In Gathering Mode

My absense from all things internet is coming to an end. This week I have felt the pull back here and it is strong. But life is busy. How to fit it all in? Oh how I am wrapped in a never-ending struggle with this! I thought about blogging today as I was driving down 122, amazed at the autumn colors draped over the mountains like a quilt. I thought about how nice it would be to share the view with you, dear reader. None of my pictures captured the beauty however. (time to get out the camera's manual i think!) Olivia and I drove on beautiful winding backroads. Twice we pulled over onto the side of the road, once to study at a deer in the wood's edge and then to watch a vulture eat a dead something in the middle of the road. Gross. Yes. But it is life, isn't it?

We had a fieldtrip today to Booker T. Washington's birthplace. Do you know about this amazing man? What an inspiration! How the tears were close to spilling as I learned again of his hardships and his motivation to acquire knowledge. I left feeling as if I could accomplish anything-that I would let nothing stop me from my heart's desire.

My favorite 2 quotes from Mr. Washington:

"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed. "

"Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon. "

I have been in precious gathering mode. Today after the field trip and after all of our friends had left for home I sat for 20 minutes in the woods (Olivia so sweetly by my side) just listening to the creek, to the way the leaves rustle in the trees, watching the birds, feeling the breezes---Gathering images for this fictional story I posted about earlier of a girl called Able. Able walks with a cane so I found a stick and I used it as a cane. We walked for a mile and a half this way. We met not another soul on the trail. It was as if the woods were ours. A perfect afternoon. A gift gathered and treasured.

For weeks now, I have stumbled from the bed before the others, hunkering down in front of the computer, a blanket around my shoulders, willing my mind to conjure up images and dialogue. Placing these images and impressions into Word documents, crossing my fingers that a story is actually being told. I am focusing all of my creative energy on this piece of fiction, trying desparately to capture my Able and her Appalachian mountains on paper. Sometimes I head upstairs to the art room to try and paint her. (I haven't finished any of these yet but hopefully I will have something to share soon.) This project has consumed me like no other. Sometimes I think, "what a waste of time" and then I see Able in my mind and she seems so real and I know I need to do this.
The music that is inspiring me is anything by Gillian Welch, an amazing storyteller. See a video here.

Two more sites to share with you:

1. My friend, Susan Keene, has a blog now! She is a lovely talented artist I just know you will love to visit. :)

2. A site where you can sign up to get wonderful daily inspirational emails. This is mine from this morning:

"Do you ever wonder where all those glorious seconds, minutes, and hours go that recently poured through your fingers on an idle weekend or a cool evening, when suddenly you feel like you're racing the clock on some crazed, hurried weekday?

They're still there, lazing around. They just look different when you focus upon what you haven't done, instead of what you have done."
----- The Universe


Judy said...

ii know how you feel, its hard to fit everything in - having the same issues!

She Who Flies said...

Welcome back! I enjoyed reading about your field trip and your creative busy-ness. Please, don't even think for a second that your writing Able's story is a waste of time. No creative work is. The fact that it is consuming so much of your time and creative energy simply shows how much this story wants to be told and painted through you :-) I find your commitment to Able simply wonderful.

Oh I love the TUT emails. There's nothing like starting the day with an affirming (and often playful) note from the Universe!

cheryl said...

What a beautiful post. What a heavenly day - I am also an artist homeschooling mom and love every minute of it. Your writing sounds like it has a life of its own which means it needs to be done. Enjoy the ride.

Valaine said...

Very inspiring! I love to read about you and your daughter and how she is right there with you quietly by your side as she learns from you to observe and to just be for a while and enjoy life and nature! So precious!

When you know that you know that you should be doing something there is nothing else to do but that :) Seems so exciting and I feel privilaged to be cheering you on!

Rose Garden Romantic said...

Beautiful fall photo and lovely artwork, as always! Thank you for the links!

Susan Tuttle said...

Hi my friend,
Your day spent riding around in the woods with Olivia and taking in all of the natural beauty sounds like just the perfect day.

Yes, I agree--you were meant to write about Able.

So great to connect with you again.


carla said...

The faces on your ladies lately have been very intense; I wonder if they reflect the intensity of what you're doing right now...

How wonderful that you are writing this story! You mustn't worry if the words aren't perfect; just write. When you have the shapes all roughed out, then you can go back and fine tune. Gillian Welch sounds like a perfect musical companion for this journey:>