the last two weeks

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon and I've been sipping multiple cups of Bija Deep Cleanse tea (my caffeine buster).  Feeling more contemplative than motivated ... looking back on a productive and very social week following our near perfect trip to St. Augustine of the week before. 

Turns out we didn't take any pictures on our trip ... we chose to flow through our days and not try to document them.  There was the 6am decision to take a 2 1/2 hour detour to avoid driving into the teeth of a tropical storm.  Turned out to be only 1 1/2 hours and well worth it - only a short stretch of heavy rain and wind.

There were breakfasts at the beach followed by long beach walks. 

We had an inspiring afternoon at a wonderful used book store, Anastasia Books.  Chatting at length with the owner, Sandra Parks, a 7th generation St. Augustine local and wife of the late Stetson Kennedy.  Stetson was a contemporary and good friend of Woody Guthrie, marched with Martin Luther King, infiltrated the KKK and lord knows what else. Dave, the librarian, Civil Rights history guy,  Woody Guthrie fan and generally well read spouse, was about to bust when Sandra offered a guided tour of Stetson's archive.  We loaded into her car and tooled over to her house for an amazing look into the world of this extraordinary man.  Dave pretty much floated through the rest of the day!

We dined with good friends, Joe Mark (my older brother Gene's best friend) that I've known since I was 13 and his sweet wife of almost 40 years, Patty.  Spaghetti and good wine watching the sun set over the salt marsh, mullet jumping, great blue herons and wood storks flying overhead, egrets coming home to roost in trees across the marsh.  Joe and Gene pretty much saved my life when I was a horribly depressed teenager.  They would take turns on weekends and make the drive from Gainesville to Tallahassee to take me to galleries and concerts, giving me something to relate to and celebrate.  That Tuesday evening I finally, fully choked up and borderline sobbing, got to thank Joe for his role as guardian angel.  That by itself made the trip worthwhile.

We swam in the cool, salty ocean, walked for miles, drove around and through ocean hammocks and ate wonderful meals.  Another great meal was with our PT friend, Deedra, now living in St. Pete Beach.  We felt very honored that she made the 3 1/2 hour drive up to St. Augustine.  Deedra snapped this shot of me getting ready to dive into my first raw foods experience at Present Moment Cafe.  It was amazing! 

After a glorious trip, we got home on Saturday and it was time to get back to work on one more wholesale order ...

I was pleased the gallery requested a discontinued piece, my ladder bracelet ... I do love this piece!

If you happen to be in Yosemite Valley, head over to the Ansel Adams Gallery and see the new work. 

This past week was particularly social - 3 dates with friends ... hours spent chatting and catching up, tea drinking and yummy lunches, studio strolls and gemstone identification.  Probably a record for me.  Unfortunately, I have a hard time socializing and getting anything else done, so I just rolled with it and enjoyed the downtime.

Now I'm gazing around my studio.  Small things make me smile ... one of my milk crates filled with silk and linen and favorite books.

I'm trying to just drop in on this new book and not get totally lost ...

Oh, but the week ahead ... I'm very much looking forward to the week ahead.  Nothing on my calendar.  My sketches and research materials for expanding my Talismans lay ready and waiting.

Before hunkering back down for a while, I wanted to share one more thing.  I've been wanting to write down my own credo or manifesto or operation manual.  There's a slew of them out there and I've been thinking it would be helpful as I move forward through what continues to feel like a time of major transformation.  Yesterday a few things came to me.  In no particular order, here's what seems important right now.

Give freely
Stand proudly in the authentic ME
Create with abandon
Honor my past ... it is what made me who I am today
Celebrate the awareness of repeating life patterns.  That awareness is a gift and holds the opportunity to finally heal and move on.

Okay, so that's what I've got for now.
with boundless gratitude and heartfelt blessings ...
l i g a - kvk