A Break and a New Idea

This blog repeatedly makes me alert for ideas, strong in fighting off discouraging thoughts, and happy designing engrossing work. But except for an occasional “iPainting Summer” or other image for the record, “Her spirits rose…” will take an August break. A break in the “gone fishin’” sense – gone reading, gone hiking, gone visiting, gone being visited – summer gone.

But not unthought about. Mindful of Mary Oliver’s words about the world’s most “regretful people” – those who feel “their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave it neither power nor time,” a notion incubates in my mind for an addition to the blog this fall, and I wonder if it might interest any of you.

I’m thinking about creating a place online, perhaps “Her spirits rose…the workshop,” an eclass, a group where participants support one another and enjoy the process. Individual journeys with company. A blog of our own?

Space and time to begin to make something unique, art born of observing and transforming, coming from a particular life and expressed in an individual way. My role would be guide, but also participant, my creative challenge to try and make a setting that would inspire and encourage.

Participants could focus on any project, using media they choose – art is a big-tent word with room inside for many pursuits and obsessions. But the goal would be to work on our projects in a conscious, disciplined way, with routine and priority – a goal sometimes hard to achieve alone. It’s good to have colleagues. We won’t compete with one another – but will compete with ourselves – be accountable to our intention to do this work.

Internet wisdom holds that only 1% of people will actually participate in an online activity – a blogger I enjoy refers to the other 99% as “lurkers.” We are all lurkers sometimes, but in this experience we need commitment to participate.

I am thinking about six weeks of online meeting – beginning in mid-September. Often people attempt to encourage participation by charging for an ecourse – figuring we are more attentive to something we’ve paid for. I’m not sure about that. Or about group size – small I think – at least to start.

So – a thought to leave you with during the August break – is there something you would like to achieve, some technique to learn, a project you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t quite start – or finish? Or you know you want to make or do, but haven’t been able to focus enough to know exactly what?

August is perfect for a break, and September is perfect for new beginnings. Enjoy the former – and please think about the latter!

Oh Sweet Day!



Millbrook Clayworks – potter husband and artist wife – have a booth at the Port Townsend Farmers’ Market this year, and I love their style. When I inquired if they could make a honey pot for our younger son and his sweet friend, the answer was quickly “Yes, sure!” For decoration, I described the California garden, and the finished pot is sweet indeed, with blue trellis, hummingbirds, and ladybugs.

I didn’t know that the honey pot would become part of a wedding gift, but we took it along to help celebrate the first of two weddings of our younger son and his sweet friend. In the winter a traditional Thai wedding in Suphanburi, Thailand will follow this small one, an American courthouse union.

On the morning of the wedding, we took a foggy early morning walk up the hill near our son’s Los Angeles house, and exchanged walker pleasantries with a semi-trailer driver completing his fifth circuit of the hill. He said he wasn’t sure what you needed for a long marriage – “Maybe patience!”

I thought of him at the historic courthouse in Santa Ana where this ceremony took place – a beautiful old building with high ceilings and chandeliers – a courthouse no longer used for the hurly burly of daily law and much about wedding ceremonies. The whole day was very Southern California – from the court clerk who donned a robe to cover her black glitter-lettered T-shirt and jeans to the composition of the wedding party. The bride’s good friend attended, and the groom’s partners and staff joined us as we waited in the hallway to be called.

Beautiful in her long-sleeved lace dress, the bride carried a bouquet of peach-pink garden roses and wore tiny bits of sparkle on the band in her hair. The bridegroom – so handsome in a three-piece dark suit, peach tie with tiny elephants, and a rose boutonniere – smiled a lot.

The actual ceremony took place in a room set aside for weddings where a graphic on the wall spelled out “Love is Patient” and “Love is Kind” in large script. The clerk stood behind a little podium – like in a courtroom – decorated with the county seal cheerful with oranges. She directed the bride and groom to stand in front of her, clasping each other’s hands, under a paper flower-covered arch.

For all the unconventional potential of this modern union – the day felt traditional and beautiful. The familiar vows repeated – love and cherish, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live. Then:

“You may kiss the bride!

Cheers from our little group, and many photos by many cameras followed, and more outside on the courthouse steps in late afternoon sunshine. Happiness – such a calm and easy wedding day – just the kind of day these two would have. Then dinner at a downtown L.A. restaurant – a big festive table with lots of laughing and talk of Thailand travel to come!

So no longer will I write of our younger son and his sweet friend – she is now his sweet bride – and we are so glad!