News Flash! As of next week we will be changing our website to www.coupleohuckleberries.com!
Spence here: Last night I awoke to the wondrous sound of pattered rain on our little shed roof. I had echos of little anxieties left over from living in New Mexico, where it hardly ever rained: Is the rain cistern leaking? Did I leave out my tools? Is the laundry on the line still? Are the windows closed? Funny, that it has been sunny enough in the Pacific Northwest lately to foster forgetfulness in the weather. This morning it smelled like worms again!
I have been pulling double shifts of work. I work 6-8 hours on the computer building my art website, building/mending around the house and then go to my delivery job. I am proud that I am able to stick up for myself in this vein to others recently. A neighbor came over and I popped my head out of the cabin to say hello; it was about 10:30 a.m. I had been working since 7 a.m.. “Sorry to bother you, you must have been sleeping,” they said. Normally, I would have just shrugged and gone back to my business, but I piped up this time, excitedly, “Oh, no I have been working on my art website.” If we go looking for credibility, it seems, we shall only find it really within ourselves.
The Clackamas River trip, up to Hideaway Lake came just in time. I failed to realize until our first stop at Big Eddy Day Use how wound up I had become. Seriously, we need to be going out to the river at least every other week. We played on the rocks, took deep breaths and stared off into beautiful light mirroring pools. The first part of the day out there I felt like I was looking for something. I was searching the ground so intently, as if I had lost something. I only understood later my eyes and mind were hungry for what I was seeing–every detail became important to save for later, until Billy and I had a good hike and a good laugh and I relaxed. On our way around Hideaway Lake, deep into the Mt. Hood National Forest, I recollected our first visit to that lake a few years back. It was one of the first camp trips we took after I had knee surgery. The hike around the lake had seemed too far, as well as walking to the trail head for Shell Rock Lake, less than half a mile away. I remember feeling so tired and achy, that even getting back up the hill to the van seemed somewhat perilous. I am so happy my legs are getting stronger and I can enjoy the “Walking Way” once again, as well as the “Running Way” and the “Biking Way”. Being a human minority among the trees, plants, water features, moss and other inhabitants brings me comfort and a sense of forgiveness for my human flaws which can not be aptly expressed. No wonder my Dad carries a smooth rock in his pocket–is it for remembering this?
P.S. Why would someone take the time to carve “Nude Bench” or “Not a Step Mouse” into a log? Weirdos!
Billy here. The whole world is sprouting up now. Even my dreams are opening up to the wind, ready for pollination. Last week our day trip to the river and hike out to the lakes on the Clackamas River awakened me from the winter crystallization of the mind. I remembered as a kid being moved by classical symphonies on my jambox. The first record played after I was born was Claude Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun. As I grew older, my most treasured and emotional moments were those with my ear to the speakers at low volume listening to works of composers from Bach to Stravinsky. I would listen to whole symphonies in a single sitting, turning the tape cassette over eagerly and propping myself back in front of the stereo. Only once in the last year have I given myself the leisure, the therapy, no, the necessity of just sitting and listening to a piece all the way through. It’s time to make time for what matters again. Reading fairy tales and poetry. Playing piano for the joy of it. Drawing things that fascinate me.
Something has given way in the last couple of weeks. I put my notice in at the cafe job that has slowly been losing meaning for me over the years and am looking for submissions calls, fellowships and artist grants. I am starting to have confidence that if I do indeed follow my bliss, my livelihood will present itself. The first gentle spring rain is falling after two weeks of dry sunny weather. The air smelled of earth and wood this morning instead of exhaust. Out of last year’s decay push up curious crocuses.
I can feel that this summer will be hot and dry here in the West, and I am called to attract water, to live lightly on the ball of my foot, to know where the wind is blowing, and if needed, to be prepared to fight fire.