ask, “Kim, why are you writing this and why so negative?”

It is not that I am trying to dwell on the negative, it is that I am trying to cope and in a way examine the “messages” I am suppose to be receiving in my recovery.

I know I am more than my body. I know this.

Is it wrong to love the feeling of flying thru the woods on a trail full of roots and rocks. To feel the wind rush past? I think not.

Tonight I pray for healing. Understanding.

Not acceptance.

I cannot get my mind around the idea of acceptance.

Expansiveness!

Long Walk of a Pier, Pilings, Marquette MI

Open to the expansiveness of your life. Look for new angles, open pathways for your eyes, widen your awareness of what is and can be. Dream! Live a life of passion and hope.

I woke with the most awful headache today, and in the past it would have me calling to cancel all appointments and I’d end up diving back into a dark room. But today I am opening, unfolding, releasing and carrying forth to yoga, and to my shift at Zero Degrees Art Gallery.

This new way of walking in my life is a learning process but I find new contours to explore. Contours are soft edges in myself. I leap out of “box-thought” and think of softness and follow the desire to touch things. When a small child reaches out to a flower petal they do so with curiosity and hope. So do I when I find a new contour within myself. Instead of fear, anxiety, or dread, I reach forward. I might find a thorn, but I might find a furry underside that makes me giggle. I never know unless I try.

Perhaps, I should have chosen a flower image. (smile)

2011 Happiness Project–January

Happiness Project

Okay, this past year was rough. Good things happened yet I still felt out of my element often enough. I did not have that strong can-do attitude and I felt the rug being pulled from under my feet, too often. In 2010, I had already decided to concentrate on small things, tiny things. To rebuild a positive base you have to start with gratitude. You have to know where you are a happy. One thing was I wanted dinners at home, and the ability to lie in bed and read a book! Such a luxury. I did not want to feel the need to work 7am-11pm. I told myself it was crazy to do so and to STOP!

So yesterday I ran across The Happiness Project and since I am already committed to the Creative Every Day Challenge 2011, I thought what a perfect friend they‘d be. Let’s concentrate on Happy!

Kim is Springing out of Boxes

The reminder came in the mail, yesterday! I took part in an abundance group with professional woman who desired to create change. In the mail, the most wonderful gift arrived on the same day as joining the Happiness Project!

It has taken me a bit longer to manifest the changes, but I am getting there. My Etsy Store is forming-up, nicely. I am a working artist at Zero Degrees Artist Cooperative. Plus, I’ve my photography at the Marquette Art and Cultural Gift Gallery within the Peter White Library. With my day job I have gone through a couple changes, trying on differing aspects of the job to see what fits.

Giving

On my birthday I attended yoga at a new location, on departing there was a small bowl of stones with messages. I chose one that said, “Give.” My immediate reaction was muscles tensing and the defensive thought that I already give too much! I work in a Group Home. I give every day.  Then I realized I was looking at giving wrong. Giving does not deplete you when in the state of joyful giving. That I can also give to myself.

I went to the Gallery and a small birthday gift, so cute, delicate, colorful and joyful awaited me. It was from a friend that folds paper cranes. I was like a little girl when opening the gift. My next act was to take a photo from my display and march it down the street. It was a magical photo of a local business taken at dusk. It felt good to give of my gifts. Aha!

Reading

So just what am I reading? I am making time to read, “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. He is an amazing writer, good flow, good humor, great subject.  On the nights I do not work at the group home until eleven, my lovely “off” nights, I read!

I have also picked up “Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way” by Susan Weed. It comes highly recommended and lately I feel this 47-year-old-body preparing for the next phase of life. I need to educate myself on alternative methods of healing for this time.

Hopefully in the next week or so I can also order, Gretchin Rubin’s, “The Happiness Project”

Action Goals

1. Continue working on the studio upstairs–Making it more welcoming, functional and less cluttered.

2. Make more time for family—outings, dinners, visits.

3. Simple chores that make me happy—water plants twice a week, declutter, cooking.

4. Read!

5. Enjoy one or two massages a month.

Creative Every Day Week Two–Nurture and Heal

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A little late, week two was rough for me. Winter is taking a toll on my physical and spiritual health. Today the sun came out and allowed me to feel energized. These photos were taken today (January 20, 2011). One of my creative projects has been to revision my studio space. To make it welcoming and to re-establish habits that feed my creativity. I am also working with lists, each day I write down things to accomplish, plans for the next day, and for the end of the week. It has kept me moving, and mostly on task.

Jan 9, Sunday

Mike and I hung the first of four new shelves at Zero Degrees Artist Cooperative. I am in the process of moving into the newly opened room. I also managed grocery shopping at a big box store. With Celiac I often feel overwhelmed by how much of these stores is off-limits for a person avoiding: gluten, corn, egg, dairy/casein and soy. This is a creative and brave act, shopping. But so is my diet.

If you visit the Zero Degrees Artist Cooperative online, the nifty slideshow is composed mostly of my photos.

Jan 10, Monday

I was a substitute teacher for art at the local middle school. Felt strong this day and ran 3 miles on the treadmill at the YMCA.

Jan 11, Tuesday

Long day at work with a mandatory employee meeting. I powered up with a smoothie. It was a beautiful smoothie!

Jan 12, Wednesday

I allowed myself a morning to refuel, sleep in, and recoup. The headed to work for 3-11.

Jan 13, Thursday

Powerfully creative day starting with Yoga. Lunch with Grandson! worked at the Zero Degrees Artist Coop and made decision on my display that included pulling smaller photos for my Etsy store.

Jan 14, Friday

Edited photos, danced around the house, and watered and groomed houseplants. Then headed to work 3-11pm.

Jan 15, Saturday

My body had felt depleted all week and I knew this, nurtured, nourished, and slept as much as possible. But my emotions bubbled all over on Saturday. But I pulled it together and Mike and I went looking for blue paint chips. We purchased 4 more shelves for the gallery. Mike helped to calm me, helped ease the tension causing muscle spasms.

I talked to Shannon at the gallery and I stated, “I look for Hope in an certain angle of light.”

She asked, “Have you written that down yet?”

I did just that. Shannon is a wonderful woman who inspires me. She always reminds me of my talents and strengths. I need those reminders during this battle back to health. I’ve been blessed woth soem wonderful women in my life over the past few months.

Ice forming…

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Each step I take brings me into deeper healing, brings me back to poetry, opens my heart to sky!

It was just a short walk today…from camp to water’s edge. I jogged back up the hill, though. This weekend I refused to rush myself. I did little of what I had planned and I slept a lot.

On the ride to camp, I read poetry by Russel Thorburn from his book, “The Whole Tree as Told to the Backyard”

I love these lines:

At my typewriter close to the window/the cold earned its right to be a metaphor,/but none could be found as we heard/the tree crouching in its dreams.

We took things from the yard and garage (at Craig Street) to camp for winter storage. We brought home wood for the garage woodstove. I picked up buckets and pots. Found three small pumpkins in the garden.

We dropped lumber at Michael and Beth’s home, too.

Dinner was re-warmed roast chicken and I smoothed yesterday’s leftover mashed potatoes into a casserole dish and baked them until slightly crusty.

Now, I have little energy for anything else.

I feel ice forming. It’s below 30-degrees. I am ready for an afghan and more poetry.

Is Autumn Awaiting You?

Too rushed! I feel panic most days. I want, so badly, to slow down. But I’ve let my choices get too confused and I am forgetting that we are entering a time of release and rest. I need to touch this season and watch it fall, watch it release, watch the fragility of leaves as they crumble.

I’ve certainly been fragile. My neck so sore. I’ve a great need for naps (and I do not let my head rest). I want to color with markers at a picnic table and write with pen on brown paper lyrics, and symbols, let out the mysteries that angels whisper in my ear.

How are you moving with the seasons? And is there a new choice to make? Perhaps you’re letting go?

Please share…

Another World

Like the title of a daytime soap opera, the pace of our lives leaves us wishing for Another World. Maybe a nap won’t do. You just cannot find a novel to curl up with. Time on a swing in the breeze near grapevines and blackberry brambles just isn’t “out there” enough. You need to feel something other than your current world, your accessible world, you need to get way out there.

I’ve been pushing it kinda hard. I cannot seem to slow down. I keep cramming work on top of work when all I want to do is run away. I want to be nurtured. I need a 45-hour massage to overcome the stresses I am putting on myself. The swing, and breeze, a nap and a book…umm nope.

A drive in the country to see animals that look like they are from another planet. Yes! Kind. Soft. So odd, they make you laugh. Gentle. And the farm has the magical name, Avalon.

Alpacas hint of familiar mixed with exotic. They make you reach out. I think they communicate like whales or like elephants. I heard a whispering tickling my brain somewhere deep. My dreams since that day are vivid and rich, long stories that continue and return.

My Magic Man took the wheel driving us out to Skandia. We took the long way home. I got to drive past chapters in my life that have closed. I got to look over ridges of fall colors to see what might arrive on a train. I took in the landscapes.

Now some of you may be cynical, and think I know what is coming–SNOW! And you would be right, snow is coming to the upper peninsula very soon. But I am also hoping that change is coming to better, me. To better my health. To get me back to work that is creatively centered and balanced.

Remember change is around you! And one single act of acceptance or open-ness may bring new opportunities.

I can get up, but not down (easily)

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Point Iroquois Light, Spiral Stairs (Bay Mills, Michigan)

I can get up (if I don’t look down). I can spiral to great heights (if I don’t look down). I can even with some courage wiggle up thru a portal door with low head clearance and come up, rise up, to the view. To the miracle of distance, heighten perspectives and even perceptions. But down? I cannot go back down. I struggle and clench the ice-cold cast iron and brass railings (with both fists) until the cold hurts my hands and I find a mantra. “This is an irrational fear. . .This is an irrational fear. . .This is an irrational fear.” Until I am down and out and breathing the warm air outside the lighthouse tower.

You can read more on the Point Iroquois Light here.

Getting Outta Town

Munising Tree, taken on April road trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

There is no time to write, now. But I am getting fresh perspectives while travelling. I am excited about change. I am embracing the future.

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