Sunday, 3 January 2016

2016 and a bit of unleashing



the funny thing about having all my DNA from northern bloodstreams is that even though i live in the deep south where it is presently summer, in December my mind often goes into winter mode, especially in the days between the Solstice and the New Year

i haven't been able to fire up the dye cauldron : it's too dry and windy to risk it in the studio (for fear of the odd spark) and too hot to bring it all inside. i wouldn't mind but there are others in the house who will. so bundles are sitting soaking in a cauldron full of leaves, water and a bit of black iron dust i found when i was cleaning the gutters. i'll have to do something with it soon though because it's beginning to bubble and looking more than a little Shakespearian.

which brings me to the subject of writing, dressmaking and other sedentary pursuits...all of which have contributed in recent years to my stacking on rather a lot of chubb. it was all very well for my Grandfather to say that women shouldn't have corners and i don't mind being slightly insulated but presently i am feeling like a sausage roll. in case you don't know what that it, in Australia it is a short thick handful of disgusting meat offcuts that have been ground into an unrecognisable pulp, padded by 50% of the weight in sawdust and wrapped in a thick layer of greasy pastry. not pretty.

there are a number of contributing factors. due to invasive sheep, free-ranging chickens, extensive travelling and the ongoing/increasing dryness of our region, i no longer tend a garden. in its heyday it was glorious and i spent hours in it digging and weeding and marvelling at my collection of Bourbon roses. gardening is so much more fun than going to the gym. but now it's a dustbowl and it's all i can do to keep the lemon tree alive with washing up water.

writing...of books and subsequently in various social media doesn't burn up much energy either. it requires sitting down, though in its defence it also requires walking, as walking is the best thinking time and clears the mind allowing ideas to float in. writing also requires one to read, another sedentary occupation.

the book i devoured yesterday, "The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill" not only gave me the required daily six minutes of laughter for good health but also the following lines from the man himself, in regard to his only novel 'Savrola'
"i have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it"
as some of you know i have been writing and rewriting a work of fiction for some years.

these recent days of reflection have helped me realise that sometimes writing should just be regarded as therapy and maybe my "novel writing" has served that very purpose and could now be let go. a good painter knows when to stop. a good writer should, too. as Colin Firth's character in Love Actually said "it's not bloody Shakespeare!" again, i'm waiting for good burning weather.

i'm also rethinking how much "hand-making for anonymous selling" i'm going to do in future. i love making work for exhibitions where i can create an environment and tell a story by setting a scene.  but sitting for hours hand-making dresses and stuffing them into boxes and sending them off across the whirled and never knowing on whom they are going to finish up is feeling increasingly unsatisfactory, so that is something that may change too. although there WILL be a one-night exhibition of work for sale offered at Maiwa in September this year, on the evening when i shall give a talk prior to class. i'm looking forward to that because i love being able to share in people's reactions to the work (the link will take you to their mailing list sign up page) and to be able to assure them that they have permission to modify, mend, overdye and so on

and now back to that chubb. i decided to begin to deal with it by acquiring a water-rower and setting it up in my bedroom. it's an exercise machine that makes a satisfactory swishing noise because the resistance is provided by a tank of water. i can row (while Kubbi continues her beauty sleep on my bed and my cat Martha watches me with unblinking disapproval) and if i close my eyes i can imagine rowing on a river somewhere, or on a beautiful pond. this morning i rowed halfway up Lake Morey in my mind with no risk at all of turning an ankle on our gravel road, something that has been happening with increasing frequency when i go running. yesterday i was rowing on the Tay, at slackwater of course. tomorrow i might row in the Louisiana swamps. the good thing is i won't have to watch out for alligators. i think i may just have found the perfect Sagittarian meditation practice.

wishing you all insights and clarity as you step into this new year...which i'm thinking of as a '9' year cos
2+0+1+6=9
and i do like the number 9!

what are you letting go, what are your aspirations?



PS i'm sorry i cannot recall who took the photo above, some time in 2010 or 2011 i think. drop me a line if it's yours and i shall add the photo credit pronto


49 comments:

  1. Happy New Year India!
    Lovely to think about you with water sounds.
    x

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    1. thanks Judy, happy new year to you too. the swishing is truly music to the ears! x

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  2. You are very cool. I really like how you express yourself.thanks for opening up.

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  3. Happy New Year wonderful!! My Mumma who is a PT says the rowers are TOP stuff for everywhere on your bod. She got me on one the other day. I can't really use the excuse of post birth sedentary pursuits 9 months later. Very much relating to the sausage roll but in my case I say 'bush pig' as there's a fair bit of rage thrown in. xxx

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    1. Triff! Maybe we can row down some imaginary river together sometime. You know what the water rat said "there is nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats". Even if they are only pretend boats :-)

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  4. Sitting with a silly grin on my face while reading this. You are better than a tonic, but maybe not as good as a gin.

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    1. I have been referred to as a gin before, when being refused service in the bar of the Balranald Hotel in the summer of 1979. I don't think they meant it kindly, or that they liked my brown skin. Needless to say I have not darkened their doors (pun intended) since.

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  5. That rower sounds fantabulous. Why, if I had such a thing in my room I'd be tempted to get up in the middle of the night just to row down the Nile. I bet I'd want to leave work early too, so's I could mosey along the River Shannon searching for double rainbows before dinner. Ahhh, now that's a gizmo that can take a gal places ... wishing you many pleasant journeys upon it indeed!! Perhaps I'll "see" you in Otter Bay?

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    1. That was the first place I rowed at, didn't you see me waving?

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    2. ahh... I thought that wandering wind felt familiar ;>)

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  7. Had a new year's dream just the other night. A SAORI woven jacket with a matching lining in (wishing it were merino) probably cotton, dyed with windfalls to match the colours in my woven cloth. One of my to dos for 2016. As for exercise....check out 'essentrics'. Lovely combination of dance, yoga and pilates. Feels great! Happy New Year and hope to see you on the wet / West Coast this coming year!

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    1. That jacket sounds beautiful ! I look forward to seeing you in it somewhere in the lovely Pacific Northwest !!

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  8. i am happy to be in winter mode in our desert. summer will be here too soon .
    power of intentions is my motto for 2016 .
    a stuffed sausage is how i feel after the holidays (:
    looking forward to making and creating whatever i want ...(:

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  9. What a fabulous solution! I love it! I do believe your Sagitarian and my Gemini enjoy the rowing machine (magic carpet, Tardis) for very similar reasons - it's the only form of gym equipment I can bear for longer than 10 minutes!!! Similarly my 4 times weekly swim with the local masters squad sometimes finds me wandering aimlessly over the rocky and weedy reefs without even the slightest inclination to swim my 1.5km bay jaunts in a competitive time!!! There's so much good imagining to be done instead!
    On reading/writing - I have a friend who paces (very seriously) around her house and yard whilst reading academic articles. Perhaps this could be attempted too? xo

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    1. Pacing sounds like a plan. And swimming I would love but the dams are really icky this year. I'll wave to you on a river somewhere (hey didn't you have a plan for a river project a while back ??) xx

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    2. I did... We did... What ever happened?

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  10. Happy new year India........
    I'll look out for you this afternoon as i walk along my beloved river Maas. Maybe you'r rowing along?

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    1. Oh so many rivers and canals and lakes and bays that I am being invited to...its just wonderful. Happy new year my dear, I hope we meet somewhere in it xx

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  11. Rowing around in my own head for the time being. But, as ever, very inspired by your words. Wishing you a marvellous year close to your inner wanderings!

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    1. Thank you. I have a feeling this will be an especially good one!!

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  12. Happy new year for you and how mediative that must be, rowing along a river you you can choose yourself.
    I will be in Paris within some days i will look for you on the Seine............

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    1. I'lll keep an eye on the bridges in case you are there !

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  13. Happy Rowing New Year India. Would never describe you as a sausage!! Rowing sounds much better than cycling (one of those awful things in my spare room - bought to flex my fractured talus but now redundant as no gentle swooshing to keep me company). The Hawkesbury is not far from me, so I will keep a look out. As for writing - mine is still in my head, with not much of an idea of where to start . . . . . but I did have a new fountain pen gifted to me at Christmas, so you never know. Yes, creating is the thing, be it garden, food, clothing, in fact - whatever . . . Hope it rains for you soon though, and you can get that fire lit. xx In case I can't (as often has happened) post this - it's me - Jane Lethbridge!

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    1. It worked!!! Well done - the 9 year must have it.

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    2. I adore fountain pens. The only bicycling I do is in my beloved New Orleans, where I keep a purple bicycle. And i look forward to swooshing past on the Hawkesbury sometime!!

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  14. Colourful 2016 India, You are always welcome to row around Lac Montbel. just next to us and pop in for Stollen afterwards.

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    1. Oh lovely! Going to find it on a map right now!

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  15. Happa new year, this solstice time made me slow down, not thinking nor talking very much and let things go...wandering around in the landscape a lot of hours , with no destination ( I like it) ,ending up very often close to a small river......we probably missed.

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    1. I'll see you by that small river next time

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  16. Ha!~ I love the idea of you rowing away and the sound of water swishing as you travel away somewhere, with perhaps a bundle or two dangling over the sides, fully immersed in the good stuff, water. BTW you do NOT appear as a greasy pastry stuffed with disgusting meat, and that's a very inapt inaccurate description, what mirror do you use?

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  17. I'll look out for you on the Umzinduzi but I must warn you not to fall out or you will end up in hospital with Duzi guts. Happy New Year India!

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    1. I'll be especially careful on your river! Happy new year.

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  18. i like 9 too but you know that. happy new year

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    1. I do! Happy new year to you too, Jude

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  19. Such truth here ... and so, my aspiration is to "remember" in 2016. Remember to do more of the things that make me happiest and healthiest and peace-full: stitching, sleeping well, exercising (new for me), laughing (often), dyeing (locally), eating (well), being intentional, reading (and re-reading), learning, and just plain showing up.

    Last, but not least, being grateful. Thank you for your presence, your sharing, your ethos!

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    1. Remember. I like that. I've been thinking about 'abundance'. In that spirit I shall hope for abundant remembering, too

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  20. sometimes it's like a balm, reading your words. i have been in similar mode, first cleaning out the overeating nasty feeling. thinking about swimming, but knowing that at very least my walks must increase. (and now, maybe, we will have enough snow for a ski!) there is such honesty in your words, and i think your rowing machine is a grand way to explore the rivers in your mind, never mind what the ever critical martha implies. i ran from ages 40-45 almost daily. i think i'm paying for that now. be ruthless, but gentle on your joints.

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    1. My knees and ankles grumble about running and have a tendency to go off in different directions at times so the water thingy is just wonderful. And gentle on the joints. I'll wave at you from some lake in upstate New York if I see you go past!

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  21. Happy New Year, India! I don't know who took that photo - but I have one just like it, as it was taken here in 2011 when you did the workshop here.
    It's always a pleasure to read your posts. Thanks.

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    1. ah thank you...i wasn't sure if that was over your way or at Halifax, where i have a similar one shot by Donn Sabean. and thanks for swinging by

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  22. row row row your boat
    gently down the stream
    merrily merrily merrily merrily
    life is but a dream

    may your dreams take you to new lands
    Fairfarren!

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    1. thank you Mo, and happy trails to you too

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  23. Best new year wishes from your fellow sausage!
    (Just got back from my "swim.")
    xo, j

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  24. I've just read this after I've returned from helping out at the bermagui leg of the george bass marathon - the GBM is the longest open water surf boat race in all the big wide world --- after seeing the boats and rowers come into the beach after 20-something kms of open ocean rowing in big swell, flood debris and driving rain -- an indoor rowing bit of kit looks like the only sensible way to row!

    ps -- I'm with you in the quest to de-roll my sausaged self this year.... (I'm taking the trip with the indoor bike however)

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    1. Indoor bike is good too, won't be cluttering the roads unlike the Lycra clad wannabes in South Iz this month!!

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  25. Rowing the north sea?

    For you no mountain ( gulf) too high?

    Love and best...

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    1. No shore too far
      No forest too tall
      No night too dark
      I feel a song coming on. Thank you for swinging by
      All the best, i.

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