Busy, busy, busy

I wondered if being settled into an area would make life boring, but the exact opposite is proving true. This month is insanely packed with socializing and adventures. Last weekend, Handsome and I were hosts to my friend Herculine and her boyfriend (who also happens to be one of my college friends) Smiler. Though only a brief time, we made the most of its every second. We brought them to market and then we went on a hike at Buttermilk Falls, which is a most glorious climb. Handsome and the Smiler went ahead while Herculine and I made our way slowly, encountering faeries and many a deep energy in the water-rushing canyon. Sitting on the edge of the water at one point, I was again struck with awe at the depth of nature’s power and how that power is deep song that the Lord sings into my veins with abandon. I felt simultaneously still and running with all my strength so that I might fly. I was with a friend who I muchly love, in the midst of gorgeous rock-water wood, and I could Hear the Song so close to my ribs I could ache. We wound our way through, enjoying all that was around us, discussing faeries in hushed tones and touching all that we could get our hands; be it rock, water, tree or mud, we felt and drifted.  Walking down, we had to stretch our legs out long and stiffly like fancy gentleman, and holding a single hand aloft as though we were carrying parasols of fancier ladies. Twas the only way one could go down the steep stairs with any measure of grace don’t ya know 😉 That evening, we all made cookies and drank until we were pleasantly giggling into our cookie ice-cream sundaes.

The next day dawned absolutely gorgeous. I chose to go to church while Handsome took our guests to Green Lake Park. I am glad that I went because I am enamored of the sermons and the energy of the place. Though it is a tiny little church with narry another person my age, I find a deep peace when I am there. Plus, as I said, the sermons are instructive, simply delivered, and beautifully crafted. In my faith, I find that I am drawn to places that are more concerned with the intricacies of the God that we serve rather than evangelistic tactics. As far as I am concerned, if I am taking time to go to church, then I don’t want to spend that time listening to why I need to keep taking that time out. I have already made that decision, thus I would rather learn more about how to deepen my relationship with God. Unsolicited tangent, but tis just my personal feeling on the matter. I arrived home before the rest of my party and I took the time to enjoy the sun and the glorious weather. Later that day, Herculine, Smiler, and I went to see a show at the Stage. This is the first show of the season and Herculine’s cousin is in the cast. I was familiar with the script and I was curious to see the show (plus, it is the first show in which I had direct painterly involvement here). Although the piece was three hours long, I was delighted to discover that the actors are brilliant. They did not miss a beat and they managed to keep the energy of the dialogue constant. The set and technical effects were wonderful, and the costumes were absolutely drool-worthy. It is rare to see a production so cohesive and I feel humbled that I had a hand in realizing that cohesion.

As for what is to come, right now I am in the midst of visiting my dear sibling. She has possession of the rest of my artwork, and I had to deliver her an original work from my own hand. Thus, here I am, alone for the moment while she works. The view out her window is dappled with autumn, sun, and tree branches. I must admit, it’s nice to have a day fully to myself. Next week, Handsome’s mother comes to visit, then the next week brings WonderWoman and a trip into the City to see Sleep No More. Busy? Just how I like it :).

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Doing Well Here

Tis strange to think that I have been here for almost a month. Summer has always moved strangely for me. Every day seems long and labor intensive, only to suddenly find myself at the end of a week wondering how it snuck past me. In this month, I have painted an entire set (and not a simple color and a wash so please you), explored glorious places, and made connections with people whom I can only call it  blessing to know. Helena (formerly known as Lady Twin, but Helena suits her much better) and I were down by the waterfront this evening, chatting about books as the wind blew incessantly across the water. I knitted away happily as we talked and I could only languish in how happy I truly am right now. Not the happiness that is characteristic of  the circumstances of the moment, but rather truly well. True wellness is a strong desire of mine, something that comes from a well of joy that lives in the heart regardless of what life offers. There is a hymn called “It is Well With my Soul.” A song penned in the 1800’s by someone who had been hit with immense tragedy, the piece still captures the core of what I strive to achieve in the pursuit of this life. Particularly, the first verse:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,a
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

*a Often this lyric is “say” rather than “know,” but I rather appreciate this version.

Whether I be at peace as I was this evening, or frazzled by the various tasks thrown at me in a given day, or truly aching from pain that attacks me from past loss, I fight to maintain the wellness of my soul. It is days such as I have been having, surrounded by glorious natural beauty, engaging work, and genuine people that remind me why I have such joy. Such things I am blessed with, and I can never thank Him enough for those things. It is, indeed, well with my soul.

New Friends!

Tis been a while since I posted mainly because this past week was a bucket of insanity that I did not anticipate. The rest of the summer staff arrived in the shop, including my assistant who will henceforth be known as Columbia. Turns out Columbia is not exactly what I was ready for in an assistant, but I am determined to approach this development with a positive attitude (mainly because a crappy disposition is generally less fun and does not get the work accomplished any more efficiently.) I was also faced with an intense painting project that required a great deal of focus and precision…and then multiply that project threefold. There was much staying late and hand cramping involved. However, I am really very happy because I have discovered some wondrous new friends. The two ladies of whom I am particularly fond are BearGirl and Lady Twin. BearGirl earns her name because of her dogged determination to see a bear this summer and Lady Twin is basically exactly like me only not. Together, we had many adventures, including a three mile hike through the Dunes where I went nuts over various wildflowers and we startled a young deer still in its spotted glory. Lady Twin has been keeping me sane on my various late nights and we sat out yesterday evening, enjoying the giant moon over the waterfront. While the crew I have been working with has been lovely, most already had established relationships with each other due to years of bonding. Thus, it’s nice for me to have a few people who are also new and are eager to establish new connections. We work hard, we take care of each other, and we have a damn good time being total sarcastic jerks when the situation calls for it (or not, let’s be honest). Life is brilliant.

Outakes (Interlochen State Park)

On Sunday I visited Interlochen State Park. While the park was more of well kept campground, I still enjoyed walking about and taking some pictures of various natural lovelies.

I walked along the nature trail in the park. The whole walk was riddled with pine trees and the scent was most intoxicating. I was immediately cooled by this scent, seeing as I associate such a smell with Christmas and snowy forests. A very simple trail, but I enjoyed it immensely.

This is a snag that had been struck by lightening and thus was rent apart for all to see.

This is a snag that had been struck by lightening and thus was rent apart for all to see.

A shot of the upper innards of the snag.

A shot of the upper innards of the snag.

Aside from the plant life, I encountered some simple critters. Though common enough I do wish to share their sweetness here.

I know they are pesky, but I must admit that I dearly love chipmunks.

I know they are pesky, but I must admit that I dearly love chipmunks.

I mean, come on,  look at that face!

I mean, come on, look at that face!

Apparently they are common, but this is the first place where I have seen a black squirrel.

Apparently they are common, but this is the first place where I have seen a black squirrel.

Finally, for the cutest critter of the day…

 

 

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Outakes (Camp Tour)

The following are merely a collection of images that capture things that I find beautiful about my current location. I didn’t take any shots of the shop I work in, or the dining hall where I have been taking my meals. Still, I think you’ll get the idea.

Although I don't live in one, I do very much enjoy all the cabins scattered about the campus.

Although I don’t live in one, I do very much enjoy all the cabins scattered about the campus.

I have a thing for all the trees around here, sue me.

A shot of one of the auditoriums. I will not be painting anything that goes in here, but the space looked so stunning from this angle.

A shot of one of the auditoriums. I will not be painting anything that goes in here, but the space looked so stunning from this angle.

Yes, of course I found the geese (and their fluffy little adolescent goslings).

Yes, of course I found the geese (and their fluffy little adolescent goslings).

Felt like I was flying just by looking at this.

Felt like I was flying just by looking at this.

I could definitely get used to this :)

I could definitely get used to this 🙂

Outakes (Quabbin Reservoir Excursion)

While I was staying with Persephone and Sexy Historian in Amherst, I had the opportunity to visit this fabulous gem. The Quabbin is a remarkably pretty place that has a lush variety of the outdoors to enjoy. Whether one prefers a rigorous hike in the deep woods, or a quiet stroll along paved trails overlooking the reservoir, this place provides enjoyment in equal measure for all the outdoor explorers who travel to her.

My first look over the reservoir

My first look over the reservoir

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We happened upon this group and while I desired a closer shot, I decided not to risk flustering them.

We happened upon this group and while I desired a closer shot, I decided not to risk flustering them.

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