Saturday, March 23

why you gotta be that way?


It turns out that not only do I know how to slow down, I can actually drop into hibernation at the end of winter.  I know!  What can I say-- I'll have to add it to my list of things I can do really well.  I'm thinking it should come right after 'ability to execute a pirouette while switching leashes behind my back when two dogs decide abruptly to go in opposite directions as we cross a busy street.'


Daisy:  is she making fun of us?

Henry: I feel so misunderstood . . .


Hiber. Nation.  I'm thinking that's a country I could move to.  Deep long days of rest and short-lived attempts at actually accomplishing anything.  Heaven.

It turns out that I was super tired or, as my kind house guest gently commented one evening in an effort to get me to acknowledge a truth that was glaringly obvious, "Elizabeth, you are exhausted.  Go to bed."

Isn't it funny how when someone else tells you something that you can hear it, but if you say the same thing to yourself it doesn't sound the same?  All I know is that it was some kind of much needed permission slip and I lumbered off into the bear cave without so much as a backward glance.

Doing nothing is honestly one of my most favorite things ever-- and I had forgotten how good I am at this much maligned skill.  I think part of the fear, for me anyway-- not sure if it is true for anyone else-- is that if you give over to the fatigue you'll be tired for ever more-- like somehow it will consume you.  Maybe this is why kids fight going to sleep so much each night?

Who knows-- all I know is that the only way I will get back into the happy, creative groove that I love is to keep on resting because recently some utterly fabulous things have been popping up and I know it is a direct result of all I am not doing--- go figure.

And, one of the things I want very much to find a way to do is being present here in a way that I used to.  This post reminds me of how once upon a time I captured bits of my experience that would be lost to me otherwise.  I can promise you that if I had not sat down and scribbled to you that day I would never remember that girl in class and her love of Kurt Vonnegut.  I simply wouldn't remember--- life moves too fast, I connect with many, many people in the course of a day, a month-- I walk tens of miles a week through all sorts of beautiful places that capture my imagination and taking the time to share pieces of it here operates as my little treasure box.

The key is time.  Instagram has stepped in and spirited me away from my camera.  The photos are so different, they are quick, easy -- and there's a real loveliness to the way they capture moments, but it's not the same thing at all for me.

Making the choice to carry my camera (read: lug) means that I am going to slow down and then, when I get home, there's the time it takes to upload images and choose a few -- slurp a bit more coffee that is rather chilly at this point and let the scribbling roll out.  It will only work if I am in the moment and have carved out the time to experience the moment.  See what comes up-- follow the thread -- it always leads me home.  Always.

Two issues that face me now that fatigue is no longer the chief obstacle are the cold and navigation.  The cold just is and it sucks.  Nothing outside inspires me in New England at this time of the year-- nothing.  Dead branches, brown, gray, raw -- not my season.  Plus my fingers get cold, my nose is red and chapped.  My head is always at a downward tilt against the wind.

In a word?  Blah.

So I have been taking a zillion photos of my living room which, given its dimensions is quickly reaching its limit of interest -- perhaps this is that cabin fever of which they speak?

The second issue is navigation.  I want to be able to speak my truth and share what is going on and yet, because I no longer have the luxury of the anonymity I had at bluepoppy -- I have to wend my way through without sharing anyone else's story but my own.  Not such an easy task, but one I need to pursue if I am going to get current here and once again be able to sit down and let the scribbles roll with no need for edits or diplomatic deletions.

Anyway, that's a little of my lately.  I'll shift into semi-hibernation in the next few weeks no doubt, but then I think I'm gonna stay in that mode until August.

2013 is all about the yes, all about the slow, all about returning to where I started and knowing it for the first time*.

bisous, e

*thanks Tommy


  1. I remember that post. I remember thinking what a fabulous teacher you must be. I remember loving every. single. word. of that post. And I remember how sad I was when I got to the end. My heart broke a little. I still think about your description of your Kurt story. I still strive to engage my own classes like that.

    Mostly, I am just so thankful that I can still read your words of wisdom. (Yes. Words & Wisdom. Quit arguing with me.)

    Happy semi-hibernation! Sending you L.O.V.E. xoxo

    And that is my two-cents!

  2. Oh yes...doing nothing is *so* maligned! It's a shame, because in doing nothing, there's something going on at deeper level...thoughts and inspiration and images start bubbling up. Of course, the problem is recording those thoughts and inspirations and images to act on later, because, well, you're doing nothing. And yes, I fear that doing nothing will consume me. But I know that by doing, doing, doing that which I *have* to do, I don't have the space to do that which I want to do.

    Here's to a happy end-of-winter hibernation to you. And here's hoping for soft, warm, balmy weather soon!

  3. i hear you. loud and clear, sister. rest up, love. we'll be here waiting when you come out of hibernation. xoxo

  4. yes. I just recently slipped my name onto my website and now.. it's on my website. What do I say now? But I also know how important it is to claim my opinions and really I've always been too afraid of people anyway. eek. also, I love this writing about doing nothing road you're on.

  5. i am discovering many creatives who have come to the same conclusion about *doing nothing*, and it seems to be the key to allowing oneself to be filled with new ideas and inspiration that have an opportunity to come to fruition. i know that my brain can only absorb so much before it begins to close down, and when given time to moodle over its contents surprises me with a burst of unexpected creative ourpouring! our culture isn't fond of what looks outwardly like non-productivity-- the irony is that keeping a sane pace (along with adequate rest!) usually results in far greater productivity! thanks for adding your voice to this topic. i always love the way you articulate your thoughts. i come away feeling that my own have been validated!

  6. Hey, love. Gift yourself permission to sink down into that lovely place. It's so, so good for us as women, as creatives, to find our center breath - and revel in the present moment. You deserve this.
    *ps.. Hello, first finished draft of your novel?! (saw on insta). So proud of you!! xo

  7. The art of doing nothing, it's already a book you know? one I wanted to write a few years ago until I discovered someone had already beaten me to it (heheh, see if you do nothing long does pay I have nothing to show for it...but me, of course!)...and while I have never had the presence or following you do, Elizabeth, I have learned much from your journey with a level of notoriety I initially envied, only to realize it's not what I want after all. It is lovely cruising under the radar with no one to write for but me, no feeling I have to meet expectations, and writing with blazing honesty if I choose to...or not. I do hope to bump into more kindreds here though in my deliciously as yet undiscovered world.

  8. Oh hiber nation, let me buy a ticket to there

  9. hey all you lovely lovelies!!! Megsie-- I would love to sit in YOUR class-- hell, I'd love to meet you after class and buy you a coffee and talk for hours. Teri-- thank goodness I get to see you in JUNE and watch you radiate sunshine and happiness as you walk about RDC .. you just glow! Jeanine!! I am headed to Montreal in May to see Dominique Fortin's new show-- I will kiss the city for you! oh Fiona-- I SO get it--- and love that you are doing it. Putting it out there-- speaking your truth come what may-- that is exactly what I want to do, too. Sassy-- you totally made my heart open more widely-- I am so grateful that you took the time to tell me this-- so grateful. You ARE validated-- sister!! Bella bella-- YES. The novel-- she is blossoming forth and coming into her own best self now. super exciting., .. stay tuned. Patricia you make me laugh-- I have no following, I assure you-- there's a group of here that gather and it is a shared circle-- I learn SO much from all of you-- that is the absolute truth. and Sarah I am thinking Hiber Nation might be next October in the wilds of the English countryside-- yes? oh yes! Sending so much love to you ALL !!!! xooxxo, e

  10. though my circumstances are not yours, your words "let the scribbles roll with no need for edits or diplomatic deletions" really spoke to me. this is the work of so many of us, if we are to
    wishing you space and peace to pursue and navigate this journey...

  11. oh yes Michelle--- that is what I love most when I find it in the blogging world--- loose, open, unedited, unpolished words . . . xoox, e

  12. I too seem to be crawling out of my cave, shaking my dazed head and wondering what everyone is up to (I've missed you!) I so love what you say about your SLR and the process of slowing down ... I have found myself writing letters (!) because they force my brain to go at a pace my hand can handle ... more intimate and I can pause and think (gasp!) instead of clicking away before the world shifts and my words disappear. So much to talk about and yet ... telling my story and what is going on inside and not looking like I am gossiping or pointing fingers ... it is hard. I am dancing the details quite a bit. But am feeling the possibilities of a new season and beginnings ... I hope to see you there :) xo

  13. oh Lis-- I resonate so deeply with everything you wrote-- it is SO NICE to know I am not alone .. . xoxoxo, e


thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e