Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Thursday, October 15, 2015

work space.
As some of you have noticed, I haven’t been as active on this blog as I was in years prior. I took a bit of a hiatus these last 12 months, a time spent settling into my new environment in Central Vermont.

Last September (2014), my partner and I began the process of renovating a two hundred year old village home, nestled in a rural valley, cut from the first branch of the White River.  

Coming from Maine to this place where we’ve landed, wasn’t an extreme transition for either of us, and didn’t take much getting used to. Living all over New England at different stages of my life, all the small towns I’ve been through, now feel somewhat similar to one another. And for my partner, who grew up in a tight-knit community on the mid-coast, this area reminded him of being back home.

So, I can’t completely blame my lack of presence on an “adjustment period”. Honestly, I never knew a place could feel so much like home, after being unsettled for as long as I had. It was just time to rest my weary self. And that ladies and gentlemen, was what took some adjusting.

When a person is accustomed to bouncing around and packing up and leaving to explore new destinations, it is a bit of a learning curve when they discover something or someone that’s worth sticking around for. Something evolves inside, something different and surprising. This change was probably desired all along, but depending on circumstances that person wasn’t capable at that point or ready to graduate to that next place.

As for my writing, it didn’t take a backseat, per se. Up until rather recently, I was turning out material for a local, weekly paper. However, during that period I found myself reassessing the ideas I’ve been wanting to put out into the world, and in some cases, going back to the drawing board with some of the ideas that I was stuck on. Let’s call it a time spent evolving in my craft and my emotional and mental capacities. The passion was still there and thriving, but I was becoming more conscientious about what I spent my time and energy on. 

Working for the paper was a good way for me to become involved in my community, and to learn the histories and stories of the people who live here. But I missed being able to write for myself, being able to write what I wanted, when I wanted to. So, I reclaimed my creative control, and now I'm here again with a nuanced focus. 

It has taken some time to get my bearings and accept that I’m not going anywhere for a while. And if anything, I now wonder what took me so long to end up here.

When you realize how valuable your time and energy is, you become more conservative, thoughtful, and efficient as a producer. Then you look at your life and want to simplify it to something honest, worthwhile and meaningful. This carries over to your art, your work, whatever that may be. Then there is of course, the influence all these things can have on your relationship(s).

I do not question whether I should be anywhere else, right now. And this very well could be sharing too much. But isn't life like writing, in that it's about having and sharing the experience? 

the river room.

Campstove hissing propane blue flame,
coffee warming, and the neighbor’s dog chewing on our freshly-planted phlox
and mercilessly digging up dahlia bulbs to bury in the leaves with the wild riverbank ramps.

They will come as a surprise
to be discovered again,
after another shift and thaw.
This season we call spring
with a wish to start anew.

Beneath my fingernails there’s soil, from a whole lotta late-day weeding,
the kind of naturally acceptable filth that 
honors working hands.

But the soul’s so clean—
so possible and full,
calm and collected,
like lavender herb.

The river pushes on—
pushing melt behind the barn,
as a trio of mallards rise in flight before the rapids.

We’ve subscribed to this alternate reality that 
runs parallel,
even though two grooves in wood, eventually merge over time.
What we do know, 
is a house of rainbow-stained glass and worn floors, 
hand hewn frames holding
memories and histories,
beauty and tragedy.

What was, becomes right now, until it is
and that’s all we need,  
for this place to become so warm,
like the compression of your chest
against my cold fraught shoulders—
that loving clutch you give 
on frosty valley mornings.

Is it just another day of me pointing out that 
the tulips are up,
as you secure another piece of our home?
Is it not the vision of sunlight painted walls?

This is a life not fabricated:
the minutes we eek out, until the day recedes
and we pay reverence to each blessing
and lesson we derive 
from old ghosts.

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