quick update

img_2964_maple-2

My nailbeds are a lovely blueish purple right now. The building has steam radiators which are controlled from the boiler room with a timer, the timing of which is still apparently being worked out. The dogs are curled up in the bed and Angus has taken to sleeping in a ball with his tail over his nose – very fox-like – in order to keep warm.

I’m about to pull on socks and shoes and my coat before I head down the hill to the library and return Denise Levertov’s collected works. I haven’t finished it, but it’s due soon and I’ve added it to my Amazon wishlist in case some lovely family member needs an idea for a birthday present next year.

I discovered recently that she actually transplated herself to Seattle at some point in her life and is buried in the cemetery where I often take long, peaceful walks. A couple weeks ago, I made it a mission to find her headstone and managed it quite quickly as it has a very distinctive sculpture on top of it. She’s not far at all from Princess Angeline’s (Chief Seattle’s daughter) resting place and she’s very close indeed to my favorite tree in the cemetery – a massive copper beech with the most wonderful purple-y russet leaves.

I’ve begun to do some temp office work while I figure out what I want to do and where I want to go. The uncertainty is a bit stressful as there are other forces at play which will determine what happens in the next 6 months. But change is stressful and I knew that would be the case. We’ll make it through.

The crows have missed their daily treats – I usually leave before they’re awake and get home after dark. On Friday, Coyote happened to spy me while I was waiting for my morning bus. He rushed over, stood at my feet, and scolded me for my absence. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything in my pockets to offer him, so he went away disappointed. But not before attracting the attention of the other people waiting on the arrival of a bus. Yeah – crazy crow lady reputation justified.

I’ve been squeezing in time to write and do my little watercolor sketches, though I prefer daylight for the latter so I’m afraid painting will be a weekend endeavor for now.

Off to the library! And then home to a hot, hot shower to thaw feet and fingers.

Be well!

tufted titmouse

all that glitters

goldfish

I’m finding art to be my much needed “de-stress” meditation recently. For a few hours every other day or so, I’ve been losing myself in line and color.

It’s been a blessing to not be thinking about anything other than what’s happening beneath my pen or paints. And I’ve discovered that the more I do this, the greater my patience grows and I actually take my time with each piece. And I’ve been enjoying challenging myself to paint things I’ve never painted before. Like this goldfish, which will be a gift for a wonderful person who loves goldfish and whose birthday is coming up soon.

For a while, I think, the poetry will be on the sparse side while I enjoy the paints and ink. Be well!

peace interrupted

crow 2 IMG_6442

an expostulation of crows
unceremoniously drowned out
by the lawncare quartet –
mower, blower, chipper, and saw

they cling to the high sawara
in hunched recrimination
thinking, I think,
much the same as I

© Sarah Whiteley

Crow update? Well sure!

The crows are still in the midst of molting (or moulting for my UK friends). So they’re looking a bit scraggly at the moment. Added to that, their numbers are increasing as a precursor to the winter roosting so I’m at the time of year when there are no longer just 5 or so following me about, but 15-20. Most walks consist of me, two dogs, and an abundance of bedraggled looking, very vocal crows. This morning I had roughly 10 walking in close formation behind the dogs – it looked like I had my own feathered army. One woman stopped her car, leaned out the window after honking at me, and said “they’re very bold, aren’t they?”

I’m very pleased that I can still pick Coyote out of the bunch and more often than not the two babies from this year’s nesting.

A little farther north, Sorrow is still around and still comes swooping in for treats. He’s always been quiet for a crow and doesn’t demand or cluck or scold like Coyote does. I haven’t seen Mirth for several months now and I have to believe that either he’s gone his own way apart from the flock or he’s simply no more.

I’m enjoying my strange friends while I can. A move is on the horizon for me so I’m afraid my time with Coyote and his brood and with Sorrow is limited. I’ll miss them more than I probably ought to – silly, sentimental me – but will appreciate their raucous company while I still have it.

commencing countdown

waves 2a

In just a little more than 40 days, I’ll be driving south on the 307 on my way from Cancun to Tulum. This trip has been in the works for several months now, but it didn’t really hit me until the day before yesterday that I’ll soon be standing with my toes in the sand on that beyond gorgeous stretch of beach.

I’ll be going solo again, and that’s ok. I’ve been feeling the urge to flee and regroup for a while now and traveling alone gives me the opportunity to not only do that but also to write, play with the camera, gaze at the stars, and reflect a bit on the major changes I’ve tackled this year (admittedly, some of those changes have tackled me instead). Of course, the amazing shrimp tostadas and fresh guacamole won’t exactly hurt.

I’ve learned my lesson from the last time I put myself through a full day of travel (I get beyond grumpy). That first morning in Tulum, I will be walking the labyrinth at sunrise as a way to center myself, cast off the unnecessary baggage, and squash the grump in me. (Methinks I need one of these at home!)

PS labyrinth

apologies and a quick update

My apologies for the radio silence over the past couple of months. I had a lot to handle in a very short time and unfortunately this meant all blogging activities were put on the back burner for a while.

The good news is I’m BACK! However, the blog will be going down temporarily beginning next week while I work on a redesign which will better incorporate some of the photography and art projects I’ve been working on along with the writing.

Thanks everyone who checked in and emailed to make sure I was still breathing! I swear I’ll be making the regular blog circuit again in just a short while.

Be well!

Celebrating!

Five years ago today, one tiny little poem marked the beginning of ebbtide. Five years! Am I celebrating? Hell yes!

I am so grateful for the countless ways in which this little space on the internet has helped me – as an emotional outlet, a sounding board, a source of writerly camaraderie, and a place to celebrate beauty. There has been a (much-needed) sort of inner awakening in my life since I began this writing journey, and so many people have touched me through this medium that I can only hope I’ve been able to do a little of the same for others. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for five wonderful years!

Peace,
Sarah

and the winner is…..

…. Charles from Read Between the Minds! Congrats! You should have an email sitting in your inbox.

For those of you who are maybe unfamiliar with Charles, I would strongly encourage you to go and check out his poetry on Read Between the Minds. His writings are sharp and insightful – and quite often the smack upside the head we all sometimes need.

My thanks to everyone else who entered (especially those who were brave enough to attempt the couplet)! I am eternally grateful for your readership, your feedback, and your support. And who knows? I may decide to do another one of these down the road.

Sarah

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

CONTEST AND COMMENTS NOW CLOSED!

Here we are, at the barest edge of the fall season (at least in this hemisphere) and what could be better when the weather turns than sitting next to an open window with a nice hot cup of coffee, wrapped up in a something soft and cozy, reading a book of poetry? Bliss!

I’m here to help you make at least part of that picture happen… that’s right, readers! I am giving away a FREE copy of my chapbook No Direction But Home to one lucky commenter!

Here’s the deal:
* leave a plain old boring comment on this post (one comment = one entry to win)
* OR leave a comment in the form of a rhyming couplet on this post (one rhyming couplet = TWO entries to win)
* comments will remain open until Wednesday, August 28th at 8PM PST
* the winning entry will be drawn from a box (I don’t own a hat – too much hair!)
* the winner will be notified via email! no worries if you don’t have a wordpress account – you will be prompted to enter an email address when you enter a comment (no one will see your email except me and I solemnly swear it will not be shared or used for nefarious purposes)
* out of the country? that’s ok too! if you happen to be one of my British, Australian, or other overseas readers, don’t let that keep you from entering
* sorry, but the mug and the lovely handknit alpaca scarf are NOT a part of the giveaway (you wouldn’t want the scarf anyway – it sheds like the dickens); I WILL however throw in a fabulous bookmark from ALL CAPS PUBLISHING
* GOOD LUCK! and do be sure to check out the other great authors over at ALL CAPS PUBLISHING

Just to clarify: a “Like” does not constitute a valid entry – you must leave a comment to enter