Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So long cruel winter

From my windows in March the world is a tangle of dry bramble, skinny deprived branches scattered over a low, frozen sky and hesitant birds that scuttle through soggy brush, fat and slow in winter their down.

A vast improvement from the scrawling mess and drear of February, the utter absence of hope.

In a matter of weeks and then days, things change. At first a more favorable rotation, then the gentle gilding of the sun gives way to thorough solar impregnation. The world is a riot of blossoms and buds and birdsong. Everything drinks in the warmth and the light and the rich fertile atmosphere.

Finally, we emerge from winter with a slow kindling of life, mounting before our eyes. Then in those first few days of long sunshine and air thick with pollen and wings, Spring born. The ground is a dynamic carpet of life - nests and burrows and nascent plants all shimmering in richness of ancient sea bed. The camellia tree with its hundred red flowers, vibrates with a dozen hummingbirds and five times as many honeybees, droning for sweet nectar.

The pear tree, once utterly lifeless, timidly sprouts pale green buds - they pulse bigger and more complex, then you see how this is an incubating, unabashed flower. Blackberry brambles once left to drown in the dark neglect of winter, revive - their once barren stalks bearing spines of hardy young leaves. Overnight, raspberries and mint put forth shiny green tips, confidently stretching upward to meet the delicious radioactive ambrosia.

The animals execute their prayers of passion, their singular way of being alive - uncomplicated, without ambition or regret.

Duos of birds soar in exhuberant arcs, drawing halos of simple joy in the gentle morning sky. Shy rabbits make steady and effective work, giving to and taking from the grasses, so they are a rich emerald, blades thick and glossy. Giant bumble bees, solid as baby mice, hover along the ground, nesting beneath strawberry leaves and at the base of a pink-blossomed cedar. The deer wait in the forest behind our field, ducked behind leaves that spread open in slow motion, hands reaching out to hold the sun.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mission Driven

There are many reasons I've chosen self employment. Overall, I work very hard and dedicate my very essence to the work I do. Self employment allows me to choose the companies and organizations I work for and ensures that my work doesn't support a cause that goes against my personal ethics.

In the past, I have worked for several mission driven organizations: the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Alaffia and Project Network. Working for mission driven companies demonstrated to me that it's possible to acheive personal economic stability while participating in social change. Working in fashion retail I even managed to make it my mission to help my customers find beauty in their reflection or at the very least, be the kindest person they would encounter all day.

The mission of my business, Scribe Writing, is to write about the things that move me and to use my creativity to influence positive change in the world. By providing creative and professional services to businesses and organizations that promote a healthier, more sustainable marketplace, I manifest this mission.

Marigold, one of my current clients, is a perfect example of the kind of company I want to work with. Marigold is engaged in fair trade, women's empowerment, cultural preservation and they use vegan textiles. They offer a range of really fashionable and beautiful clothing, accesories and house wares. As a former high-fashion junkie (who still needs 3 closets, one of them a walk-in, so I can hardly claim reform) I am so impressed with the designs, craftsmanship and price point of their line.

I have always envisioned a societal turn back toward nature and hope to see the green movement continue to thrive and for sustainable lifestyles to become the norm. I am fiercely independent and I count among my life's goals to be off-grid for my energy needs and to grow most of my own food. Now this personal philosophy of mine is fueling my career and there's a great sense of wholeness that comes from that.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What to do?

Today I am preparing for our moving sale and procrastinating my way through some personal business involving taxes and a dental surgery co-pay. The job boards have meager offerings, but then I’m not ambitiously seeking today. I have a few upcoming deadlines, but there's time to work on the move and tying up loose ends. The next 3 weeks will go by very quickly so it’s best to start now and save myself a stressful scramble toward the end.

Boredom has been a constant companion here in Olympia. In Portland I will be surrounded by so many more opportunities and creative outlets. I have been thinking about joining a writing group. The Attic looks like it has a lot to offer and the public service aspect of Write Around Portland really intrigues me.

Beyond writing, Portland offers much to feed my arts and crafts passion. The DIY movement has strong roots in PDX and I can't wait for the 2nd Sunday in May to attend Crafty Wonderland. When we move, almost everything is going into storage at first, but my sewing stuff is definitely coming with me! It seems Mufftastic is destined to be launched from Portland. Above is one of my favorite Mufftastic designs. I've been looking for the best method to transfer images like this into fabric.

I really don't recall ever being bored in Portland. Justin and I were just there for the weekend and for less than $10 we had a lovely springtime date. Beginning with a drink at the Alberta Street Public House, we walked around until dusk, admiring the beautiful old Four Square and Victorian houses in the neighborhoods we are looking to move into early this summer.

There are endless things TO DO, and once the move is complete I look forward to taking a few days to just BE.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Working from home is my dream come true. There are so many reasons why this lifestyle suits me best. I need the flexibility to work in the early morning when the world is still and dark and I find a magical pre-Dawn creative current. I also need the freedom to take a bike ride or practice yoga at mid-day and the simple luxury of wearing a vintage kimono and listening to punk rock or Edith Piaf while I work.

The house I live in now is absolutely perfect for working at home. When I've reworked a piece for the 3rd time and need to step away and refresh before giving it another go, I can take a walk around our beautiful acre of yard that meets up with forested wetlands. I see deer tracks in the strawberry patch, bunnies running in and out of the berry brambles and green/black snakes among the Oriental poppy and peppermint. Or I can take a walk within this gorgeous house and admire the stone fireplace, mahogany inlay floors and starburst deco-style window panes.

Justin and I had been dreaming of a big old house for months while living in Portland and events conspired to bring us to Olympia. Moving to this 1930's farmhouse was a long drink of architectural nectar after being aesthetically parched in our efficient little townhouse with beige carpet, blinds and view of I-84. Here we have our own little island of tranquility with a barn, fruit trees and enough space to literally wander the grounds - how's that for an afternoon break?

Today begins one of our few remaining weeks here and a new roof is being installed on the house. Just as well we are moving now, the old roof was one of my favorite features of this house. Gently curled shake shingles gone silvery brown with age and a patina of lush brilliant green moss made the house look like an enchanted cottage. I'm sure this isn't good for the roof, but it was so lovely to behold! We rescued a few shingles from the roofers' bin for posterity.

Despite the construction racket, I am thrilled to be working in my home office. Gomez, like all good cats is simultaneously irritated by and afraid of the noise, and is staying close by all day. Right now I am trying to absorb the inherent tranquility and loveliness of each room. Even the stairwell, with 25' ceiling and bright Western exposed window holds a sense of majesty. We will miss this house terribly. Olympia however, has proved to be unsatisfying for Justin and I and we have much to get back to in Portland. This has been the second, and last time attempt I will make to live in Olympia!

This may be the most beautiful house I have lived in (so far!), but absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. While we must pack up the lovely lovely home we have created here, and it sounds like the roofers are dismantling my home right above me, my heartsickness for this beautiful place can't beat the homesickness for neices and nephews, brothers and sisters, parents and friends, not to mention a massive creative community and gorgeous old houses on every block.