gathered round 3:00 AM long now a favorite time of mine: the rite of flowing down the stairs to the kitchen the harvest of the first mug of coffee in the day the letting in of cats their swirling around my feet waiting for their morning feed attending the wakening of birdsong the sun attending the bedding of the moon rooted in these rituals about to be uprooted no flight of stairs for the multiple descendings of days and nights soon now a ladder for climbing up and clambering down loft and balcony and loft wherein text and textile wait upon my weavings returning to a landscape I have sorely missed where I belong even as I lived in the beauty of the Otherness of where I’ve been for this long time away returning to a skyscape 180 degrees of blue and cloud tapestries the earth heaved and breathing hill slopes plowed furrowed and planted the intersperse of field and woods eye bursting greens burnished reds and golds the stark monochromes of winter this was/is/will be alchemy for me
room by room paintings and sketches pinned to the walls spirit catchers and favorite pendants and do-daads blown glass baubles and doodles sent by Beloveds left on the walls the ghost shadows on paint protected by what overlay taking down fleece abstracts on chicken wire taking down all the empty book shelves I have sour cherries from a picking expedition last spring in the freezer one pie’s worth to be made into pie before departure doing my best to use up canned goods and freezer contents in fewer than three weeks this part the leave taking will be concluded and the last half the settling in to the new digs will occur at a much more leisurely pace interspersed with touring the new landscape ogling and ohhhing and ahhhing at all the beauty
a dramatic thunderstorm passed through in the early predawn hours now cool and low humidity for the first time in weeks home no longer home only a house many rooms of which almost completely filled floor to ceiling with life packed in 1.3 cubic foot boxes two weeks ago I headed west 970 miles to find (and another 970 back) a new home and I did in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin missed by glaciers of all four Ice Ages the landscape is roller coaster hilly woods in wavy alternating strips with tall corn hay and soybeans impeccably clean dairy farms I have lived here before high on a hilltop where I was part of the weather as it passed through this time valley life hill bound 11.5 acres upwards of 2 acres of it in emerald green lawn beneath black walnut trees the remainder a forested hillside with trails blazed through it a small pond a bumper crop of blackberries which should be ripe when I arrive 20 minutes from Madison which has grown in the intervening years engulfing small surrounding towns housing/condo/apartment developments spreading over the landscape and as it happens when this happens it has become an expensive place to live and I prefer the beauty and quiet of the countryside especially since Madison is so rapidly reachable via a four lane highway that wasn’t there when I left within minutes of a dear woman friend of 35 years the new county hospital should I ever need it the county seat with supermarket and farmers market little towns with local cheese factories two state parks with lakes and one on the Wisconsin river (and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin) miles and miles of bike paths (all the way to Madison should my legs ever become up to it) ski areas both cross country and down(gentle)hill the house itself (mind you all furnishings are the current tenant's) yes the porch is a-tilt but only on the outside I've concocted a tale as to why: a landlooked ship's carpenter moved by the rolling hills built the porch while dreaming of the pitch and yaw of sea waves . . . inside smaller than the generous space here I doubt I will have space for all my shelving for all my books on the other hand it has both a heatilator fireplace in the lower living room and a wood burning stove in the upper (by one step up and open to each other) living room (stove not visible in this photo) to supplement the furnace heat and a stack of seasoned firewood enough to last the first winter all ready to burn 2 small bedrooms a dining room which will be both library and workout room 2 screened porches one for clement weather dining the other between the garage and house for keeping the firewood dry and the Weber out of the precipatate weather for winter grilling use a ladder between the large kitchen and upper living room leads to a balcony that runs across the lower living space where I’m sure the cats will be pleased to sit on high overviewing with a loft area at either end (one for text work: the computer area the other for textile work: spinning wheel/fleece/yarn/ drawing table designing a tiny but sufficient laundry room with applicances it has a huge attached three car garage one of which the landlord uses to store the lawnmower and his motorcycle in the winter the car will take up maybe ½ of the remaining two car garage and the rest can be used for storage there will be new carpeting and new linoleum installed before we arrive and the 500 gallon oil tank for the furnace will be full computer/Net hookup will be through satellite dish also installed before we arrive altogether much less costly in rent and utilities than here after we get there mid-August there will be more photos EMPTY signs are popping up here on closets and furniture drawers as packing up reaches the end: it can happen soon enough to please me!