Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Temporal Fortifications

March 4

I've spent the better part of the last two weeks constructing things, and having rather a rousing time doing so.

When, in the last blog entry, we left Heart and Soul, as I came to name this small (30 cm/1 foot across) extremely temporary installation, it hadn't been up more than thirty minutes, and a brief snow shower was threatening. Here's the story behind the individual elements, why I built it, and how it was tranformed before being totally removed.

March 5

On February 14, Valentine's Day, I had a phone call from a woman wanting to pick up an item from the home-based business that I'm taking care of here at the current house-sit. She apologized for wanting to come over that evening, and added I'm sure you have other plans for this evening. When I said that I didn't, and pointed out that I was both old and widowed, she laughed and said you're kidding, right? In my somewhat weepy fragile state that day, I took it to mean that she was referring to the latter and not the former, and politely, with a shaking voice, corrected her misapprehension.

There was a long pause.


When she arrived an hour later, she was carrying three long-stemmed red roses. I found a vase for them, photographed them (a super-macro picture also in the previous entry), and admired them even as they began to droop two weeks later.

March 9 #1

Coincidentally, the bus stop nearest the house was damaged the next week, and while waiting for a bus in the howling wind, had a catastrophic failure of one entire pane of tempered glass, which went crashing down next to me. As I still had several minutes before my bus was to arrive, I quickly sought out the largest chunks of cracked glass I could find, and gently carried them back, before resuming my busy day. When I returned two hours later, it still had not been cleaned up, so I grabbed several more.

They were larger than the ones I had used in my installation project objects of crystalline desire, which was part of my show at Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre in June 2011. That evening, I thought about what I might do with them.

March 9 #2

After having it up a week, watching the light, the snow, and the wind shift around it, the Saturday chinook marked the end of it as a viable construction, so I removed the two pieces of glass as gently as possible. Having worked with shards of tempered laminated glass before, I knew there was a good chance that one (or both) might simply fall apart in my hands, and indeed, the one on the left of the pictures turned into two smaller chunks and a small handful of pea-sized pieces.

March 18

After another week went by, I retrieved some of the still wet and intact petals from the dirty snow still remaining on the deck, and sandwiched one between the two pieces, waiting for a good sunny day to photograph them. Today, that finally happened as well.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Three Years Gone

March 2

It feels like forever and it feels like it happened yesterday, all at the same time.

The most obvious shift in the last six months is the speed that I make noticeable strides with unpacking the mental crates and cartons that contain my life, along with a palpable hunger to do the same with the physical crates and cartons that hold my tangible possessions. Through circumstances I still don't understand, I had to move everything out of storage, find somewhere else to put my boxes on very short notice, and execute all of that right after the last reflective update.


It was, to put it mildly, stressful. But one huge benefit was being able to put my hands on every single box, check the contents (minimal damage to one, somewhat more to a second), and do an infinitely better job in arranging them at the new venue to be able to find parts of my life again.

Actually, I'm not sure if I was able to find my life, or my life wanted -- or needed -- to find me: I have a growing suspicion (in a good way) that it's the latter.

Somewhere down a lazy river

Not long after that, I had a moment that totally flummoxed me: I made a joke about death. A good friend going through issues in her marriage made the comment that she almost shot her husband for his transgression. I replied "if D. had done that, he would have been in a lot more pain than he got in the end."

After my friend picked her jaw up off the floor, she laughed nervously, and when it dawned on me what I had said, I just let loose a big guffaw. Not sure where it came from, but it's been part of a growing series of incidents that make me come to a screeching halt and go "where the heck did that come from?" They are, in almost equal parts, very scary and extremely, well, liberating.

Bow 1

If the first year of being alone was the year I said no to almost everything (which wasn't good), and the second year was the year I said yes to almost everything (ditto), the third year is the one where I finally regained some sanity and perspective in how I want to live the rest of my life.

I've (re)learned to trust my gut, and to feel good with the choices I make: that's not something I could have said a year ago.

New yarn

That I can say that with peace in my heart tells me I'm on the right track, and it feels as good as the fibre in my hands that I've been spinning recently. There will always be a great void in my soul, and days when tears will pour down my face in a vain attempt to fill it, but I can sigh, breathe deeply, shrug my shoulders, and, as I said to someone yesterday, "be as OK as possible under the circumstances."

Much of that is what I'm excited about creating, and this is perhaps the most liberating of all thoughts.


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