if i had the words to frame this state of confusion
(and what are these in this chaotic current world, where climate crisis rules?)
i would use them and feel very much a spoiled brat: no need to justify these feelings.
but feel them i do.
so i take on organization, or small tasks, when i can’t face a box and despair i’ll never be settled. or i clean the floors.
i take apart old cotton twill gramicci shorts. they make good paper and i’ve retired a bunch this year.
i get rid of all the not cotton bits, thread, elastic, the belt, pocket linings.
i’ve made some paper at zone 4 (school), cotton off cuts recycled to get my rhythm back and made purple sheets! and then on to my beloved flax. some i’ve played with but i’ve made several, 50-ish large heavy sheets. this paper is workhorse strong, heavy horse beautiful. i love making and using it. but it’s not easy. it takes some haptic understanding and if i can’t be present and breathing slowly as i begin it all goes to hell. sheet after sheet are kissed off, until i remember how to behave.
i often make a few small sheets, this is a great way to play around with ideas and is an antidote to making big sheets. in them i can mess around with ideas and i know they will be nifty, whatever i do. there were a half dozen, maybe, of these little flax papers that i added a little delicious mustardy linen frayed scraps to. they dried with only some restraint, resulting in delightfully wrinkly/dimpled flaxy papers that feel like tickets for annie dillard’s prayer wheel, rattly tiny flags.
this color. chicory has been in bloom for a week or two. what amazing color! currently claiming roadside attention along with daylilies, milkweed coming on and staghorn sumac, also coming on. and all those other less flamboyant flowers like butter and eggs.
wee porcupine was on the right side of the road. i checked in with it and off it scootled to the left, stopping to show me that defensive club of a tail and the neck ruff, all stiff and fierce. it wouldn’t let me see its face, though, and i didn’t hear one cuss word coming my way. just defense mode and practicing duck and cover of a sort. such a silly wee one, but why did i write silly? not at all, because it worked. i left it alone. her. him.
i’m thinking of the next few things coming up the road—going out to colfax to study with the amazing tim ely, home and then to maine to visit hannah and tyler and then to haystack for the last week in august. i’ll be christine mauersburger’s TA in her stitch class…it should be wonderful. and then my semester begins, teaching beginning papermaking in the sustainability program at st lawrence university.
it’s really difficult to not have a wet studio here, and i’m working on ways to make that happen. but no more papermaking or botanical contact printing or dyepots or pulp cooks in the kitchen. because this kitchen is shared with a real cook, who wants no involvement with alchemy other than cooking magic. can’t blame him and he feeds me.