I wrote a four page entry for ARS&T; after inserting and editing the photos, I tried to save the file. The window continuously opened so that I could hit “save,” even after I “believed” I had saved the file. Finally I get a “Word is not responding.” I copy the document with the idea of pasting it to Google Docs. When I hit “paste,” to a Google Doc blank page, nothing. Went back to Word and attempted to copy the document a second time. Gone! For two hours I tried to recover it; looked at an instructional video on YouTube on how to retrieve an unsaved document, read a thousand posts from people who had had the same issue. No luck. Finally, frustrated and exhausted, I climb in bed, at 2:30 a.m.

The following morning I wake up and prepare for my 20 minutes of restorative yoga and Lectio Divina (I’ll explain later). I turn on a 30 minute “OM” meditation video that normally accompanies the morning routine. I see “Recommended Videos for You,” (normally ignored). First suggested “MUST SEE” video is Eckhart Tolle, “Everything That Happens to You is for Your Spiritual Growth.” Mmmm.

Fuck that! I want my file back.

Of the hydrangeas two were planted three years ago. They are the lavender ones pictured here. There are others, one planted two years ago (it’s the cream bloomed one at the top right) and another last year. I took this photo with my cell camera which cannot begin to capture the intensity of the lavender.

Back in the spring, I vowed to buy a digital camera with the intention of exploring garden photography. There’s a digital, basic one here in the house that I used before getting a cell phone with a decent camera, an older model of Nikon, Coolpix. With the convenience of the cell camera, I abandoned the Coolpix. It’s been in the case in a drawer for 3 years.


I’ve been creating this piece for over 2 years. I’m hoping with the addition of that huge branch from a tree in the front yard (courtesy of a nor’easter we got back in February), this sculpture will make it through the winter. Thinking that some lace hanging from those two larger branches would be interesting. Behind the sculpture is wild lettuce. It has been used in “folk medicine” as a pain killer. It has the same properties as morphine, but without the side effects. If you’re interested here is the YouTube video link on how to prepare it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmTAITtRV_w

First to secure a digital camera? Amazon. Wow! I didn’t know cameras were so expensive. Besides the cost (‘cause I have other things that need the attention of those dollars right now), they’re complicated. I’d need some lessons. Because I break out in hives when I hear the word “take lessons,” I thought something “real” basic and simple, and economical would be the way to go. In Target, I look at the selection of cameras. There’s a newer model of the Nikon Coolpix, L340, coming in at $229.00, protection warranty at $63.00. So we’re talking $300.00. After reviewing the features of the L340, I decide that the older model in the drawer at home, L28, will suffice just fine.


Dimensions are 4ft x 12ft x 6ft

But let’s get back to the garden. I could easily spend 2-3 hours a day in garden maintenance. I don’t, but I should. The back yard is roughly 600 sq. ft. It looked small when I started planting, but now it seems like 1000 sq. ft. The ivy which was removed from the rear of the yard has managed to return to the extent that it was before it was removed. This area is where wisteria and garden sculpture were going to be. They’ll get there, but not this year. I couldn’t find a wisteria with lavender blooms, and it’s just as well. The wood purchased to create a trellis for it can remain in the garage and that ivy needs clearing. There’s one sculpture that only this year I have been able to stabilize. When time permits, there is a pile of branches from the fig tree pruning that will do well for a wood piece that I have in mind.

I had such a piss-poor turn out of veggies and fruits last year that I decided to take some drastic, but prudent measures this year. I invested in a crop cage. I ordered it from “The Gardener’s Supply Company,” a business owned by employees. It was $159.00, not including shipping and handling (what does handling mean, and why does it cost? If I’m selling a product, aren’t I making money from it by selling it? Do I really need to charge customers for putting shit in a box and taking it to the post office, or for going online and scheduling a U.P.S. pickup?). Anyway, it took about an hour to put it together, and I constructed it so that the square foot garden would be protected. It has made a heck of a difference. No more bite marks on the cukes and tomatoes. The photo was taken 1 day after construction, and after moving those pots inside the cage.

The cage has to be dismantled late fall because it wasn’t constructed to handle northeastern winters.

One more of something to share about plants and gardening and I’ll keep it moving.

I started out keeping indoor plants; then I began a little outdoor gardening. Moving to a different location and with a change in lifestyle, I kept nearly 0 indoor plants and didn’t do any outdoor gardening. Now it has been outdoor gardening for the past 7 years, maybe a little less. I started missing my indoor plants, so I decided to get a few and see how things would unfold. I ordered some. Started some from seed. Rescued a couple from Home Depot (geez, Cheapo Depot is a plant abuser!). Keeping indoor plants is a whole different ball game. They can be very temperamental, depending of course on the species. I ordered a couple of begonias, and one just couldn’t acclimate and was out of here within 3 weeks.  Some like full-sun, others filtered; some can tolerate being in a room that gets little or no sun. So it’s just a matter of getting to know the plants, communing with them and seeing where the relationship goes.

I continue to work out of the ARTIST’S RULE: nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom, but ever so sloooooowly. There’s a lot to the process. The book is divided into several sections: a focus topic for the week, contemplative practices based on the topic, Lectio Divina (monk/artist’s choice) and reflections, a visual art exploration and a poetry writing exploration. I choose for the Lectio whatever I might be reading at the time. Right now that’s The “I AM” Discourses, from the Saint Germain Series, Vol. 17. It’s one of those books that I’ve been reading off and on for 3 years. I decided since I am proceeding so slowly with the ARTIST’S RULE, the discourses would be the perfect companion. Lectio Divina is simply the reading of a sacred text, and the meaning “sacred” is left to the monk/artist. It could be a book of poetry, a novel, or the Yoga Sutras. But it is supposed to be taken as a daily sacrament. I admit that it makes a difference when I read as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, and at night before I fall asleep.

I enjoy the insights that are coming from the text and coming out of me; however, I am having some issues with the poetry exploration. I have yet to complete one. I don’t know what the resistance is all about. If I were instructed to write a paragraph or a brief essay, I could pump that out without a second thought. But poetry. No clue.

From working out of this book, I’ve had to deal with some resistance to creating. On the one hand, I’m getting bored with these projects that can take me month to finish. On the other hand, I’ve been collecting a lot of materials over the years that I knew one day would be the materials for what I was called to create. That call has come, and it’s sculpture. There are 3 of my creations that I consider sculpture, one of which I am sharing here. The energy that I experienced when creating this piece, I’d like to experience again.

There is a certain feeling I get from sculpting with non-traditional sculpting materials. Of course that statement reflects what I know, but mostly do not know about sculpture. I’m certain master sculptors would say that there are no materials that are devoted solely for sculpture. It’s open. After all, look at the garden sculpture. But I have been collecting perfume bottles and glass bottle stoppers for over ten years, and those items will be what I will use on this next project. It would be nice to get started on that project soon.

There aren’t enough hours in the day for all the projects that I could do. While I complain to myself that I should do a better job of nurturing myself, body and spirit, I am full of something as I create, when I am finished, when I step back. Maybe I should just call it “fullness” or a sense of being “grounded and present.” It’s funny that I should use that word.  During a conversation we were having about intimate relationships, where I remarked on the difficulty of meeting someone who is “available and present,” a friend, without looking up from the plate, remarked, “Like you. You are the most unavailable person that I know.”

I suppose that affirmed what I was saying before about nurturing myself. It’s like my garden that I admit to taking better care of than I do myself. At least in the summer. Then, I have celiac. Never before have I been so cognizant of what I put in my belly. Being glutened is no joke, and recovery can take up to 2 days. I know I should rest more, and rest better. That means getting in bed before 1:30 a.m. and not spending another 30 minutes on a device that interferes with my brain waves, keeping me awake for another hour.

A friend told me, and it’s applicable here, we don’t get over these problems. We “grow” through them. I love that. It sounds like something out of ACIM, that would go on to say something like, ‘because you don’t have problems. You are and have eternity.’ That’s balm for the soul.


June, 2018