This gallery contains 16 photos.
I wanted to devote an entire post to my sweet little man, Finnegan Nash because he is such a unexpected gift of joy & presence. He continuously is demanding that I BE in this moment with him & to BE in joy in this moment with him. To experience an airplane or a train or even a tractor for him is like me seeing Johnny Depp on the side of the road. The excitement is uncontainable. How cool that level of exhilaration & surprise is around every corner (unlike Johnny Depp).
Every morning pretty much starts the same way – with a smile or a giggle or both. Then the day begins.
My Finnegan is oodles of fun, contemplative, observant, a little mysterious & absolutely built for joy. I am grateful everyday that he showed up in my belly a few winters ago (still trying to figure out how that happened, :o) ). But seriously, Finnegans are super fun.
This morning I had an easy stroll through a part of the Heights yet explored by me. It’s hard to keep a good pace when I see so much that needs to be captured. My creativity has reached a point of flowing so loudly, I cannot silence it, even if I wanted to.
Creative expression is not a luxury for any of us, it is a necessity much like air, water, food, sleep, etc. It’s just that when we are out of practice of unleashing that need to express, it gets quiet & slowly dries up, yet it is still there, always there waiting for us to start noticing & then coaxing it back into a full flow again. That is where I am today.
But I know what it is like to have life, work & family take over where it feels as if there is no time or energy to express my creativity. I may have been busy, but part of me was dead, lifeless & I ultimately didn’t feel fulfilled or complete.
I love my new iPhone for this purpose. I have a lot of cameras, from simple to complicated ones, but today my favorite is still the instagram app on my iPhone. It makes creating interesting, soul-full images easy, less time-consuming, with an instant result.
I believe the best first step in recovering your creativity, is to start paying attention to what catches your eye. If it is a color, or a building, a contrast of two colors, a person, a crack in the sidewalk, the roots of trees, it hardly matters, but notice it, ponder on it, notice everything that draws your attention. Take photos of them.
Slowly that aspect of your inner being will start trickling a long with your interest in it, then it will give you more, open up further, wider until you won’t be able to stop it. You will need to write a story, a poem, take more photos, rip up paper, get out your pencil & doodle, sketch, paint, sculpt & dance. You will be filled with so much energy you can’t stop or slow down & there will never be a lack of ideas of what to create or express next.
I figured it out. After a week of pondering the question of where do I feel most myself, while taking walks in the city, amongst the trees, hanging out in cafe’s, & so on. I finally realized where it is I feel most myself. It is somewhere close to me.
The archetypical urge to nest came to me later in life. I was 44 before I truly felt the desire to occupy a house, to make it my own, to make it a reflection of my creative expression. Even after having children I still didn’t feel the need. I heard about women who suddenly have the urge to create a home, redecorate, paint the walls while pregnant all in preparation for the baby’s arrival. That never happened to me.
But then after having my second child & moving to a new city into the first house that I bought with no furniture, just long dark wood floors I felt for the first time I had this need to live in this house & make it my home. I was no longer interested in travelling around the world or looking for the next adventure. My adventure became discovering a new way to cover my windows that was unique to me & my style. As I slowly created little altars throughout my house & picked out the perfect eclectic pieces of furniture I was able to witness my creative expression unfolding on a new, larger canvas, my house. What emerged over time were numerous installation pieces throughout my house. The installations keep changing, shifting with the seasons, but having a home as a canvas is a bit like living inside of myself.
THIS IS WHERE I FEEL MOST LIKE MYSELF because it is me.
I was told by a psychic a few years ago while living in Santa Fe, NM, that in my early 40s I would be overcome by an unexplainable desire to make roots in a home. At the time I was living in my RV (with wheels under it) and my daughter and I moved around to different campgrounds for a few weeks at a time, or sometimes we would house sit for others in some body else’s real house. We moved frequently. It seems whenever that clever North Wind picked up I would feel in my bones it was time to look for another adventure.
There are those places and things that inspire me; like trees, coffee houses, pubs, the ocean, but they don’t always make me feel myself, often I’m in their presence as an anthropologist, a visitor & stranger. It is not where I feel myself. I love being in their presence, I love watching the people, hearing the espresso machines do their thing, smelling pine needles, listening to crashing waves, smelling coffee, watching & soaking it all in but not to be myself. I can find peace & inspiration but I don’t always feel my true self in these places.
It is only in my home with my family that I can be mostly myself with unconditional acceptance.
Well in my home & in boots. I realized this today when I awoke to a sudden, unexpected cold front & had the first opportunity of the season to wear my boots. It was heaven, like coming home, that must be why I loved being in the Marine Corps all those years. I got to wear boots everyday.
I’ve been wanting to write for days now, but time seems to be flying by too fast for me to even catch up. Halloween whizzed by & now that it is November company is on their way for Thanksgiving, wait. . . . but first I am flying out to California for a quick visit, & Larry is off to a shareholders meeting in New Jersey. That feels like a lot.
I’m not even someone who has to be caught up in the energy of this season & here I am being pulled into its vortex. What I mean is I don’t have deadlines, a job or anything pressuring me to hurry up but still . . . I feel the sense of urgency in the air.
On Saturday night, we had a fabulously successful pumpkin carving party. It was just a sweet night of sharing stories, listening to music, drinking great wine, dark beers & incredible food created by everyone, mostly Larry. He is amazing in the kitchen. So much Savor!!! The kids carved pumpkins & then swam their hearts out in the pool.
These pictures are just my way of catching up with all of you, sharing what’s going on in our hood. I’m taking an online e-course by Madelyn Mulvaney & she is sort-of, kind-of, really blowing my mind. I have only stuck one foot into the course holding onto the curb with my little toes afraid of what I might discover about myself. I’m two weeks behind on my photo taking that I am supposed to post on flickr.
One of the ideas that is swirling about in the recesses of my mind (thanks to Madelyn) is “where do I feel most myself?” I still can’t figure it out. It seems it is not so much a physical location as it is the convergence of many elements that inspire my senses & shoot right to my soul. Listening to a certain song, being in nature, being with Larry & my kids, dancing or travelling to exotic locations, tasting the perfect savory flavor or smelling roasting coffee are some of the elements that together can create this explosion in my soul & I am myself, home in my boots, with my soul dancing just under my skin. This is what I came up with so far, but still the question wanders & rattles around inside. After I figure that out I need to photograph it. Yikes!!
Enjoy the different shades of orange, until next time.
This is the new burger & beer joint near our house. Everyone was raving about the burgers so we went to check it out. It was funky in an Austin, Texas sort of way, they had some good beers like Kilt Lifter but the burgers were just okay. The owner is super-successful & actually has a few of these joints around Houston. We had fun playing games in the back after chowing down on the burgers. I, of course, did not partake in burger munching, but did have a sip or two of beer! Nom, Nom!!!
We want to use this sort of corrugated tin in our backyard on a short wall. We love the beer signs as well & have our collection started on our fences. Our backyard is starting to look more & more like an Austin Beer joint than our original plan, but when in Rome, right. Ya, I know we’re not in Austin, but Houston loves those Austin style decor!
So today, I just had to share my breakfast because it feels & tastes so succulent, rich, vibrant and alive. It’s a green smoothie with a Katariina twist. What’s the twist? Well I can’t drink anything cold or with ice so it is room temperature but still so yummy. The ingredients change with what is on hand but todays was made with:
Kale, arugula, banana, blueberries, blackberries, stevia leaves from my garden, a few mint leaves, hemp seeds, chia seeds & water. After I blend it all up in my super-duper blender I top it with cacao nibs, goji berries and coconut.
It’s so good and feels great to drink. I just had to share. Oh I learned how to make these from the Raw Food masters, the Louks Family. They wrote a book called Rawumptious Recipes and it is filled with so many good recipes that you can make from your backyard garden, or front yard in our case. Thanks Jeff!
I’m captivated by the street art I discover on the walls throughout Houston. Some are there and then they are painted over by some beige blob of paint to keep the color and messages hidden. This one above seems commissioned because there is a suitcase that sits in front of it daily. It’s gorgeous and makes me smile every time I drive by.
Here are some of the newer ones I’ve spotted. Some are sprayed, some stamped, some stenciled and then filled in with pen and the most intricate are pasted on. I think being one of these sneaky creators of anonymous art sharing is going on my bucket list.
Michelle Obama was on Disney yesterday in a commercial teaching kids that they can grow their own vegtables out of any old carton or bag and give themselves great nutrition. I found this inspiring and so forward thinking. Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone in our neighborhoods grew their own little urban gardens and shared the booty with each other!! We’ve got pumpkin plants to share and tons of tomatoes of all kinds, basil, stevia, rosemary . . .