early – illustration friday

early

When awoken by “hoo hoooo” I will sometimes try to see the source of my alarm. I wipe and widen my eyes, but I rarely get a glimpse of the animal. The early morning shades of black, gray and blue blur my vision against my ears and minds attempt to produce an image.

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nap spaces

Brower Hatcher, Prophecy of the Ancients, 1988. Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

It’s a perfect day. A slightly-off-to-the-side sun shines brightly. The wind is just strong enough to gently push and disperse a cloud through the bluest of blue sky days. The temperature hovers around 70° or so. There are only sounds of the wind, birds, frogs and toads, and occasional squirrel chatter. I have a book that has the ability to deliver me to its envisioned locale, and the time to go there and be there for more than the usual few tired minutes at the end of the day. It’s the middle of the day and I am outside with the time to read and drift into sleep and back out to read some more. This is my vision of a lovely little “staycation.”

I have enjoyed this experience a few times, although less frequently in the last decade or so of child rearing, exhausted sleep time, and more recently the reading requirements of my continuing education. (See pics from Costa Rica below; not a “staycation” but certainly a fab “nap space.”) Now that my kids are getting a little older and I’m moving along in my studies, the fantasy is reemerging with more regularity.

This piece from the Walker Art Center‘s Minneapolis Sculpture Garden may have planted the seed of my desire for leisurely outdoor reading and napping. I very clearly remember my first thought upon standing under this way back when was “I want to put a bed under here.” The other photos are of a few reading nap spaces (reflecting areas more private than Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.)

image from and item for sale at Tim Laursen's Etsy shop

image from photo gallery by R.L. Martino. Botswana.

indoor bed, but imagine the windows all open. Sonya's Garden, Phillipines. Image from http://myturtleneck.blogspot.com

La Bella Serina, Manzanillo, Costa Rica, 2007. We slept on the top floor, screens all the way around. When it rained, the rains were heavy and made for excellent daytime reading and napping. Rental info: http://www.vrbo.com/63997

books in hand, ready for a little hammock reading, a little napping...

The idea of being carried into and out of naps on the sounds of undisturbed nature, as freshly impressed words move through my brain is most wonderful. To have this space (in all senses of the word) a couple or a few times a month would be fabulous.

summer reading

Not sure that I can read them all, but I have collected a list of suggestions from friends (many thanks, friends) and from book reviews. Some I purchased via Better World Books. I ordered a couple new books through my local bookstore. And, the library has the rest.

They are all listed here Summer Reading (still wishing LibraryThing and WordPress.com could work together.) I am particularly looking forward to and anxiously awaiting my copy of Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk. Here are the publisher’s remarks:

Tokarczuk’s third novel, Primeval and Other Times was awarded the Koscielski Foundation Prize in 1997, which established the author as one of the leading voices in Polish letters. It is set in the mythical village of Primeval in the very heart of Poland, which is populated by eccentric, archetypal characters. The village, a microcosm of Europe, is guarded by four archangels, from whose perspective the novel chronicles the lives of Primeval’s inhabitants over the course of the feral 20th century. In prose that is forceful and direct, the narrative follows Poland’s tortured political history from 1914 to the contemporary era and the episodic brutality that is visited on ordinary village life. Yet Primeval and Other Times is a novel of universal dimension that does not dwell on the parochial. A stylized fable as well as epic allegory about the inexorable grind of time, the clash between modernity (the masculine) and nature (the feminine), it has been translated into most European languages.”

I am one-half Polish, but for various reasons I have never taken much time to explore these roots. Perhaps this work of fiction will spark some non-fiction exploration. And, hey, I just got a call from Excelsior Bays Books letting me know my copy has arrived! Spooky.

barefoot running is crazy?

When I was a kid I used to run distance and then stopped… and started and stopped… and started and stopped and so on throughout my adulthood.  I had and have bad knees, and now bad ankles and touchy hips, a neuroma on my left foot and a tendon pull that seems to never heal. I creak (literally), and have a lovely snap, crackle, pop thing that seems rather excessive for someone my age. Still, I want to run.

Running shoes have always been problematic for me. I know several people who have taken up running in those Vibram running shoes/sock things, and have seen and heard about people running barefooted, but have never had an interest in either. I figured with all the injuries to my knees, ankles, and so on, it would be crazy to run barefooted, “unprotected” from the impact of feet on hard surfaces. Last weekend I read some posts from Barefoot Angie Bee, a barefoot runner, and then did some further reading on Jason Robillard’s blog Barefoot Chronicles. And this week I decided to give barefoot running a try… on my treadmill for now.

I’ve run four times this week, starting slowly because I am VERY out of shape. Today I pushed my pace pretty hard and felt a bit of twinging in my feet, but ultimately, so far, so good. Although I am watching this tendon carefully, nothing that “hurt” before feels any worse. And to tell the truth, I love just throwing on my running clothes and going without putting my shoes on. Sounds silly, but it’s one less “thing to do.”

No big goals here other than to try something new and take in how it feels. It might be crazy, but I’m thinking I might take these bare feet outside for a run… in June.

emerging spring: from distant horizon to “do I need bi-focals?”

This morning I had a change of vision as I walked through the park. I changed paths and also focus. So far this Spring I’ve spent my park walks absorbing and photographing the lines, movement, and patterns in the bare and just budding trees. Today I was drawn to the buds themselves. I like living in a state with seasons because it’s easy to witness cycles of life. This aids in keeping me grounded, if I pay attention (and keep my eyes properly equipped.) When a leaf or flower bud is just opening, it is an amazing thing. And if you look really closely, you can see things you didn’t know were there at all.

Can you see the little guy? (click to enlarge)

More Emerging Spring!

blog therapy

I tend to get stuck in patterns.Part of why I do this might be that I like patterns. I like observing them, noting them, documenting them. It’s my way of having structure on the inside maybe. But, the last few months I have been thinking about this whole pattern thing, mostly in little spurts. This morning I realized there are a few side-trails off the main park trail I like to walk. I decided to break my pattern and take a new trail and found a whole “new” world in this park that I already love. I’ve decided it’s time to observe new patterns.

metropath(ologies)

I recently visited LibraryBytes, a great blog about libraries and new technology, for the first time. There’s a ton of interesting info, but this first post I visited showed my how to find out about my Online DNA:

margothereDNA

This then lead me to this very cool (and eerie?) video of an installation by the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Museum. Very cool installation. ENJOY!!!

Bummer, it won’t embed, here: Link HERE!!!

And you can find out more about MIT’s Sociable Media Group HERE!