Wednesday, February 10, 2010

energized or i should really get out more

self-portrait in really old mirror (i think i need a really old mirror)

i have had the most energizing couple of days, despite the fact that i didn't sleep enough. sometimes, it's just so energizing to be around other people. i went to a job interview that was very exciting (still in process, no news yet). afterwards, i drove down to visit elizabeth, who has has some  unexpected trouble with her eye - she explains it on her blog, so i won't go into it. talking about it kinda makes me have to lie down anyway.

i am amazed tho' at her beautiful attitude about having a blind spot right in the center of her right eye. she is quite accepting about the whole thing and already thinking of how to adapt her art and her life to live with it if it doesn't clear up. all i can say is that someone else will have to pour the tea. :-) i think if it was me, i would be so much more angry about it, but elizabeth doesn't seem angry at all, nor does she seem frightened at the prospect. so i learned a great deal from her quiet acceptance of what happened - completely without martyrdom or anger or even questioning. i kept asking "how did it happen," but there's really no answer for that, it could happen to any of us, a small burst blood vessel in the eye. i said to someone recently that elizabeth was my zen master, teaching me now to be more accepting and understanding of the world, and this just confirms that.

i had a really delightful evening, meeting her family and sitting up 'til the wee hours, drinking tea and chatting and looking at all of her beautiful art and the stones she's gathered and displayed around the house. her son has definitely caught her artistic bug and he made the most delightful little ceramic crocodile! he (the crocodile that is) tried to crawl into my camera bag when i left, but i made him stay there with his family.

elizabeth lives on an island, so while i was waiting for the ferry, i got out of the car to take some pictures of the softly-falling snow. there was a real old salt kind of a captain there in a small boat that was being loaded with loads of orange cables. he saw me taking pictures and came out to talk to me (i wish i'd asked him if i could take his picture, but  i was chicken it just didn't feel right to do so). he began to tell me about the ice. the ferry was keeping a path of ice clear, but he said that all of the ice around the dock had really formed overnight. he told me of his days of sailing the real icebreakers up in greenland and he was charming and interesting in that down-to-earth way that sea captains so often are.  his boat was taking a scientific crew out to lay cables for seismographic measurements that are being taken further north in the fjord. i asked if the ice would be a problem for his little boat, but he said it wouldn't, it wasn't that thick. when the ferry came and i had to go, i had a strong urge to give him a hug, but i restrained as i think he would have been quite surprised. it was an odd feeling since i'm not really a huggy person. he was just so real and authentic. one of those moments of perfect clarity that are so few, actually.

the only shot i got of his boat, as i was on the ferry and leaving.
i really wish i'd asked him if i could take his picture.

on my way home, i stopped at the marvelous koldinghus to see what was on display in their beautiful exhibition rooms. it was a limited and not very interesting exhibition about gaudi and la segrada familia (if you'd been to the real thing), but i enjoyed wandering the beautiful spaces there. it's just a wonderful castle and another of those examples of how the danes are so good at combining old and new architecture and at creating atmosphere. even on a large scale.  i would SO love to have a party in this room:

i made a stop at the fabric store before i got home and got some really, really exciting stuff that i'm going to work with in the coming days. think: leather. when i saw those rolls of hides, something wonderful popped into my head, fully formed and i'm so excited to get started making it!  more about that soon.

i got home just in time to dash out and pick up my iMac which is totally cured now by the doctors at the mac hospital (it got a new hard drive), pick up the child, make some dinner (salmon & leek tart) and then head for weaving. at weaving, the setup of the loom was finally finished (it takes a LONG time) and i got to actually start weaving my little 20cm x 20cm test swatches. i'm loving the colors i'm using and i already had a problem that i learned from--one of the shafts came apart and i didn't realize it until i got a few rows away and discovered it had skipped some stitches. but that's how we learn best, by making mistakes. you can see the row with the skipped stitches below. my teacher encouraged me to leave it, as a reminder of what it looks like when one of your shafts slips out of position, so i think i will.

other than that, i'm trying to get the hang of having my stitches evenly spaced. it's really not that easy! i do have a sense of wanting to be instantly good at it, but am trying to be patient. it will come and in the meantime, learning is a good thing.

* * *

a big thank you to everyone who's bought birds! there are a few left and i've added a few more, so do go check it out if you're interested! 


Elizabeth said...

Thanks for all the compliments although I never ever would have linked myself to the word zenmaster.
You and captains are a firm match I'm glad he inspired you while you were waiting for the ferry.
Smart teacher you have. Leave the mistakes as a reminder, have to remember that one.

Miss Footloose said...

Love your story of the ferry captain and a photo would be nice, but I can imagine him in my head. It's when we have time - waiting for a ferry, or sitting on planes - that we manage to connect with people in this way. Usually we are rushing around too much and we miss these human contacts.

About your weaving mistake: It made me think of the oriental carpets I have, the real ones, made by real people in villages. There are loads of mistakes in them -- according to what I'm sure the design was meant to be -- but that is what makes them unique and special. The perfect ones, made by machines, are boring!

Sandra said...

I liked this whole post very much. A lovely series of events simply told. I too like the idea of leaving the mistake. I like the idea of imperfection. : )

SH -ic said...

hello dear one :I love all beautiful colours .. specially in the weaven and the mirror foto
alöl best frim cold germany

will said...

A cooperative subject, your sea captain ... perfect for the photo we've discussed.

Gwen said...

getting out is good. and so is staying in sometimes. we need it all, don't we? (or maybe that's just me.)

love the castle picture.

Char said...

i so admire your weaving - so very cool

Mari Mansourian said...

wow, sounds like a very full couple of days, it's funny when we have too much to do, we seem to get more done, and feel more energetic, the captain story sounds so interesting...we do meet people sometimes that just touch our hearts for a brief moment huh?! next time though don't think twice ask for a picture :)
by the way love your coat

Bee said...

That old mirror gives such a wonderful background to your self-portrait.

All in all, lots of satisfying experiences here. I wonder if the sea captain is always so chatty, or if there was something about your genuine interest that just inspired him to open up.

About Elizabeth: I so admire people who don't immediately ask the querulous question: WHY ME?

Zuzana said...

Beautiful post. Elizabeth indeed rules, she is one of a kind. Hopefully the you will move to *MY* peninsula and then we are all close to each other and I can even join you on the next blog camp.;)
Love the nature shots.