Archive for July, 2012


i had a beautiful visitor yesterday morning, a total surprise when i woke up. at 4am this morning she decided to leave, but had to be helped past the window…i might have left her to find her own way, but nonie puss is very fond of flies and moths – she holds them buzzing in her mouth- and as the beauty has already lost a tip of a wing, it wasn’t worth the risk…sorry the photos are blurred

how long is long enough? it’s easy to know that she was here for the right amount of time, on and off all day i looked up and saw her and had moments of wonder, how well she matches the cracking paint on the outside wall (the landlord is supposed to be painting this summer) but how do moths and insects learn to mimic something inorganic? how can she fly with a wingtip missing? what is she feeding on, there’s so little in flower in the garden at the moment? but mostly i just felt that breathless appreciation of beauty, over and over again…just perfect how she is…

the marching drums of pride have just gone by and i feel a little tearful – fifteen years ago i would have been marching, pushing the wheelchair of a friend with m.e, able to be an agoraphobic in a crowd because she was supporting me (invisible carer/disability politics rant!) and now i have fibromyalgia and am saving spoons (energy) for my party next week…and  the sound of drums makes me aware how much i miss my husband, he would trance out playing drums  and depending if he was level or on a mood swing, i would enjoy it or stress myself out…i miss him, i wish his time had been longer, i wish i had met him earlier and our time together had been longer…

but as all the good sages say, the only constant is change, and gardening is such a good way to learn to be at peace with how all things have their own time and place within the dance.

the cross is one andy made for a big installation about all the kinds of people who care about the environment and why, some of them are very funny totems of scowling biker types he would meet at nine ladies stone circle who he would teach to drum the circle and not throw their beer cans in the fire…this one looks to me to be about turtle island or first nation canadians and the elementals of the forest…but it is here to provide some colour and inspiration as i plant out and ‘make nice’ in the middle border, which has gone from being a very dark and shady place to full sun and partial shade. i was shocked at how much ben downstairs chopped down, so the spirit of place must be reeling! i hear little peals of laughter as i reclaim the corners though – whoever originally built the rockery brought in some really interesting rocks, some beautifully marked, and some full of millions of years of change, sponges and lagoon life being flooded and settling into stagnant sludge and preserving plantlife like amber traps flies…see the ‘bubbles’? that’s an 80million year old sponge!

as i trim back the spotted laurel more and more pretties are coming to light, literally, after decades in the shade. the joys of working a garden and getting to know it, are everchanging and everlasting…




feel the wooden handle of the trowel rasping on my fibro-sensitive skin

touch the leaves of the apricot agastache to release their aromatics,mmmm

hold on to this feeling of a fresh start, a new garden, of anticipated happiness: i know just how happy a garden can make me now, i know to savour this moment

feel the watery sunshine after today’s showers

touch the skeleton leaves half hidden in the mulch

hold onto change, changes that aren’t ends, but new beginnings

feel happy

touch new growth




old pain

new paths

i am very happy today, i’m preparing to try a new approach, a bit fearful too, as the piece that has come to me to make feels very revealing. it ‘s strange, i can make pieces about surviving violence and abuse and not feel as nervous as i do about a piece affirming my positive gifts. i have a really strong backbone about how hard i’ve worked to recover and i’m particularly good at defending survivors and victims and re-setting the boundaries when someone is blurring or abusing a situation; i can break their glamour. but that seems to be separate from stepping forward for myself, as ‘me’. this seems to be at the centre of my agoraphobia, and is certainly at the core of what i am healing from in this lifetime. a lot of people have tried to make me invisible, and sadly, one of them is me – as a preemptive strike to make myself ‘safer’, but all the same…i can say i am cool quite easily, but loveable…ooh, hard!

so, what has brought this on? well,  i am trying to break through some of the core beliefs i feel lie behind my agoraphobia and fibromyalgia. btw, this is strictly about me, i’m not talking about anyone else’s experience of those conditions. yesterday i took my first ‘dose’ of  flower essences, i used the instructions on the elf light essences website to choose the remedies and they came on friday. i have been feeling restless in my making this last week, knowing an art ‘thunderstorm’ is brewing, and last night it crystallised, with a sense of the piece i want to make, and realising i will feel very vulnerable if i show it. i have been invited to be part of a group exhibition in a few weeks and the temptation is to make this piece for that deadline. so i must be firm that i have lots of other work available, particularly gaia’s guardians, which i want to hang  better, with better pictures. so i need to step away from pressuring myself to not just make this new piece, but to exhibit  it.

i pulled a sacred gardens card (elizabeth murray, pomegranate publishing)  to help with the process – MOSAIC came up, with the guidance “What fractured parts of your life need to be made whole with love and acceptance?  Try creating something meaningful from bits and pieces/patchwork/mosaic/etc”

well, the piece i want to make is inspired by the stamped words i was preparing for a quote album, lots of words printed letter by letter, on scraps of paper stained with brusho…very beautiful scraps….and woven machine cords i have been working on lately, woven through a wire mesh…so that is definitely pieces making a whole…as i was visualising it, i realised it follows on from a college piece i made called thorn garden, which had lots of printing embossed with metallic powders, behind gilded wires…and connects to a piece called cradle for stones i’m still making components for. where it gets hard is affirming  not the strength of what has been broken, but the beauty that has always been there and remains. in a way, i do this with all my work, the frayed edges and scored/scarred surfaces, the bringing together of unlikely combinations so that most people respond with ‘oh, how beautiful!’  with a surprised edge, because of the visible ‘damage’….but still, this felt a challenge too far and very definitely revealing on a personal level. perhaps because of the text? i prefer complete abstraction because representation allows so much room for transmission error, abstraction seems to translate straight into the viewer’s own vocabulary.

so hopefully some pictures soon, of what is coming together 😉

are we there yet?

apparently picasso used to annoy the surrealists he hung out with by asking them every day what they’d made, no coasting allowed. i’m managing to do bits most days (lots of pain this week, so that’s a win) and have become a tad addicted to finishing albums. so far this week i’ve finished the album for dr todd 3 times! i keep finding another little something, another weffer-thin-mint i can insert before it explodes. i started another album, but even that didn’t really stop me, after cherry simone left, i played with the pens again 🙂

i already know some improvements i want to make, but it is much easier to bind the signature (sections bound by coptic stitch) style than how i was doing it before. i found some more remnants of the kimono i made for the eco garments course, and am going to bind them to the spine of the next album, but the yin/yang came out so nicely on this i didn’t want to hide it.

so much fun! and so much fun knowing there is always another hill after this one, i can work every day the pain lets me, enjoying the journey as well as the destination.these proverbs made me laugh out loud: when the fox preaches, keep an eye on your geese (german) and a fox should not be on the jury at a goose’s trial (english)!  and finally : i know when it’s time to stop – nonie sits between me and the sewing machine!