Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Seasonal Medicine of Spirit Cords

As November nudges us ever closer to the apex of winter (in "my" hemisphere, anyway), I find myself craving solitude. At the same time, the season that we collectively share slings me into my community. You know what I'm talkin' about.

For me it is a time of beautiful contradiction that begs me to center my intentions on the harmonics of balance, as I tend to my own needs and cravings while tending to the collective demands. It's a time that reminds me, like clockwork, of the potential hardships innate to our universal connectedness. And the extraordinary gifts born of those hardships.

It's no wonder I'm drawn to spinning my pendant Spirit Cords in this season. Working with fibers is a given, and as we move into the expanding chill of the season the activity sits comfortably in the duality of my cranial hemispheres. But the attraction to the pendants, each carrying energy, representing personal and collective meaning, is a tug that serves both the communal challenges and my desire for solitude.

Generally, I spin my Spirit Cords when I'm home alone, just me and the dog. The practice is always meditative for me. I always chant mantras, channel reiki and spontaneous blessings as I spin, yet working with the pendants seems to add to the wandering element of focus (know what I mean?) that this creative act offers to me. And this ... this consequential interplay acts to intensify the solitude for which I hunger, offering me exactly the Medicine I need in this season.

I like to think that the Medicine I experience in this creative process is carried with each cord that I spin and then, in turn, is translated to the needed Medicine of the ultimate holder.

To me, this meditation, these thoughts born of a creative ritual, offer an extra dimension of consideration and wisdom as I reflect on the challenge and the gifts, the self and the collective. This is the seasonal Medicine of my beloved Spirit Cords.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Flavors of Creation and Gratitude

Every year, as the darkness of night grows longer and the days grow cooler, I'm drawn to fiber. So it's no surprise that I've been busy in the sacred act of creating my little Spirit Pouches. And Spirit Cords, too.

There's something about lighting a fire, brewing a pot of tea and settling into the act of this flavor of creation that settles me, grounds me, and offers me a stable space of peace.

It offers me a quiet time of inner-stillness to ponder the mysteries of life, not the least being consideration to this concept of linear time that we all bought into and share. I mean, it's mid-November. When did that happen?

And I realize that in three short weeks the community of Creatives at Whiting Mills in Winsted, Connecticut will be collectively celebrating our Holiday Open Studios and Guest Artists Event. I still have much to do to prepare for this, but I'm not stressing over it. I'm just looking forward to throwing my doors open that weekend to all who choose to explore some inspiration, empowerment, and more.

I feel blessed for the studio space I have there, for it supplements my home work-spaces, where my full dispensary is rooted, and offers perfect space for classes and workshops.

I'm grateful for the supportive community of creatives there, and for the intimate and extended community of creative, healing, botanical-loving folks that fill the well of Life to overflow.

I feel blessed for it all.

And I'm excited to have two inspired friends sharing my space during the Open Studios weekend, Kim of Raven's Edge, LLC and Doreen of Soul Threads. I'll be telling you more about them in the days ahead.

So if you're in the region of sunny Winsted, Connecticut, I hope you'll join us at Whiting Mills in December ... and I invite you to start your visit at Studio 336!

And if you're on Facebook, join us at our Open Studio Event page!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seasonal Medicine

The recent winds have cleared the leaves from many of my rooted friends. The old, failing swamp maple provides a perch for the crows and gifts them with a clear line of vision to their food mantle on the stone wall ~ the space where we leave them scraps. The crows are an ally on our little acre. They alert us ~ and our hens ~ when predators are about.

Even with so many leaves fallen to their earthy home, there is still much color, with greens thriving in the main vegetable garden.

My environment is filled to overflow with messages and metaphors. My awareness is in high gear and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. This, coupled with other odd experiences, has me feeling a bit off my center.

Truth is, this is exactly where I need to be and these observations and occurrences are exactly the Medicine I need. It is my challenge to settle into it all, and - once again - recognize, acknowledge, honor ... and evolve.

'Tis the season.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dona Nobis Pacem

Fluid, shifting, adapting, evolving.
Dense as a jersey barrier.
Soft as a freshly fluffed down pillow.

Whatever Peace may mean to you this day, however Peace may feel to you, share it with us.

For a single word expressed in unison creates a harmony that resonates ... above, below, beyond and within.

Grant us Peace. Indeed.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Introspective Revelations of the Season

It's about time I dropped in to say merry October, eh?

Every year I forget how busy autumn is for me. And how solitary. And this year many aspects of the "growing season" (as they say) are extending deep into October. So still, every day, I have harvests and preserves to consider. I mean, I'm still harvesting tomatoes, basil and other tender produce! I am both grateful and suspicious of this extended "garden season." I mean, our summer was so cool, and many of the "summer crops" were lagging behind. This strange October is allowing these lagging crops to offer me "more," and for that I am so very grateful. Yet this occurrence also conjures my observations of Nature over the past 20 years or so, and the odd shifts that I've witnessed.

First, the robins showing up in February, all those years ago. And now, for the past several years, I see them all winter long.

These observations inspire my evolving dedication to the choices I make in this life. I know that my choices, my behavior, my actions have an impact not only on my own life, but also on yours, and on the generations that have come before us, and on those that follow us. Make no mistake.

October is, historically, a very hermit-like and introspective month for me. And this month, so far, is yielding what seems to be profound clarity surrounding my life's passions.

With that, I have tomatoes to pick, basil to harvest, eggplants to check ... and - more in tune with my historical rhythms - horseradish to dig. Sacred acts, one and all, imbued with quiet introspection as I pick, harvest, check, dig and do.


Sunday, September 28, 2014


Today I made three quarts of Kabees, a simple, middle eastern preserve of turnips and beets. Where are the beets, you ask? The only late beets I planted are golden ones. They are gorgeous and delicious and will imbue a warm, golden tone to these quart jars as they age.

Here's how I made them (today):


3 turnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3 beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
9 cloves garlic, sliced
hot pepper flakes (I didn't have any fresh hot peppers)
2 ½ cups vinegar (approximately) - I used an herb-infused apple cider vinegar
2 ½ cups water (approximately)
5 teaspoons salt (sea or kosher)

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, water and salt and stir until the salt is dissolved and dispersed.
Fill each quart jar with the beets and turnip pieces in layers with the garlic and pepper flakes.
Fill each jar with the vinegar-water-salt blend and cap.

I did add some sweet pepper to one of the jars to fill the jar and because I had them. That's how I roll.

I label these and put them in my basement pantry where it's both relatively cool and very dark. I like to let them sit for at least one month before using, and can say they get better as they sit throughout the winter.

I love these on our hand-ground wholewheat bread, sandwich-style and understand that they're a great addition to sandwiches in general. I also love them tossed into a salad (hot or cold), as a side-dish, alone or with other vegetables, and even on pizza.

So, yeah, that's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spirit Pouches

Alongside harvesting and preserving, September has been about developing and planning activities (classes and such) for 2015. This is the sort of activity that, for me anyway, engages the full spectrum of the brain. It involves a lot of free thinking and creative play, as well as plotting and planning, which is a fabulous, holistic endeavor. Yet I find that by the end of the day any attempt to engage linear thought or intuition is for naught, and I Know that it's time to refill my well. Know what I mean?

So I ground and center myself to engage in the meditative practice of creating my Spirit Pouches.

I consider the creation of these little Spirit Pouches to be a sacred, healing act. The stitches of the pouch are "counted" with a series of mantras. The straps are miniature Spirit Cords that are, likewise, spun in a sacred manner using mantras of healing, divine intention and love.

And, odd as it may sound, I feel an honor to mama Gaia, the Earth, when using the old vintage buttons to finish off these sweet little pouches. As I often say, "I have a distaste for waste," so I tend to save things, and when their reuse is revealed to me, I feel such elation and gratitude.

The act of creating these Spirit Pouches is such Good Medicine for me. It allows me to disconnect from this earthly plane, to connect to spirit, to refill my well, and create something of meaning, of Medicine, that I may share with others.

So yeah, that's what I made today … have been making all month … and will continue to make. Because making Good Medicine is Good Medicine.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Tomato Love in Jars

First I'd like to offer a big, big dose of gratitude to all the creatives who participated in August heART! I would have expressed this sooner if it weren't for the summer plague that my spouse brought into our little hut. But I had great fun creating art most every day August and visiting the many blogs of those who joined the party. I bow to you all.

As for today ... well, you can see what I've made so far. Now, I'm heading out to the gardens to harvest and prep more sustenance for the dehydrators.

Ciao for now!