We have a vacation house in Soap Lake that is super quiet. There are big expanses of sky and desert to gaze on out every window. The heat is also wonderful for getting in your bones and slowing down your mind. Some friends of mine went there when it was 104 outside and the air conditioner was on the fritz. (it is fixed now) But while it was really hot it was healing to me.
You just had to sit around in the heat in the house that was like 80 degrees which is pretty warm for inside but it felt good to me. Heat slows my brain down.
sitting in the house with the curtains drawn to keep the heat out was sort of like being in an isolation tank. It felt good. I am not a fan of air-conditioning. If it is hot I just like to be hot and experience it totally and lean into it.
It makes me think more creatively when I slow down and get quiet. The quieter you can get the better.
All this plus the salty water at soap lake makes this a perfect place for a creativity retreat and that is what we are going to do.
My husband and I are taking 10 people on an adventure to soak in the warm pool of contemplation and exploration in an environment that was tailored for just this.More to come…
When I was in New York I took a couple of pictures with my phone but that is all. I was seeing so much it was hard to even process but now it is pressed in my mind like a flower in a book. I remember everything .
Most blogs have lots of pictures to illustrate the words but I like not doing that. Here is why. I like the words to do all the work and let your own mind make it better than what I might take a picture of.
In New York, a lot of it was painted white. restaurants we went to , all the galleries, the house we stayed in, all had all white walls. White walls made me see something a little differently. White is clean in more ways than one. Clean slate clean start and clean house. White is that. It makes you feel all the things clean does. It is calming and stilling and focusing all at the same time. So it is perfect for seeing something else next to it. it is a frame for everything. New York has a lot of white because of all the things it frames.
Plus there was something else white about New York that I just now thought of. Everything outside was white because of the snow. We were saturated in white so we saw everything clearer.
This is what white does. It say Sshhhhhh.. think … see… look … be still…. be here … ssshhhh.
There were hoards of people on the first floor of the Museum on Modern Art waiting to go see the show at ten in the morning on a Saturday. Because we had membership passes, we could just go right in. The whole trip to New York was like it. We had tickets to Paradise for everything.
Still tons of people. When the elevator opened up and we we got our first glimpse of the show everyone was shocked. The cutouts were so big. Room after room we all moved slowly through to the sea of bodies to see the life giving work of Henri Matisse splashed on the walls with utter joy.
Creating these late in life when he will not exactly jumping around anymore, was the medium he had to spring forth this vast amount of design perfection. The rooms were electric the energy of the work.
I was thinking about the guards at the how. Did they go home and night and dream of things unspeakably beautiful after being in the presence of such monumental work all day. Soaking up the glory???
I cannot even write those words down without having emotion flood back.
We stayed in Brooklyn in a beautiful house that was in the nicest neighborhood. Looking out the window at the street below was like a page out of the New Yorker Magazine. It was like I was inside one of the stories in the magazine . everything was painted white in the house white white white.
The floors were all distressed old growth wood and they were heated. It was like walking on art. The grooves and knots and grain of the old trees sung out when you slid your hand over them.
So many years went into growing so many things happened while this tree was growing.
white walls and high high ceilings and windows looking down onto the New Yorker Magazine life throbbing down below.
I have a friend who is from the East Coast and he told me that Japan pays artists to just live because they consider them to be treasures. I agree with this idea. Artists should not have to do anything but travel and live and work and produce. Making art is the one job that lasts past your life so any society should value and protect that . Any artist given that opportunity would not squander it and waste time. I don’t know any lazy artists, They all are driven .
all the time in New York was totally devoted to seeing art with artists so we walked non stop for many hours a day looking and absorbing every drop of the city we could.
this was the first time I went to Brooklyn which is itself a world of beauty all its own, The Brooklyn Bridge is a lacy giant the takes you to Manhattan.
The Brooklyn Conservatory is acres of garden and glass where you can meander in the warm tropics for hours while snow is covering the city outside.
We ate at a restaurant that was famous for jerk chicken. It was so tiny you had to climb a ladder steep staircase to get up to the teeny place to eat upstairs, the little rooms was jammed with art and flowers and lots of wonderful things to look at while you waited for the food . When they handed the food to you , it came in steaming huge plates which was so funny as our table was tiny. It all added to the ambience of love which was radiating out of the walls,,, I love my job I love my job I love my job. Of course the food was fantastic . Everything is fantastic when you are soaked in culture. The chef was a lovely black man who looked so beautiful against the cobalt blue walls and bouquets of flowers spilling into the room,
every second we spent in New York was magical . Every second.
It has been months since last I wrote. Sometimes you just have to be quiet for a while. and stew in the juice of being for awhile. Sometimes the awhile is a long spell of quiet. Its ok.
But this morning I am not going to the qym and meeting with every body who is determined to fight the good fight. the words were calling me and I was afraid they would leave if I left the house.
I went to New York. I went to New York and saw saw saw some paintings that I still think about. I have to still think about them because they are in my skin now. I breathed them in and now they are a part of me.
New York was back in January when the snow was a couple of feet deep and the air was freezing cold but it was sunny in Manhattan and it was so sunny that it was magical. New York in winter is unbelievably beautiful. Shocking blue sky. Buildings so elegant they hurt to look at. People so swathed in fur and cashmere and wool , that you are warmed with them. The men in their perfectly tailored suits and long coats and glamorous scarfs . New York is the most luscious city. The honk honk honking was like staccato violin adding to the energy of the city. The City.
that is why I couldn’t write for months. I went to the City.