Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Dreams~*

 
I have been dreaming big all summer. I am finding common themes with some unique and quirky stuff thrown in. I had a particularly wonderful dream in July:

A childhood friend from whom I have been estranged invites me to a theme party at her home. All of my friends from past and present will be in attendance. I accept the invitation.

When I arrive at the home of my former friend, I must navigate her steep driveway to get to her house; it is made of crushed pink glass seemingly melted together. It makes a very beautiful path, albeit a slightly slippery slope, to climb. I do so with care and focus, placing my feet just so, as to make it carefully up the incline without slipping.

This dream encourages me. I am awed by the fact that I accepted the invitation to attend this party that will contain so many personal facets (past and present friends) of my life. The party is themed and the theme is uniting past with present...

Driveways have been a dream theme this summer and a friend pointed out those driveways are entry ways as well as places to exit from. Perhaps I am being shown that I can come and go as I please.

I associate the pink crushed glass with the heart. It is a heart that has been crushed, yet nonetheless mended back together into a work of beauty, a path I enter deliberately, placing my soles (soul) with care as I navigate. The climb is steep and seems symbolic of what it takes to heal sometimes. It isn't always easy, but if I focus and move forward on this heart path I will arrive.

I like that all my allies await me too.

This dream inspires me to create my art, more goddess collages that contain shattered pieces of my great grandmother's heirloom china, gifted to me from my mother, prior to the collapse that crushed them.


About a month after my dream I went on a trip out west with my husband and son to visit Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. We also toured through three deserts, the Sonoran Desert, the Painted Desert and the Mojave Desert.

It was an amazing journey and I found myself climbing many a steep, pink, pebbled path in heat close to 100 degrees at times and at heights of 8500 miles above sea level (the melted crushed pink 'glass' I ascended on in my dream). Perhaps the theme of the party in my dream was this journey.

Yet, I did not recall the dream until I returned and began to write about my experience of traveling the thousand mile excursion to these awe inspiring locations.

My encounter with these distinctive landforms brought a bevy of emotions. I wrote a poem about my feelings that surfaced as I met up with the glorious landforms, this was the only way I could put into words what I had encountered. The excursion truly was a dream, quite visceral and almost beyond words.

click to enlarge

Painted land…scarlet, crimson, pink and rosy… salmon, peach…golden…emerald, teal…azure, purple, white…

Navajo land, simple life, Spirit life, honor Mother Earth, Father Sky…healing land, wounded people, healing people, Diné …

One thousand miles, hours on the road to reflect, memories surface provoked by faces in the rock…

I am a child, full of wonder…seeing this world for the first time…
I feel this land, I rejoice, I laugh, I sing…

Nestled with those I love…I remember…

My mind wanders to struggles, less severe than those of the humankind whose land I travel, but as many layers…
I feel this land, I am angry, I mourn, I grieve…

Descending with baby steps into the gaping hole, I am swathed by Mother, as Father calls out stern warnings to pay attention…
I feel this land, I cry, I gasp, I am afraid but I move forward…

Spiraling upward I sweat, I huff, I clamber, exerting to ascend, I soar with the condor for just a brief moment… my confidence builds…
I feel this land, , I am unsure, I am unsteady; I take leap of faith…

Encircled within deep red rock, I pause to reflect, wade into the baptismal waters, a new beginning…
I feel this land I am overcome; I am humbled, I am resuscitated…

I seek, I observe, I move with intention, I excavate artifacts within the stratum, I breathe and embrace the present moment…lost soul parts are returned to me, I am a child of forty-eight…
I feel this land, I say one prayer: Thank you.

A week after returning home I have this dream:

I am at an art venue, it is large and open, filled with recycled materials. There are windows all around me. Others are there and we have come to make art projects. We are free to choose whatever materials we want. A female picks a piece of clay that is lumpy and when worked on, reveals a face. I like this material. The face catches my attention. I choose to work with the clay. I take it and mold it into a heart, pushing on it with my palm and working it hard to keep it in shape; its consistency is like putty in my hand…

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This is What Summer Brought

In May I wrote these words, "Ahhh, summer, when every person has a chance to become a child again. I cannot wait to see what else is in store." At the time I was a little tentative and unsure about what summer would bring. It is now a quarter way through August and I thought I would share in pictures a little of what summer brought me thus far.


For a long time I resisted the wild brown-eyed Susan's that moved into my gardens on their own without being invited. They used to take up one corner of my garden faithfully every year and often I would pluck them out. I had something against their color, school bus yellow I called it. But then last year they started strategically planting themselves between other flowers in the garden and I fell in love with them, not only for their perseverance, but also for their little pop of gold amongst the pinks. Needless to say, the color has grown on me.


Monarchs are always visiting here, this picture was taken a couple of days ago, the one that follows is last from summer...


I took this picture accidentally and realized I have my own set of twin sisters living along my brook, I had never seen them this way. (If you click on the picture to enlarge it, then click again and use your arrow buttons to navigate, you can see the man in the moon between the trees.)


This is a fairy lily. It was born from a hundred year old plant that came from my dear friend's grandmother. She was sad, as her fairy lily had not bloomed yet this summer, so she asked her (great) grandmother to send her a bloom. The next day, when she returned home from a conference, a bloom awaited her.



I call this the cosmo forest. Every year cosmos seed themselves here and grow into cosmo trees. The cosmo trees even dwarf my new Japanese red maple and baby flowering crab. Alyssum, snapdragons and even a sunflower from the birds seed here on their own too, so it is a "happy accident" annual garden too!




I planted these gladiolas for August blooms and because it is my son's birth flower. They bring cheer for his annual birthday party. This year we will be in the Grand Canyon for his 14th birthday. :)


A few good tomatoes. These are Early Girls. We ate one already. This is only my second year growing tomatoes, I'm doing okay with it. 


This planter consists of alyssum that reseeded there, purple pansies that have thrived quite nicely since spring, due to efficient deadheading, and a fuchsia plant I snuck from my mother's annual pile one day when I was watering her flowers. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see a lichen covered fairy, gifted to me from my beloved neighbor, and residing here for at least a dozen years.



This planter is filled with the snapdragons my sweet neighbor gave to me in spring, along with a fuchsia petunia that reseeded itself, and some alyssum I transferred from some pea stone. My neighbor told me yesterday, that when he sits just right on his screened porch, the top snapdragons, which peek over the fence between our yards, are framed perfectly by the wooden square around the edge of one of the panels of his porch. I had already written this story and sent it to him. I am glad we can share the snapdragons. And today, I sat and watched a female hummingbird go to every colored snapdragon, and each petunia, getting her fill of nectar. I decided her message to me was, "There is an abundance of sweetness available to you now."

Here's what it looked like in early spring.




This front planter, one of two matching, goes along with my "making do" theme. The purple pansies that were in it since spring became very leggy and tired. I went hunting for end-of-season annuals the last week of July but did not find anything that spoke to me. So, one day, while sipping a good cuppa, early morn' by the pool, I came up with a clever idea to collect a couple faithful bloomers in my perennial gardens, (catmint and campanula),  and a soft silvery lambsear for the center, along with some already established alyssum borrowed from the cosmo forest, and a pair of not-quite-blooming cleomes that seeded themselves in the crack between the driveway and house, some are still there as you can see. The results were precious. Ahhh, I love making do. (click on picture to enlarge)


Lastly I have to give my herbs honorable mention, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, (and summer savory, tarragon, basil, oregano, chive, lemon balm and lavender,) they have already participated in several batches of fresh, multi-herb pesto, often at the final hour of me fretting what's for dinner. :)



Multi-Herb Pesto

2 1/2 cups of fresh herbs (I use all of my favorites, basil, chives, lemon balm, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and even throw in torn baby Swiss chard leaves from my garden--any green will do)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (you can add more depending on how you like your consistency)
3/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves fresh garlic (less or more to taste)

I place the herbs in my blender and top with oil, walnuts, cheese and chopped garlic cloves and alternate between chop and puree until the mixture is liquefied. I serve this on top of barbecued salmon, or chicken or pasta.