Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I am nestled in my studio this morning. Soft West coast sunlight streaming in my window swathed in a rare woodsy quiet and it's all very romantic. I am curating the unexpected with a new workshop offering making it's debut next year in an evocative collaboration and I am so grateful for this space for contemplation.
My fingers trace invisible spirals in an abandoned cocoon as I call forth my muse. She is a wind that blows through me twisting out of a circle of stones.
She seems to like PG tips tea. Milk, honey and one green cardamom pod for a bit of zing. Homemade granola for energy ~ pecans, wild cherries, blueberries, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, organic dates ~ baked slow and happy in maple syrup and coconut oil.
My studio is upstairs in the loft but downstairs on the couch Roxy slumbers in dream time. She hasn't been well lately as her hip dysplacia is wearing on her hips terribly. Now she bunny hops out on our walks and it breaks my heart. Lucy seems to know and often will lick her hips tenderly when we are out and about in the car.
'But one man loved the Pilgrim soul in you and loved the sorrows
of your changing face. ' ~ Yeats ~
So much beauty this season in decay ~ this morning whilst roving along a river path I pulled an indigo thread out of my woolly hat and tied it on a branch. It was a little prayer of sorts.
I am blown away actually with the stunning beauty of decay. It's as if the very soul of the subject is caught in flight as it flows out and onward.
This morning I spied these beauties in the neighbors 'yard waste' bin on the curb ready for pick up. Lucky me! I scooped them out and now they grace a vase on my kitchen table. Bouquet's of green branches and splashes of cardinal berries. Magnifique!
The other evening I went to this amazing film with my daughter Tess. Of course the best part was settling into our seats with corndogs and french fries and Tess brought me a bag of chocolates and it was all so tremendously fun. But back to the film. It was brilliant. Jennifer Lawrence is commanding and effervescent on screen and I suggest you grab someone you love and drag them out for a film night yourself.
Now as I type away I see the sky quieting to a lovely duck egg hue. Positively swellegent ~ I wish you were here to see it. I am heading out shortly to gather a bundle of firewood to warm up the house while I make soup and Irish Soda bread.
Wishing you your very own duck egg sky and indigo wooly hat.
one more thing
you have not been forgotten ~ you are deeply loved
posted by madelyn at 3:05 PM
Friday, November 15, 2013
This is my news...
~ creative gusts are moving like a meteor through my molecules at the speed of light. The past few weeks sharing my passion for altars and sun printing in the arms of 'call of the wild soul' and 'serendipity' retreats has left me with a ravishing revival of something overgrown ~ now edged in oak.
~ I have been writing an article with Jen Gray for Somerset Life on our teaching experience and words flow so smoothingly beautiful along many morning hours. When I need a break I gather Lucy and Roxy by my side and we saunter along the little singsong river at the end of my street with a mug of honeyfied tea.
~ Never have I been one to excel at maps and signposts and yet most oftener than not I do find my way to magical hallowed places along these mountian streams. Mostly by listening rather than looking and allowing the throb and hum of my inner eye to find the way a certain tree or pebble goes out of focus (and then refocuses with crystaline clarity) in the rays of a glowing bank. This is spirit and you can find her in a holy well, snaking in sacred groves, fuming in cloud archipelagoes and thrumming in the afterglow of churchbells.
It is impossible to separate spirit from nature and there is such power in place when you simply close your eyes and rest on the curve where a path dips and swoons littered with fairy people. I become intimate with the earth and the sacredness of the land reminds me that we are all sacred.
~ altar/composition for sun printing by one of the participating artists in
the workshop Jen and I taught called 'Pracical Magic' ~ Serendiptiy ~
the workshop Jen and I taught called 'Pracical Magic' ~ Serendiptiy ~
'see yourself in others
then whom can you hurt?
what harm can you do?
~ buddha ~
Altars. We never stop having a conversation with things both spiritually and physically. They beckon our longings to life and it was an exquisite and gentle honor to witness one another's altars at the retreat.
My altar ~ in a tiny bowl. Something sylphlike (for the time being) and something green and growing (of course) ~ a crystal for love, an achingly tender splatter of red (for things broken and healing) ~ and sprays of milk pod for dreams announcing themselves.
I know I know I am behind with announcements and they are coming shortly. Workshops in Vancouver and retreat announcements for 2014 coming soooon! (this is my news) Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in workshops in my fair city ~ or you can simply sign up for my newsletter on the side links right here.
happy weekend sweet petunia's
posted by madelyn at 2:51 PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
All week I've been meaning to tell you of the magical and untethered joy I experienced in North Carolina at the Serendipity retreat. (lots of lovely pictures on my Instagram) The days passed like quicksilver and each evening I would sit down at a table scattered with the harvest of exquisite women and new found friendships. It was tremendous and lovely ~ mostly simple and uncomplicated with rushes of crystal clarity breathing in all that jadeite ocean air.
There's no such thing as too much ocean air in the company of beautiful vibrant women creating art and magic in the direction of the wind ~ all these afternoon shifts! Not to mention the fine thrift store shopping we fit in on bursts of sprees piling into cars and heading down the road on many a bright October morning. Woozy joy with a smattering of cicada chorus for accompaniment.
This week I have been penning an article on the retreat and the Practical Magic workshop Jen and I taught there ~ I can't wait to see how it turns out in the next issue of Somerset Life magazine. I have also been preparing workshops I will be teaching here in Vancouver in my studio. Those dates I will share when I get back from my workshops at the Wild Soul retreat this weekend. I think you will love them.
I've been busy ~ living a full and happy life but can't wait to return and nest in my home and lean into my next projects.
Anyway, today I pile sun printing paper and altar treasures into the car and get ready for a roadtrip to Petaluma for the Wild Soul retreat. I will catch up with you on the other side.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Dreaming across the mountains bright and early this morning and as my pen glides with mauve eyes across the page these words rise up from within...'let things come to you.'
I found a most magnificent thrift shop by the Quay. My latest treasures include a cropped crimson wool sweater, a teal pottery mug, such a lovely tarnished old silver mirror on a stand and a twangy ukulele for 7.00 that needs some fine tuning.
The other evening... I was chatting with a friend who had been so quiet the past few months. It occured to me there is something deeply loving in 'be'-ing present and compassionate to a beloved's silence. Often what feels unsayable needs only a gentle space to swim out into those currents between one another to be set free.
My new house has two rather magical rooms on the top floor with sloped ceilings and old wooden floors with windows on most sides ~ gables actually as well looking out to the front of the house and those stunning North Shore mountains. Well, I moved my studio from the spare room on the main floor to the smaller room upstairs. (the larger is already blessed with the energetic decorating, music and habitation of Tess, Noah and Emma when they come to visit.)
I don't know why I didn't choose this room straight away. I love the top floor with that treehouse view and flittering light beaming through the windows like stars. This morning writing in my journal with a blue candle for peace reminded me how lovely a room of one's own for small rituals truly is.
My daughter Tess is going Hawaii this week and little Romeo is coming to stay with us for a whole week. I love that little pug to bits!
Oh and ...I found a nest. Hidden up in the beams up by the old garage. Noah and his friend Alister climbed up a ladder and brought it down to me and now it is nestled in my studio on the shelves with other treasured flotsam and jetsam.
This afternoon I made a bracelet wrap of tiny sandalwood beads I brought back from India a few years ago. These strands are warmly scented ~ tender around my wrist.
these things....remind me of joy.
posted by madelyn at 3:43 PM
Monday, September 30, 2013
I was feeling somewhat sitty downy this morning so I made a rather humungous cup of tea ~ Egyptian licorice actually and my Yogi words of wisdom sang out whilst dangling alongside my teacup 'wherever you go ~ go with all of your heart.'
And I would add to that ~ share your laughter wherever you are.
This has been a gorgeous week with views that go on forever in my beloved mountains. A week of wool dresses and endless limbs, rich ramblings with my friend Jen on the phone earlier this morning, creamy yellows and the softest of greens...fog, sea and eerie mountain beauty.
It was a week of sunflecked smiles and flocks of blackberries and those aforementioned views that made me want to shout 'd'ya see it? d'ya feel it?!!!'
'd'ya see it? d'ya feel it?!!!'
There is no finer feeling than allowing oneself a little time to resurface, all mellow and magical.
There is no finer feeling than allowing oneself lots of currant buns with Whisky plum jam.
Jen and I were chattering away about altars this morning for our Practical Magic workshop (sooooon so sooooon!) so I thought I would share my latest.
Beautifully simple, really. A tiny path of sea polished pebbles meandering along my mantle. Reminding me that wherever I go, I -will- go -with -all- of -my -heart.
This makes me happy. So very happy.
posted by madelyn at 4:04 PM
Thursday, September 19, 2013
'morning journal ~ blank page, basil plant, green tea with lemon, black and white striped dress'
Thursday's go like this: (or at least this particular one anyway)
A small and perfect (in the smallest of perfect ways) Caffè Americano with the man who makes me loopy with his smile. (in Westview village at 'Bean around the World) Before a meeting. Which went very well.
A most beautiful trek up the mountain and alongside a winding river with Lucy and Roxy. The air was milky alabaster ribboning with lemon rose and I gently placed a scoop of conifer fragrance in my pocket to take back home.
In my morning journal pages I described conversations with my father whom I miss terribly (it's his birthday tomorrow); there were descriptions of the sound of the swaying trees at night and the magnificent hugeness of the mountains right at the end of my street and the enormously wonderful windows in my house that are very old (1941?) and seem to have a strange and exquisite violet tint; my journal has a plain craft paper cover and sturdy pages the shade of Venice Lace. In these pages I can turn over my feelings, softly, unfoldingly, and start over every day.
Sometimes when I begin all my words are drenched in shade but by the end...sunlight inevitably trails my pen in rivulets abounding. I feel obscure wonder.
I think...I think my journal reminds me daily that endings are always beginnings one way or another. I feel free and vulnerable all in one breath with each word released.
Anyway. Later. There was brown rice and roasted beets and garlic cloves with sea salt and olive oil. And also later I changed into a skirt the color of faded butter with a magenta t-shirt. I think I fell asleep on the couch reading a book but I'm not sure. And if I woke up ~ I woke up to something stirring that was still faint and undeciphered from perhaps a dream.
Outside the window I can see Dahlia's bobbing alongside an old wooden fence in the neighbors garden ~ merrily, suddenly.
All in all a most small and perfect Thursday, as Thursday's go.
How was yours? What did you do?!
posted by madelyn at 5:24 PM
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I have been throttling the domestic life with gusto. (when I am not working at the Winery, hiking in the canyons with dogs, answering all the every prettiness of emails from you beauties who signed up for 'and oh, sunshine' this month, daydreaming with my journal on the front porch and so on and on...)
Why just yesterday for example I made fig jam. (there is a very good sale at Whole Foods Market on organic figs by the way) I anointed it with the name 'Saint Barthelemy figgy jam' since it had a good pour of Cointreau added at the very end. I also made a vanilla bean ~ plum crumble inspired by my crush Jamie Oliver aaaaaand beet/walnut/tofu burgers with honey Mustard sauce and Lady Jane cheese on a baguette for supper.
All in all heart cheeringly good I declare. I feel like a domestic goddess.
Here in the mountains I am becoming something a little different.
more open. suddenly lighted. emerging.
I feel so many bittersweet things. A deep hovering sadness I cannot duck beneath (my daughter Tess moving into her very first apartment, my son Noah going to College) fingering a haunting exquisite joy setting up home with Michael.
The other evening Emma (Michael's daughter) Tess and her boyfriend Cam, Noah and his girlfriend Holly came over for dinner (Tess also brought little Romeo) and I thought I was going to burst into tears for the playful enthusiasm and abundant laughter we all shared hanging out with one another in this new extended family vision.
steady in your boots
It is flowing. 'Steady in your boots' as my friend Eliza said to me the other day while skyping all the way from Africa. All I can do is put the energy of the life I desire 'out there' and so far I see everything and everyone following the light of my love for this vision.
My intention is love bound and they so feel it. There are times I felt paralyzed with little pushings of fear wondering if I might lose something along the way (I have lost so much along the way when I look back ~ a Saint Anthony medallion on a silver thread around my neck to reconcile) and only Michael's true belief in me and utter support of my dreams kept me trudging along.
No one knows me better than me. And yet Michael is right up there in a tiny circle of kindreds who fathom something of how I navigate my soul on this earth. I wonder how is this possible?
Ciarrai! You won the jam! email me! (email@example.com)
posted by madelyn at 1:08 PM