My friends,

I’ve been traveling

My mind and body wandering to near and far off places

It’s been, exciting, good and lonely

And now I am home and feel more of the same

During a week of dharma art I discovered sun-crisped brown palm leaves, feather dusters, spiky flower shoots and a pumpkin-colored potato masher. Some of these tools were swirled in black ink and freely applied to pristine butcher block. Their darkened bodies splattered, dripped and snaked leaving curious and unexpected trails. Myself and others stood back, appraised our efforts and rode feelings of appreciation, disdain and indifference.

Art was born, some great, some greater.

Art was born, some great, some greater, some greatest.

One of these creations made by friends now hangs in my hall. I’ve named it, “Small woman, giant steps, epic falls,” and when I pass it I feel mesmerized and proud.  I’ve imagined placing these  sentiments in bottles for the open market.  Such a product might garner lines rivaling those for the once-sought cronut, and I could finally buy this and this and this. It’s all very exciting.

Days later I went to Nova Scotia where I met a friend building her own tiny house. She is not a builder but is figuring it out. This inspired and intimidated me. We talked for hours about the construction, social justice, boys, Trump and Trudeau, then walked into the setting sun and imagined wrapping ourselves in the velvety grasslands that surrounded us.  I marveled at the glistening sand revealed by the low tide  and took more pictures of “mud” than anyone really should.

The next day I sat in a big chair discovered en route to somewhere.  A Facebook post of me in this chair received much acclaim forcing me to make a mental note:  ALWAYS take pictures in big chairs.

This is what it looks like to win at Facebook

#Winning Facebook

My final destination was a  rustic cabin, which I shared for 10 days with two mischievous mice and one (likely) porcupine who came in the night to chew the glue holding my domicile together. Her  bustling  gnaw at 3 a.m. made my heart pound.

I was there for a meditation retreat during which oatmeal and hard boiled eggs were consumed for breakfast on most days. The air was thick and wet, and my clothes were usually a bit moist.  I stopped wearing deodorant, made friends with innumerable grasshoppers, discovered bug bites I did not recognize, killed two mosquitoes and consumed 3 lbs of not-so-secretly stashed peanut M&Ms.  Opulent sunsets and innumerable stars became my eagerly awaited evening entertainment.

Now I’m home, feeling behind, lonely, and curious. Writing from my favorite purple couch, a cool breeze creeps through a nearby cracked window.  Fall approaches. Red leaf harbingers decorate my view and the sounds of never-ending construction on Malcolm X Elementary School across the street. Why, oh why are they stripping it of its whimsical sea foam green and carnation pink paint? Mr. X would not be pleased.

There are stories to write, engagements to attend, bills to pay, groceries to buy, and friends to catch up with.  Much good awaits.  Still,  facing the reality of my to-do list does not entice.  I’d rather stay in bed.

Luckily there are the Early Girls. They’ve finally arrived all sweet, red, lusty and fragrant. I purchased 10 last week and keep them on my kitchen counter. They call me from the sheets, remind me they’re waiting. I brave the early morning cool, pad down to the kitchen and cut into their bursting skins. I sprinkle them with a sea salt, sometimes a little vinegar and stand in my pajamas enjoying while looking out at the fog and the grey and thinking about the doing to be done. I allow myself two a day and then get on with it.