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the clothesline. plenty of time. [two artists tuesday]

the clothesline

if you are watching hgtv and they are touting the positives of having a washer-dryer combo all-in-one, don’t believe them.  we quickly discovered that the dryer part of the washer-dryer was in name only.  unless you have hours to wait and money to toss for the added electricity, the “dryer” is more like a wringer-outer that removes some of the moisture from your laundry.

and so, on this little island, for this summer, we now have a …. wait for it … clothesline.  after a trip to the mercantile where we bought line and clothespins, d installed it and voila! we have a “dryer”!!!  the breezes off the lake and the sun dry our laundry quickly and dogdog loves to help with the hanging-out and taking-down of clothes on the line.  i feel myself channeling my sweet momma as i shake the clothes taking them out of the basket before hanging, lessening possible wrinkles, and again shake the clothes as i take it them off the line, lessening possible hitchhikers.  it feels like time-ago.  it’s refreshing and pretty heavenly.  there’s plenty of time.  and the laundry dries.

we have found that we needed to slow down a bit here.  we drive slower, for wildlife is everywhere and you must be careful.  we walk slower – in the middle of the road – for there are far fewer cars and no frenzy.  we have fewer errands, for there are not many places to shop.  we see that we will see change slower, for the wheels of progress are big ole tires here, turning slowly as a big tractor down a mottled dirt road.  we wave at everyone we go by, we stop and talk, we laugh about our long tenure here – a whopping fourteen days.  we know we will slowly become a part of this place.  there’s plenty of time.

we were at a new friend’s house high on a bluff in the woods overlooking the lake the other night.  we were telling a story and i said something to our host about not doing nutshells very well; she interrupted my apology and said, “there’s no rush.  tell the whole story.  we have plenty of time.”

you have to plan a little differently with a clothesline.  adjustment is necessary.  a day which dawns rainy and grey will not be a good clothesline day.   and so, you must choose a different day.  for there is plenty of time.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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life. dust laughing. [merely-a-thought monday]

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every time you think you have it all figured out, life has a way of poking fun at you, pulling the rug from underneath you, making you re-evaluate, maybe roll your eyes, maybe cry out and push back, maybe giggle in abandon.

the island players performed a short at TPAC from spoon river anthology (e. l. masters), a collection of epitaphs spoken as monologues by the deceased residents of the fictional town called spoon river.  it is gripping.  a not-so-subtle reminder of our brief time on this earth and the absolute into-thin-air-ness of our lives.  perspective-arranging, yes, as you listen to the tales of each person, ephemeral, transitory, all fleeting moments in a deep milky way of vast time.

one of the characters, a finely and properly dressed older woman, brags of renting a house in paris, entertaining the elite, dining at fine restaurants, taking the cure at baden-baden, a spa town in germany’s black forest.  she returns to her hometown of spoon river, only to realize that no one really cares about where she dined or what she ate or who she entertained or if she took the cure at baden-baden.  a sobering moment for her and, if you let it in, another one of those lessons.  the kind where you realize that what you do and what you have is – not – who you are.

instead, the dust of us will later snicker, laugh, out and out guffaw at how invested we all were in the things of life that didn’t really count, the things that will disappear into the outer atmosphere of the universe, never to be retrieved.  instead, we should chuckle now, realizing that indeed the best-laid plans are only that.  plans.  that doesn’t make them life.  life has its own ideas.  perhaps we should just remember that, cut ourselves a bit of slack and recognize how funny it really is that each of us, formed of zillions of random cells, somehow ended up here, right here, right now.  for this time.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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extraordinarily ordinary. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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we watched the movie ABOUT TIME three times this week. it’s one of those movies. well, that and we have no wifi, internet or tv, so movies we borrow from the little island library are our late evening entertainment. even then, we don’t usually watch things multiple times during a one-week span. but this one drew us in.

how many times have you been reminded to live life like this? to live a day like you have come back to live it – the way you should have lived it the first time around….enjoying it, making it full, recognizing its brilliance, knowing that jewel of day will never again actually be repeated. too many lessons along the way teach us these things.

if i could wish upon a star and know that it would come true, it would be to live each day the way i would live it if i could do it over and “fix” anything that might have gone awry. to live it with absolute certainty that it was extraordinary, particularly in its ordinariness.

days. there are none to waste. during those days with moments of angry words, minutes are washing out to sea. in those times of drudgery when you are hoping for time to pass quickly, the hours vanish into thin air never to be lived again. in those times of grief, when pain washes over you and the minutes seemingly creep by, the chance to find any iota of joy co-existing with anguish passes by as you crawl into the next day, exhausted, depleted from losing the day before.

ABOUT TIME was a reminder: live each day like it was the full, final day. how would we choose to live on the full, final day? how would we treat people around us? what would we say to those we love? what would we do?

i remember my dear friend richie at the end of his life. each day he spent on this good earth he was a shining example of this. like all of us, he woke up never knowing which day would be the full and final day. and yet he woke up knowing it was close. people asked him how he did what he did, how he lived his days without regret. he just said, “everything’s going to be ok.” and he believed it. extraordinarily ordinary. every day.

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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the tide giggles. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

coffee cup dance

plan ahead, you say?   well, we thought we did.  we wanted a photograph to document our shore-sitting-sipping-on-bold-coffee moment that last morning on hilton head.  we carefully watched the waves and placed our mugs in the wet sand.  i stepped back to take a couple photos and voila!  the tide is a funny thing…something of which we have no control.  and so, the coffee cup dance became the moment and our laughter sated our need-for-coffee.

life, i suppose, is like that more often than not.  when i moved away from family to kenosha, the conversation went something like this:  “3-5 years and we will be moving on.”  it is now 30 years later.  30 years!  where did that time go?  what about the plan?  the tide seemed to have its own way and waves of joy and challenge, growth and grief, and simply TIME have washed over me.  the tide laughs in glee.

we try to plan.  my sweet momma had a great sign.  i wish i had it.  but it was something like this:

plan ahead

yet, despite our measuring, our strategizing, our calculating, our PLAN, life seems to take unexpected turns.  the waves roll in and the tide giggles.

why not giggle with it?

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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it’s real life. [k.s. friday]

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lists.  we have lists of things to get done today, this weekend, next week.  so.much.to.do.  “…it’s not just romance, it’s not just spark…it’s not just passion, it’s not just flame…” (lyrics)

we are not alone.  real life requires lists.  and lots of hard work.  together.   we lean on each other for the challenges.  we hold each other through the really tough stuff.

we just came back from being on an island where we heard a story about the recent high school graduation.  there were three (3) graduating seniors.  (the school has about 72 students, k-12.)  most of the people on island went to this graduation.  it lasted two hours, with speeches and personally-chosen-songs played by the graduates and a recessional.  it is amazing to think about how many unrelated people watched this ceremony, taking time out of their lives to witness this very important moment in the lives of these young people. it takes a village to raise a child.  yes.

but everyone knows everyone there, indirectly if not directly. deb recommended to never say anything negative or derogatory about anyone because they are likely related or best friends to whom you are speaking. she added, and i agree, that “we should always live like that.”  there is a shirt in her sweet bookshop that already has my name on it and reads:  heart>hate

as we plan our lists and our calendar for this next crazy week, we can see, ever so clearly, that our own village is here to help us.  we lean on each of them for the challenges.  they hold us through the really tough stuff.  it does take a village.  it takes each other.  together.  that is the stuff of real life.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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how does it matter? [d.r. thursday]

Studio Shot

the studio in our basement is full of beautiful paintings that haven’t yet found their proper home.  it is also full of boxes of cds that have been replicated and shrink-wrapped, ready for their new homes.  there is no shortage of completed work down there, no shortage of heart projects, no shortage of sweat and tears.  there is no shortage of work in progress, canvases prepped, notebooks of lyrics and melodic gestures.

we moved our 20’s father’s paintings last week.  today we will move the remainder.  as we carefully loaded big red, you could not help but feel wistful about these paintings moving away from their home, to be stored by 20.  duke was a prolific painter and his work is stunning; we wondered where and how these mostly large pieces would find a permanent home.  where does it go from here?

any artist, thinking about the impermanence of life, wonders that.  where does it go from here?  who will purchase it, hold onto it, look at it, listen to it, read it, ultimately – feel it?  will it matter later on?  does it matter now?

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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so much life lived. [merely-a-thought monday]

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we were talking on the phone.  it had been quite some time and there was so much to catch up on it was difficult to know where to start.  we started with this week.  “so much life lived this week,” heidi said.  yes.  so much.

in the last week or so we have traveled both east and west.  from the ocean to the mountains.  from children to parents.  from littlebabyscion to big red.  we traveled from together to missing.  from gathering things for a new home base to removing things forever from a home.  from being known to the dementia-induced-agony of being not-known.  from a new plan to yet another new plan.  from certainty to uncertainty.  from before to after.

we have driven over 3000 miles and flown 1000 miles. we had the absolute joy of being with our children.  we had the absolute joy of being with david’s parents.  we’ve been with beloved family, with our dearest friends, with complete strangers on airplanes, in rest areas, in hotels, in shops.  we laughed, we talked, we questioned, we argued, we cried, we cringed at how life changes, we celebrated life’s changes.

days swirled around us as we turned the pages of our calendar and we kept going.  taking snapshots, memorizing moments, sealing memories for eternity (as mike wrote).  for this was only one week or so.  and yes, there was so much life lived.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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