Of cabbages and kings…

 

I continue on from my previous blog to watch the skunk cabbage transform in the Northeast. It completely changes and opens up it’s thick, protective rubbery skin to release beautiful green leaves. It’s not smelling like skunk yet, so I am awaiting that event with tempered enthusiasm.

My walk today found me sitting and meditating on a log. Listening really. It had been an unsettling day for no reason, other than being cooped up at home and not knowing the future. At times like this I turn to the woods and I am embraced and rewarded with their tidings of hope. Here I feel most whole, most at home, most at peace, and the most insightful. I can see here, and I feel seen by the trees that I’m hugging and the birds I am hearing, the trickling water, the shimmer of light, the colors, dead brown and white of light, green of vibrant new growth. Here I am most grateful.

A song came bubbling into my consciousness…

See me, feel me, touch me, heal me                                                                                                      See me, feel me, touch me, heal me

It’s a song from Tommy. Let me say this first. I have never seen Tommy, I do not have the soundtrack, and I have no idea how the tune flew into my mind, but it reflected my heart to these woods.

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So I sat. And I heard wood peckers, wind in the trees, trickling brooks, rustling of leaves, squirrels chattering, even a little chipmunk dashing. And then as I continued on walking, and as I was speaking into my voice recorder to remember the moment, I heard (and recorded!!) a couple of loud “hoo hoo hooooooo’s.” Looking up I saw two huge Harry Potter-looking owls high in the trees. They were over a foot tall and I watched as first one, then the other flew, their wings flung out in huge sails as they drifted to differing branches.

Dumbfounded and in awe I knew I was experiencing another charmed-life moment of magic. I was too discombobulated to get good photos but I snapped this one that is like a pinch to my arm to prove it was real.

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Googling when I return home I discover that they were Barred Owls, their distinct hooting call a dead giveaway. It is a rare event to see them (let alone get a voice recording of them), a gift that reminds me to hang on and get lost in this beautiful world of yours, mine and ours.

See me, feel me, touch me, heal me                                                                                                      See me, feel me, touch me, heal me                                                                                                     

Listening to you I get the music                                                                                                            Gazing at you I get the heat                                                                                                                Following you I climb the mountain                                                                                                      I get excitement at your feet                                                                                                               

Right behind you I see the millions                                                                                                      On you I see the glory                                                                                                                    From you I get opinions                                                                                                                      From you I get the story

Listening to you I get the music                                                                                                            Gazing at you I get the heat                                                                                                                Following you I climb the mountain                                                                                                    I get excitement at your feet 

-Feel Me by Pete Townshend

My own sculpture park…

Hello my friends. It has been over a year since I’ve posted a blog. WHAT? Yes, life got busy, I didn’t feel that I had anything new to say and I worked more and meandered a little less. But here we are in a new era of stay-at-home-for-my-own-good-and-the-rest-of-the-world. Being a director/teacher/actor makes me one of the horde that has been laid off until further notice. So now there is no excuse not to post and write. So we will call this the Meandering of the Mind series since “going out’ can really mean “going in” as John Muir says.

I went out for a solitary walk along a large pond. I marvel that there is always something new to discover. I have never seen the blooming of the skunk cabbage plant and I would not have guessed that they looked like this…

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To see them bursting through the decaying leaves and swampy ground was better than any outdoor sculpture park I’ve seen. I am not a fan of modern, metal monstrosities in my woods, I like my trees and nature unadulterated and these growing skunk cabbages are the perfect illustration of why. You couldn’t ask for a better bit of sculpting to admire, with color, texture and medium perfectly suited to their surroundings. They are quite thick and sturdy right now, and remind me of the protea flowers that I first discovered in Hawaii with an almost woody strength. Continue reading

Roadside falls

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Kathy, Lori and Audrey happy to see each other!

One of the best things about road travel is the people you meet along the way, some old friends and some new. Today was full of old friends in Reno, Nevada, Kathy and Grandma Blume. After wonderful visits we packed the car and set out for destination Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

We had about 7 hours of driving and while filling up the gas tank the spout spit gasoline onto my leggings and as much as possible I soaped it off in the public restroom. I smelled of gasoline the rest of the day. We didn’t have time to do the trip in one day so we stopped for the night in Twin Falls, Idaho, under a beautiful rainbow. Continue reading

3 states, 5 towns, 10 days & 25 people

I’m just back from a whirlwind trip to the West Coast. Having moved to the eastern edge of the USA it is difficult to see all of the people and places that mean a lot to me in one trip, but this time I can say that I came close!

IMG_6485I flew into Seattle to connect with my daughters. I met a new grand-kitty, celebrated a birthday, saw a new apartment, walked to the beach, ate some amazing food, extolled the virtues, and adorableness, of Seattle’s plethora of little free libraries and watched one daughter in a dance performance at University of Washington. This was a last-minute addition to my trip west and I can’t even explain how important it was to my own well-being. Seeing my daughters and their friends in the midst of their living is a tangible delight and more than necessary, even if only for a few days. Continue reading

Before Panorama and after Panorama…

I’ve been ignoring my blog. This happens. As much as I love to write, I become entrenched in my daily life, ignore the tugs of the blank page, and take to filling my days with teaching, acting and reading soul-stirring writing. Well, I’m back, for a moment, to check in and connect with my own writer’s soul.

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Girls Road Trip!

In the fall, I took a road trip from Seattle to California bringing along all three of my incredible daughters. It was hands-down the best thing to happen in 2016. We left Seattle heading south, our first stop a night in Ashland, Oregon to take in a play at the popular Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Our plans were in constant flux so we arrived without tickets with the intention of getting them on sight. Continue reading

Cinderella in Cannes (Third and Final Cycle)

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Night views of Cannes from the after party

(Continued from Cinderella in Cannes Part 2) Having slept but a few hours, I boarded a shuttle bus to the Nice airport. On the flight back to NYC I was seated next to an adorable couple. I discreetly admired their holding hands and obvious affection for each other. They were having the best time and eventually I got drawn into their mischief. Norwegian Air was fantastic and had a touchscreen at each seat where you order food and drinks and the attendants bring it to you. My row-mates were enjoying keeping a tab going and sending wine to my seat as well. I don’t know if I have ever laughed so long and hard on a flight and I’m sure we were innocuously absurd to the other passengers. My new friends kept trying to hook me up with the guy in the seat ahead of me, Continue reading

Cinderella in Cannes (Second Cycle)

(Continuing along to France…) The drive to Cannes was long but Paul was a super (and fast!) driver. The first night we spent on an overnight ferry (see Cinderella in Cannes Part One) and I fell asleep with a distinctly strong smell of fish in my nostrils. We ended up pulling into Antibes, France, just a few miles northeast of Cannes at 10pm. I went out searching for a sight of the beach Continue reading

Cinderella in Cannes (First Cycle)

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Cannes, France

First off let’s get the pronunciation of Cannes right. People here on the east coast  of the USA say CAHnnes, in a hoity-toity way. One friend corrected me when I said CANnes, France. So I looked it up and lo-and-behold my high school french didn’t fail me, it IS “CAN” rhymes with fan.

The reason to get the pronunciation correct is that the film Continue reading

brown, barren, baron?

I went for a quick hike in New Marlborough, MA last week. I was looking for Dry Hill Trail, one that I failed to find last year because of a snowstorm. This year the snow has held off and the trails are covered in only a blanket of dry leaves, but it was still a challenge to find. In the process of failed turns and roads that lead to infinity I looked to my left and saw this view…

Stone Manor, New Marlborough, MA on the way to the trail

Stone Manor, New Marlborough, MA on the way to the trail

It never ceases to amaze me that the Berkshires are filled with beautiful castles Continue reading

The House that Cap Built

The street where I live

The street where I live

After a hectic summer, I have moved all of my belongings from Seattle, Washington to a small town in Massachusetts. I grew up in the country but I have never lived IN a small town. Here in Lenox I can walk to the dry cleaners, the market, the library, the post office, restaurants, bars, get a great latte and giggle with a friend in a fabulous bookstore. Small town life suits me. Continue reading