Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
And then it happens…you are confronted again by life…but this time it’s not about you. It’s about someone you have known for a quarter of a century. A person you have shared your life and a child with. You’ve had your ups and downs and eventually drifted apart, but still….there is that shared life, filled with memory and emotion that forever ties you together. And he has been given a death sentence. A scant two months to live with a cancer that has quietly spread through his body without making its presence known until it was too late. No time to pursue one last dream, take one last cruise down the road or sip a beer on the shore of a lake, with a rod gently bobbing in the current awaiting the tug of a fish. Just that fast. Just that permanent. Not fair at all. He had so many plans. He was just waiting for the right moment…not knowing they had all ticked away while he waited. And now there is only time to say goodbyes….
And you realize where you got lost in life. You thought you had control. You made careful plans for what you wanted life to be…what you felt entitled to because you did the work and jumped the hoops. But life just doesn’t fit in a cubbyhole waiting to be lived on your terms. We are only here for the ride and to enjoy the wonder of each day…to appreciate this short time we can share our lives with fellow travelers. In the end, we will not be judged by possessions or title, but by the simple act of laughing at each other’s jokes and offering our shoulder to cry on. And by experiencing the slack-jawed wonder of a meteor shower….or a green flash at sunset. To be content that every moment was lived and not wasted in the dark nest of a pity party. Time to dust myself off and continue on down the road and follow that star…
Friday, November 13, 2009
After the training, I meandered through beautiful Washington Park, adjacent to the center. Light rain scrubbed the landscape clean of daily grit, making the fall colors stand out even more than usual. I stopped to explore a bit before heading back home. Definitely a photo op for the future when I have time to meander the many trails leading through the forest and around the Japanese garden.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tory's wild hat.
After dinner, we took a tour of Wright's Hall, that used to serve as the main house when this was a private estate owned by one of the founders of Meiers and Frank. As with all old houses, there are oddities. A one way mirror in the master bathroom medicine cabinet that looked out on the great room dance floor. A full wet bar concealed behind a wall in the basement that hosted a party or two during the Prohibition. And a hallway that hosted our rendition of Row, Row, Row Your Boat with perfect acoustics.
We returned to Creevey and sat down to work on our projects. And more talk. And more laughter. And mutual admiration of the art we created. But the night grew late and one by one we trailed off to our bedrooms.
We woke to a beautiful, sunny day full of promise. I could not wait to get outside after breakfast and take a walk through the grounds. The day was full of colors - leaves, berries, water, and sky filled my camera with the eye candy of fall.
Tory's beautiful hat.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Just a short distance from urban Portland is one of the most beautiful rural areas I know. Yamhill county. A wine lover's dream full of scenic winding roads through rolling hills, and small hidden pockets of forest hiding burbling brooks and small rivers. Vineyards, lavender fields, woollies, horses, cows and chickens share this country with their lucky humans. Heaven on earth. And in a small corner, hidden just around a bend in the road, is Apifera Farm, where artist Katherine, and her husband, Martyn Dunn share their world with three small, but very wise donkeys.
Katherine is a well known artist of primitive and whimsical art which she creates from vignettes of her life at Apifera. An amazing life filled with creatures great and small - a one-eyed pug and a wild eyed chocolate lab. Naughty goats that flaunt their ability to escape through electrified fence, but who run for their pen when caught where they don't belong. Shy cats who run for the hills when they sight a human and old crusty cats that ignore you completely. Chickens chasing each other across the barnyard, as the horse waits patiently for a hug and a treat.
The garden is winding down for fall as the leaves yellow and fall. You can breath fall in the crisp air ripe with the smell of fallen leaves and wood smoke. The vegetables are in except for a lonely few tomatoes still nestled in the vines. The sunflower heads ready themselves to feed the birds this winter, sagging with the weight of their seeds. And the pumpkins glow orange in the gray misty air, lighting the nooks and crannies with the glow of an autumn sun.
Each time I visit this farm, I am reminded of the musical, Brigadoon, where once in a hundred years, a mortal could find and visit a magical town in the Scottish moors. When the day ended, the town disappeared again, but the memory of its beauty and charm were burned on your soul forever. As the day drew to a close, we said our goodbyes and exchanged promises of keeping in touch. The memories of my visit to Apifera will warm my heart through the winter and give me solace in my urban home that these magical places do truly exist.