Saturday, May 29, 2010

Freecycle, Serendipity and Shakuhachi moments

This being a national holiday weekend in the US, for Memorial Day, it's officially a day to commemorate veterans of war, unofficially the opening of summer, and fiscally a weekend for stores to hope desperately people will shop and shop for summer items. Doomed to disappointment in my case, since my gesture to material things today was a wonderful bit of freecycling.

Freecycle is more than an exchange of items, when you are lucky enough to have local freecyclers who share information, conversation, general sociability, along with great stuff. Today's was with Linda a freecycler who did a wonderful job last year of emptying her late mom's house, with great respect, a lot of care, and much work to do it right. I was one of the recipients and came to see how Linda applies these notions to more than just freecycling.

Anyway, she came back into my life this weekend with an offer of craft items, which of course were a great magnet for me, who knows what might come of them. And I went out today to a different address from her mom's old house. She explained it, far better than Mapquest, why am I not surprised, and told me to look for a horse farm.

Now, around here people often say oh, I live in an apple orchard, or I live on a horse farm, and what they mean is that it used to be that but they have a new house on the site, no horses, nor apple trees. However, in this case, I actually ended up finding her in the stable out back, tending to actual horses.

To whom she introduced me, a big quarter horse, lovely guy, a little pure white miniature, Star, with massive main and tail, who studied me closely, just in case anything good appeared in my hand, and a third one another lovely bigger guy, an Icelandic, who slipped his head through the doorway just checking. What a treat. No pictures, light levels too low in the barn. Turns out little Star, about a quarter the size of the biggest of the three, is the boss of the outfit. If he says the big guys can't go in their part of the pasture, too bad, they have to get his go ahead, if he manages to get in their section first. They each have a personal section, and you can see why the bigger guys are probably happy about that.

I was impressed at how calm they all were, considering I was a total stranger coming at them smelling of cats, probably, and they were happy to get a stroke on the nose. Nice zen atmosphere in the barn.

Different horse place, but I wanted to have them in here!

And the craft materials are terrific -- some items will go right into the fiber art hanging I'm working on right now, others have future plans. One basket will go on the hearth for logs in the fall, one tiny one on HP's table for his cruet set. Stamps, always welcome, and will probably take up bandwidth in future books I create.

So that was an expedition to an area I'd never been in before, a bit of countryside right behind major roads, May a perfect, green, time to do this. And Linda experienced in home care for an invalid, on top of other work commitments, just a great person to touch base and talk with today.

Speaking of invalid care and caretaking, Thursday I was at the local libe and met Ruth L., a terrific person who takes great care of an aged husband with a lot of needs, but aside from being a physio, is an artist, an embroiderer recently nominated for the Golden Thread Award of the Embroiderers' Guild, I must check this out more, it sounds very impressive.

Anyway, she and I were talking about our lives and times, and I was in the midst of explaining what the Shakuhachi master who came to the Recorder Society last year to demo the Japanese Shakuhachi flute and culture had commented. One of the bases of playing it is to recognize that whatever other sounds or noises happen during the playing, which is not tunes, more of a meditation, are not to be seen as interruptions. They become part of the experience.

Once you get this idea, you can see how even huge and seemingly bad things that happen are not an interruption of the life we should have had. They are part of it. Anyway, I was in the midst of saying this when one of the libe staff interrupted to greet us and just make sure to catch us when she had the chance. We've both done art projects with her and don't see her half often enough.

After she moved on, we both realized she had just illustrated what I was talking about! too cool. The rocks in the river that make the music.


  1. "part of the experience".... May I recommend (author Katherine Govier). Exquisite detail of artists in Japan 140 years ago. I think you'll like the book, the website and the subject.

  2. Wonderful expotition!!

  3. Nothing like stroking a horse's soft nose. They quite like cats so would not have been offended by you smelling of them. They are also as guilty of cupboard-love as our cats and dogs. They just have much bigger feet!!



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