Maybe it is my recent state of mind but I seem to see pain everywhere I look. This reminds me of human wounds.
I have been house sitting for the past few weeks and the property I am watching is filled with amazing art. In talking to the owner Jill Drllevich I asked her about a particular piece and here is her story.
“I was born on January 8th, 1950 in Brooklyn, N.Y. My parents moved shortly after my birth to Long Island. I was raised in a home that encouraged inquisitiveness and experimentation. We were taught that with determination and hard work anything is possible. The worst thing we could possibly say to our dad was;” I can’t”. At the age of 36, with 4 children at her side, my mother went back to college to earn her Master’s in Education. My father, with just a high school diploma, was asked to travel the U.S. teaching Quantum Physics.
Growing up in New York at that time was an amazing experience. With WWII behind us the American dream was a possibility. We were taught in college about utopias and the endless possibilities of the Utopian world. The TV shows we watched depicted the “perfect family”, FATHER KNOWS BEST, Leave It To Beaver, and The Andy Griffith Show.
Unfortunately world events were not cooperating with these utopian dreams. President Kennedy was assassinated, the civil rights movement was being met with strong opposition, the fear of a Russian invasion was ever present, the Vietnam War was heavy on all our minds and Nuclear Power was introduced to a world still fearful from the devastation caused by the atomic bomb.
I, like many of my contemporaries, put myself in the middle of it all. I marched for peace, I participated in “sit-ins”, and I protested the building of a nuclear power plant in our own small community. Rallies were being held on what seems like a weekly basis to protest the building of a local nuclear power plant in Shoreham, N.Y. Some protestors even burned their electric bills. I was always taught to follow my heart so, I didn’t just burn my bill, I shut my electricity off, For four years , while raising two small children.. In the end the protestors won due to the fact that there was no viable evacuation route in case of a meltdown or some other nuclear disaster.
With a true pioneering spirit I moved my family to Washington State in the mid-eighties.
It seems that at the same time I was protesting the proposed construction of the Shoreham Nuclear power Plant, Washington State residents were duking it out over the construction of two new power plants to be an addition to the existing Hanford Nuclear reactor. As with Shoreham, these plants were never completed. As a result there was an enormous amount of structural waste. All of the fan blades that were to be used in the cooling towers of the Satsop Nuclear plant were scrapped and sent to a recycler in Tacoma.
The rest of the story begins here. I bought all the fan blades and their wooden carriers with the dream of turning them into life changing; interactive moving sculptures powered by the many forms of natural energy. My vision and hope is to invite artists and sages from diverse cultures to come together with words and imagination that will promote reflection and introspection, to then turn these blades into sculptures that inspire and empower. I envision them traveling to the many people and places on Earth that have been scarred by the misuse of this mighty power. I see the project almost like “turning weapons into ploughshares”.
These blades stand about 5 feet tall and are hollow inside which allows the artist to carve away pieces of the blade so that they can turn and spin and move as one. My mind is filled to the brim with ideas. Now I need artists to create, thinkers to paint words of wisdom, promoters, managers, writers, investors and anyone else that can see the need to heal and encourage stewardship and sustainability of this precious planet.
This is an evolving ongoing multi-faceted project that was highlighted at the 2018 Seattle Design Fair under the name, POWER OF TRUST ”
As I sit in the porch swing in Jill’s front the yard and I look at the beautiful blade she has here I am trying to think of a way to help make her dream come true. I have included some photos of how these blades would look in different settings.
If you know of anyone who would like to be a part of the Blades of Change project please send me an email to email@example.com
I remember my first day of Kindergarten as if it were yesterday. I didn’t want to be there.
I was in the morning class and on the first day of school our parents got to ride the bus with us. I remember I didn’t want to get off the bus. The moms and a few dads walked us into the classroom. I was shy and as we stood in the doorway I was hiding behind my mom and hanging on to her skirt .As my mom turned to leave I started to panic and that is when a freckled face little blonde girl came over and said, “hi , will you be my friend and sit with me at my table?” I followed her to the table and over the course of the year we became best friends.
Alison was her name and after kindergarten she moved a million miles away from me never to be seen again. Our school was being closed so once again I was faced with going to a new school alone. I don’t remember much about the new school as I was only there a month or so when my parents moved us out into the middle of nowhere land! So once again on the first day of going to my third new school my mom went inside with me and walked me to the classroom.
From the office we walked down a long hall towards more hallways of classrooms and as we walked the principal was asking me questions. We turned the corner to the first grade hall passed the first two rooms and that is when I heard a high pitched screeching scream behind me , yelling, “oh Cindy Lou ! Oh Cindy Lou you also moved a million miles away and found me!
That year for Christmas Alison got us both tiara’s and we wore them to school every day!
She was my number one best friend for years. I loved her more than the moon. Many years later I even talked my husband into naming our youngest child after her.
Alison and I don’t talk often but we keep tabs on each other and I still have that tiara she gave me all those years ago . When I am twirling under the moon light feeling of feeling sad & lonely or when I just need to boost my self esteem a bit I put it on and then I feel invincible!
14 years ago after moving back to Washington I connected to another group of friends. Most us went to at least high school together but many of us went from first or second grade all the way through high school together. For years we would meet once a month for a potluck and we would always wear our tiara’s. When going to the potlucks I always wore the tiara that Alison gave me. Sometimes I would add daisy’s or other flowers to it just for. This group of grown women gathered to inspire and help each other in times of need or to just be supportive and to have fun. We gave each other royal titles. I am known as the Queen of Garden Chaos and Pranks.
Its been a few years since we have all gathered and early last week we all got a note that all Queens were requested to paint there toes red and put on our Tiaras at 3 pm on Saturday May 27th to honor our
Paparazzi Queen and friend Robin Austin.
This coffee mug was given to me by my friend over 35 years ago.He came into my life when I was in the third grade. My sister’s and I were home alone one evening and and we were preparing to take baths. The tub water would not turn off so I ran down the road trying to find help. He answered the door and when I told him what was wrong he grabbed some tools and came to the rescue. This was how we met. He became like a father to me and my sister’s. Early June 2012 I found him in his bed he had been gone awhile. I try hard to remember him any other way than how I found him. If I were to write an autobiography Robert would certainly me a main character.
I am in worse shape than I thought I was. I am cold, I am tired, and I am sore as fuck. Excuse the foul language but I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking. I feel as if I had a temporary lapse in my sanity! I met Gary, Rafi, and Lori at the trail head at 0400. I was the only one in this group that had climbed Saint Helen before she blew her top. The others had all climbed her last summer. The others were ages 28, 32, and 40. I manged to hold my own but my thighs and rear end were burning all the way up and on the way down it was a crazy crazy ride as we voted to do some Glissading on the way down. More on that later.
We stared the 2-3 mile uphill climb in the dark. It was chilly but no wind or snow was falling. After the 2-3 mile climb there was a break in the woods and we were out of the treeline. Now it was windy! From there, it’s rough and rugged steep 2000- 2,500 vertical foot climb over several miles of snow , rocks, boulders. It was impossible to avoid being on all fours in some spots . It was slick and icy. The final stretch was a steep 1,000-foot climb on icy snow. My thighs and ass were burning in pain.
Once at the top we had some lunch, I twirled in the sunlight and the boys danced and Lori laughed at us all while snapping photos. With the tiny amount of power I had left on my phone I got a few photos. I think the cold drained my battery much faster than normal? As I stood and took in the beauty of the Cornices (over hanging snow) at the crater rim I blew a kiss and asked the universe to deliver it to someone special. That would have been around 0930.
As I mentioned earlier we voted to slide back down the mountain, I would love to see drone footage of this part of the trip. The technical word for sliding down a mountain is Glissading. When I was a younger and much more adventurous girl I did a lot of Glissading . Imagine for a moment that you are seated on the top of a mountain covered in deep and heavy snow. You sit down directly on the icy snow and give yourself a push off. Using your pick ax and your feet to maintain control as you slide down a mountain at some crazy speeds. Did I mention my ass is sore! We managed to make it 2-3 miles down without having to stand up! Did I mention I think I lost my mind temporarily? This was better on my knees and it brought back some fun memories but I am cold tired and sore .
The round trip climb was just between about 12 miles.
The elevation gain was 5699 ft. The highest point was 8364 feet. It only took us 5.5 hours to get to the top and we got down much faster I was back to my car by 1330 . sat there for 20 minutes warming up and then I dictated this post using google and I am going to try to get home in time to solve a mystery at an escape room this evening. Wish me luck!
I had left my duty station at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC and was now stationed at Fort Lewis Washington. I remember feeling lucky as Fort Lewis was fairly close to Puyallup, Washington which was were I had called home most my life.
I can’t remember if Peter and I had just gotten married or if we were about to be married. What I do remember is that I wanted to take him to meet my great grandmother Mabel Palmer. I called the nursing home and made plans to visit. I was excited to see her as I had not been back home in a while. While on the phone with my grandmother I asked her if there was anything I could bring her, she requested a box of Kleenex ,some cheese balls and some yarn for her to crochet coverings on wooden hangers.
I was so excited to introduce Peter to my grandmother they shared a love for music. As a child when I would visit my grandmother I would lay on the floor and listen to her play Piano. Peter also loves to play Piano. When we first met he tried to drag me out to places with pianos so that he could play. I knew the two would instantly bond.
I had not seen my grandmother since she had moved into a nursing home. On the way to visit we stopped and picked up a box of Kleenex, some cheese balls and a few skeins of yarn.
When we arrived I instantly gave grandma the cheese balls and the Kleenex and introduced her to Peter. She thought he was very handsome. We were in her room chatting for a 15 or 20 minutes enjoying the cheese balls when a staff member came in and said, excuse me miss, that is not your Grandmother… Your grandmother is over there.
Oh my goodness, I just stood there not sure of what to do. I could not ask this lady to give me back the cheese balls and Kleenex as I had handed them to her and she was so pleased that we had come to visit.
Peter still teases me about taking him to meet my grandmother and then introducing him to someone else instead. I think he tells this story better than I do. I had forgot the yarn in the car so I was able to give my grandmother something. It has been 30 years since this happened and I can’t seem to remember if my grandmother was annoyed that I gave away her cheese balls and Kleenex. I still have a some of the hangers she made for me with the yarn I gave her. I also have so many fond memories of spending summers with her.
I was working at the assisted living facility in Lakeway, Texas as a medication aide. My job consisted of getting to work at 0500 and making my rounds giving residents medications. Many residents needed medications multiple times a day. By the time I finished the morning rounds it was time to start with the afternoon medications. This was a job where I needed to be well rested , alert as giving the wrong medication at the incorrect time , wrong dose or with a conflicting drug could be dangerous or fatal. I had to be on my A game!
I was used to going to bed early so that I could get a good night sleep . Things had been going pretty well until some new people moved across the street and down a house. Their backyard was just kitty corner from my bedroom window.
I generally went to bed around 2200 and at 2300 I was awakened by a bark bark bark bark. It sounded like a herd of dogs outside my window. I got up , got dressed and I went down the street to find the barking dogs. I rang the bell of the new neighbors house and told them that they needed to bring they dogs inside as they were barking continuously and that I needed to be up early. The dog owners told me that their bedroom faces the other way so they cannot hear them bark. I asked them nicely to please bring the dogs inside but they refused. So every night for 3 weeks when the dogs woke me up I would get up, get dressed and go ring the doorbell to ask the dog owners to please bring the dogs inside. By the end of the three weeks I was tired and sleep deprived. I was using ear plugs but the noise echoed from the dogs backyard into my window. So i decided to get up one last time. I walked to their house . But this time instead of ringing the bell I just stood there outside the gate. The dogs stopped barking. I started to go back home but then they started barking again. So I walked over and opened the gate to the back yard. I noticed a 50 lb bag of dog food on the ground with a circle cut out of the center for the dogs to eat out of and a huge tub for water that was empty. I looked around the backyard and then I looked at the doggies and I don’t know what came over me but I said, “Go now , be free! ” I walked home leaving the gate wide open.
The next day a friend called me and told me she found a lovely dog without a collar. She had wanted a dog! A few days later another friend called me and said she had also found a dog and if she didn’t see any signs up she would be happy to keep it. So both dogs ended up with good new owners and I got to sleep!
And now for the confession! Both my friends put up signs that they found the dogs and every morning on my way to work I would take them down.
I never did see any lost dogs signs so I figure those dog owners really should not have had dogs!
The photo of the dogs in this blog are not the dogs I set free.
We got our first winter snow this morning. I did a quick walk around the yard to take a few photos and I had just finished making my snow Angel. Then I saw a young boy in our backyard. Apparently his dog came over to visit Piper. I was able to get dressed before he got to our backdoor. This is the 3rd time in 14 years that anyone has come around to our backdoor.
I admit that I have been a member of the naked snow angel club since I was a small child. Maybe I should hang a sign that says this is a clothes optional property.
February is a new month and the beginning of a new chapter of my life. In trying to figure out what I should do next I asked myself this question. “If you were told tomorrow that you only had two years left to live what would you want to do in the time you have left? ” Asking the question is the easy part. Being honest in the answers is the tough part.
I have always wanted to give a recital. I had to leave the Cello in Austin and decided that the move to Washington was a time for change so I never gave a recital but I started a company and after a few years decided to focus on art. I had a gallery for a few years. I created when it felt right. Hiking and gardening have been favorite ways to spend my time.
“What would I want to do with my time if I knew I just had two years left? ” Would I spend 18 months trying to figure it out? Would I take off on a cross country road trip by car, or bike or on foot? Would I want to learn something new?
I have a few people I would want to spend time with. I want to sit at there kitchen table and share a cup of coffee with them. I want to talk to there children and learn about there culture. I want to smile and laugh . I want to share myself and love. I want to chat with strangers , I want to enjoy the time I have alone and the time I have with others
February 2019 I am taking a journey , I am traveling deep into myself to explore the unknown and to try to decide what I would really do if I had just two years to live.
As I walk around my garden I find little things that make me smile. Sometimes it is a blooming flower, a fancy spiderweb ,a bug or a bird, a squirrel or a fallen branch that looks like a mystical creature. Today on my walk this little metal dragonfly caught my attention.
“Instinct is the nose of the mind.”
– Delphine Gay de Girardin
About Delphine Gay de Girardin
French writer Delphine Gay de Girardin was equally well known for her patriotic poetry and for the brilliant literary gatherings at her home. She was born in France on January 24, 1804; her mother was the well-known author Sophie Gay. Delphine called herself the “Muse of the Nation” for her poetry about France. Under the pseudonym Vicomte Charles de Launay, she wrote a gossip column with comedic sketches of Parisian life. She died on June 29, 1855.