I’ve given myself two weeks to answer a list.  On my list are relatively small goals but they are necessarily comprehensive, since the overall aim is to break through a log jam of old unfulfilled ideas, to clear out what is no longer useful or appropriate, and give form to the ones with a vigorous pulse.   So.

Ten paintings finished and hung in a public space in two weeks.

Hammer drawing #1 - rough
Hammer drawing #1 – rough

Two public performances booked for cello ensemble, so that we HAVE TO polish these beautiful pieces, and present them.

(If you’re interested in hearing us:  December 1 Aids Vigil at the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, and December 16 6:30pm at Owen Sound City Hall)

One new project for 2016, very dear to my heart, fleshed out and taken to the collaboration table.

Eight long hikes.

Three non-fiction books finished.

One grant application mentored and sent.

Five daily rituals carefully designed and established.

One package, two letters sent to Japan.

…and space in-between.

Autumn ferns on the Bruce Trail, September.
Autumn ferns on the Bruce Trail, September.

This reads almost like a Dr. Seuss book…

One fish, two fish, three fish, four….

inheritance from two families on my mother's side:  A proud sign from Kennedy Foundry of Owen Sound, hanging on the wall of Circle Bar Ladies' Hosiery factory, also in Owen Sound, owned and operated by my mom & aunt's grandparents, Walter and Catherine Keebler.
inheritance from two families on my mother’s side: A proud sign from Kennedy Foundry of Owen Sound, hanging on the wall of Circle Bar Ladies’ Hosiery factory, also in Owen Sound, owned and operated by my mom & aunt’s grandparents, Walter and Catherine Keebler.  The fish are mine – made from carpentry scraps.

Thank the weeping hose, love the water that runs through it

We burn out.

It’s a slow process – maybe similar to what a snake feels as its skin ages, dries out and becomes less flexible – I can imagine so.  Its only gradually that I notice I’m repeating my stories, turning good rituals into mindless habits, missing cues I’m normally quick to pick up on, sparking forward-moving ideas less and less often.

Experience has taught that this slow erosion of self inevitably leads to the day when I realize that all my body & mind want to do for the rest of my life is read and sleep: Passive please, not active any more.

But my soul?

Always in these times, my soul needs attention.

I’m not quite there yet, but I’m close. Here’s where I’m at:
– some jobs (just 2, and we’ll stop there) have become bewilderingly impossible to complete (OMG. Why can’t I DO this?),
– incomplete conversations spiral dangerously close to big daunting emotional messes that will require serious clean up…
– I’ve taken many small measures  to save time – some essential soul-feeding things went first.  I know better too – it never helps, since more mindless tasks & needless commitments rush in to fill the available space….
– the TO DO list has grown overwhelmingly longer and longer
– urgency increases at the same rate that new obstacles appear (also a definition of road rage)
– intolerance – from bad spelling to unfortunate choice of clothing – all seems grounded in a pandemic lack of courtesy, and I Am Now Crotchety.

what strange beings poppies are

So no, this time, No burn-out.  Instead, I attend to my soul.

Friday morning List:

1. write a friday morning list. (HA!)

2. jump in the lake at least three times daily.

3. read Marasu Emoto:  Messages from Water and the Universe, because Mister Emoto’s theories provide  simple, beautiful soul-food.

4. examine all commitments, find in them what feeds my soul,  Then engage.

5. lift one thing out of habit and place it back into the sacred.

6. sing, loudly, for at least twenty minutes.

7. with gratitude for its’ past service, find something I no longer need and actively give it freedom.

8. arrive somewhere unexpectedly.

9. sit absolutely still for longer than I think I can.  notice.

10. Transform every complaint into appreciation.

soul food.

Happy heat wave, everyone (it’s kind of like a series of snow days, except in summer:  it’s okay to slow down a little).


I think the 10' transplanted oak is going to make it.

I realize these lists are a tall order, and openly admit that I’ve only been batting 80% – with the following left unattended:

5. sew something.
6. throw paint at the wall.
8. finish at least one long-awaited, loving letter and send.
9. Draw something

This is a clue that leads to this Friday’s list….

1. Identify this tree (it was supposed to be a rowan). Anybody? Help?

1. see the tree caption, above.
2. check out what I’ve not done from the last 2 lists (did this already), and make time to attend to them (will do).
3. sort out what keeps getting in the way of painting, drawing, sewing, and remove said thing.
4. move one small step closer to attaining one long-term goal.
5. photograph something that I’d not normally be inclined to examine closely.
6. walk for an hour.
7. update the detail task-list and knock off a few more items.
8. listen to one person very closely, and accept every part of their being, no matter what.
9. play cello.
10. wander.