Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's Been A Shift

It's the middle of March! And little did I realize that the last time that I'd written in this blog was September. You can imagine how much catching up "you" have to do!

Let's start with...art. I just finished another collaborative show, 5 pieces. The show was intended to take place last March, 2015,  but unfortunately the other artists and I could not secure a venue. Fortunately, in January, we found a cafe/gallery willing to host the show and we began, no that's not true, I began furiously to finish the pieces. I said, after the opening, which was well attended, despite the cold and the rain, that I was going to take a break. I have been in 4 exhibitions in the past 5 years. Two days later a friend asks if I would be willing to do some more extensive type of collaboration? I said yes, so long as there is not a preconcieved theme that I need to create around. And I would rather dispense with deadlines. We agreed. 

My santuary. Since it's warm again, I can continue creating my visionary garden. In July, 2015, the back yard was finally cleaned of all ground cover ivy, and bushes; the tree that hung over half of the yard is now trimmed back to the fence. The rose bush transitioned and I am not at all sure if I will plant another. It was inherited from the previous owners. It was quite leggy. Maybe because it had not been prunned on a regular basis. I gave it my best shot, even found some rose food, prunned it back, hard, as suggested from my reserch. Around the end of August, I knew it was ready to return to the Source. The bush was on the same side of the garden as what is supposed to be a "dwarf" fig tree. It's about 7 feet, and next month, I will prune it. A little under 5'6", I cannot reach the top of the tree where most of the fruit is. I'll do some reading and look at a couple of prunning videos and then go at it.  

With the show behind me now, my catalogs and my sketch book are out; meditating on the spring planting, and what is not going to be planted again. Experimenting with some fruit trees this year, ones that have been grown for my zone.  They too are supposed to be dwarf trees. I have promised myself that I would begin to journal/blog more frequently (with photos) in the progressive creation of this garden. So below is a photo of the side of the house, where there had once been nothing but weeds and some overgrown (from my neighbors' yards) bushes and a grape vine, now clean, covered and mulched. No vision yet on what will be here.

The two front beds need some attention. I need to take some of the dirt out of each of them, level and replant and add some more plants. One side gets quite a bit of sun and everything on that side is overgrown!

In January (2016) the back siding on the house was done, with sorely needed new insulation. Now a new window and a new screen door are in order. With those additions, a small deck will complete the renovations on the back of the house. The focus is now on the front: new siding, windows, and porch furniture. The drop ceiling in my second floor apartment kitchen was removed and I have a new ceiling that has been painted. Now I am looking at resurfacing the kitchen cabinets (this resurfacing includes learning how to use a hand-saw so that I can redesign the doors with stained glass). New hardware and a new backsplash. The living room and the bedroom are in for major redesigning. I have decided that the living will not be the studio and the bedroom will be the bedroom. It requires that I call my friendly neighborhood thrift shop and tell them that I have some items for pick up!

Downstairs. I am redesigning the living room, which is actually a large space that portends some kind of division. I will make it one big room and assign it as my writing station: computer, books, desk, chair, the whole works.

Eventually I will make my way back to the basement to finish the walls. There's so much more to do down there before I can design my small workout station.

So that's art and the house. Writing. It's been two years and I haven't yet finished the sessions in shifting. I have no excuse. I have not been given a pass. The shift ezine and the workplace are now bi-monthly publications, and I will be focusing more on the expansion of the idea of shifting from working to creating. My idea about transforming the workplace has shifted and morphed to such an extent that it does not look or sound like the original idea that I began with almost 4 years ago.

I am in the penultimate week of six  weeks of dental work. That comes as a joyful relief!

What else? Oh! Check out this photo. I had the opportunity to meet a woman affectionately called "the other Frida." She operates a comedor in the market in Ocotlan, just outside of the city of Oaxaca. A friend told me that he had written an article about her. It was a pleasure to meet her. Beatriz.

It seems as if Beatriz is asked if her photo can be taken as much as I am. It always amazes me when people here in Oaxaca express wonder and interest in my hair. I try to explain that there are so many beautiful heads of locks in the U.S. It's a normal thing.

The coming months are full of activities. New Orleans in June, some day trips with the gran's; I will make the Native American "Roasting of the Corn" festival this year in August. I've missed some of the larger festivals and pow-wows because they take place in April, my month of transition and recalibation. Bolivia is in the works for October.

I've been beckoned to La Paz for several years now. So I am readying myself for the mountain of paper work that I need to present to secure a visa. I'll enroll in a spanish class for the last 2 weeks in October to bid my time until day of the dead which is supposed to far surpass Mexico's (that's kinda hard to believe), but hopefully I will be there. La Paz is also known for having the largest curandera mercado in so-called "latin" america. I promise to take photos. 

Next year, ojala, it is my intention to return to Africa, to Benin. 

Moving on.

Readings: Thomas Merton on solitude and silence, and the monastic way, which I find very attractive. The Way of Mastery- Book 2, the way of transformation. It's the bomb! The Sacred Earth. I'm just about through it and I have a stack of other readings on creating a new earth environment that are in the wings.

I know there's more, but I promise to do better in my relationship with this blog. It is indeed a pleasure to write and share ideas.

In joy~ Akilah, March 29, 2016, Oaxaca de Juarez

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