Words, Wind, Beads

This is a picture of wind. Although it’s impossible to show motion with a still shot, you can see how the mountain ashes are moving, you can see whitecaps on the ocean below. Believe me, our cabin is shaking, and we’re this close to the edge.
Sometimes what can’t be seen is the prime mover. What can’t be seen, what happens behind the scene…

First, though: my gratitude for your comments on my previous post is deep-unto-the-heart. That feeling of connection through words is meaningful sustenance. That, and my own joyful and intimate resumed connection to pen and paper. The dusting isn’t yet done; there are still objects that have not found their proper spots in this small place; but most of the framework is unearthed and dusted, and now that there are scraps and fragments of semi-membered poems like lego pieces all over my notebooks, I feel arrived.

Another piece of inspiration I must share is this collection I’m reading for my first packet of my second year in the MFA program: Alice Fulton’s Felt.

I confess I hadn’t even heard of Fulton before my mentor and I discussed what I might read. And I’m blown away like the wind. The writing is forceful, beautiful, vulnerable–and the voice is so strong. She engages with some quite intellectual questions, as I often tend to in my writing, but she never descends to dryness, as I struggle not to do: the engagement and emotional intensity is always there. I don’t want to write what she writes–no one should want to carbon copy another, but I wish I could write like that.
Go read her!

As for my own writing, and what I choose to put down here, I’m working to find the balance between sharing what I wish to share and avoiding that sharing give a message other than intended. 
For example, I had a big food-fixing day on Saturday, where I made, among others, these energy bars, and these, and these; and baked beans somewhat like these; and a big Thai curry for Phil made up out of my head, and pickled beets from our garden…and I got a whole lot else done that day too!

Now to me, the fact that I made those energy bars pretty much per the recipes, rather than basically removing all the fat and sweetener like I used to, and that I have the honest intention of eating them, is offered as a good sign of healthy behaviors. But apparently, especially if I talk about it at all, it can be taken as evidence of obsession with food. As I learn to navigate these waters, I’ll start posting recipes again sometimes. 

Believe me, much continues to happen behind the scenes.

In my next post, I’ll explore some more of the contrasts between being away and being here. For starters, two:
It’s that time of year again. The potato people are here! 

My point is the importance of found objects in our life here.

Second: everyone who knows me is uncomfortably aware of my nervous habits, like pulling the skin off my fingers, which can intensify when I’m focusing and writing a lot.
While I was at the treatment center in Bellevue, I made worry beads to fiddle with; an idea I picked up in Greece, although my appropriation is kind of like a woman smoking in the 1920s: every man I saw had a set of worry beads that he twirled around, but no woman did. My set from Greece are probably in a box at my parents’ somewhere. The set I made in Bellevue was beautiful and delicate, with beads of glass and filigree; metallic accents.

I used them a lot; they were more effective than my other hand-distractors…until the string broke and they exploded all over the stone floor of the little market at PLU during the MFA residency.

My hideously scabbed fingers sent me to the bead store in Homer–yes, there is one! I asked for some strong cord, which, of course, required beads with bigger holes. The copper and small goldish ones from my old string fit, so my new string has some continuity with the former one.

Maybe it’s not quite so beautiful; maybe beautiful in a different way. It feels good in my hands in a different way. Stronger than skin.

Perhaps if I jump on the rebounder awhile, it won’t feel like this whole cabin is about to be blown away.


  • I like the second set of worry beads the best. I like the natural-looking appearance, like bits of wood and stone or perhaps bone. It looks like a sacred mala – one that will protect your hands, your sacred writing instruments.

    • Thanks, Mindy! Phil never got to see the original intact but he says the same. So far, they’re holding up well and feel good in my hands. Thank you for the framing of my hands as sacred writing instruments. It would be good for me to remember that when the unconscious picking starts…

  • i like your necklace. i do like brown jewelry. the copper is a nice touch.

    interesting yes that it might be hard to write about food and feel like it might be a slippery slope to obsession. i am glad you are thinking about these things and considering what is healing for you and what isn’t. i was wondering a little if reading certain food blogs might even not be so good. certain blogs upset me so i have to edit.

    the potato people are cute. did you grow those? sorry if you said. STM issues.

    • Thanks, bitt! Rather than a necklace, the idea with that is to be a worry toy for my hands to do something different with than pick my fingers!

      Yes, good thinking about being careful what blogs to read to avoid triggering. I think being very clear about your boundaries and what is and is not healing is an important part of healing for sure.

      Yes, those potatoes were from our ground. I didn’t say so, though. But what’s STM?

  • I like the second set better too.

    I’ve started using prayer (not necessarily the religious kind of prayer) to settle my nerves a lot. When I start focusing on prayer I become still and my agitation vanishes. I can see why physical beads might be an even more helpful asset.

    Thanks for sharing. *hugs*

    • Raederle, you’re right on! I am pretty sure that worry beads are descended from worry beads! I think prayer and contemplation, whether freestyle or with mantras or malas or beads are all trying to get to the same place, organized religion notwithstanding. I’m glad you’re finding it beneficial!

  • Your wind photo reminds me of when I was trying to take picks of a hurricane last year. My photos never did show its true strength, but I can imagine the winds where you are based on your description. Jumping on the rebounder sounds like a good idea.

    Oh, and I think your necklace is beautiful. Would love to see more.

    • Thanks, Shannonmarie! Your description of taking those pictures sounds exactly like my experience.

      It’s worry beads rather than a necklace, but thank you! I’ve thought of you often when being introduced to craft projects. I hope I can make time to do more of them, all kinds of crafts. I know it’s not my talent area but I think it’ll be relaxing.

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