Posted by: jeanne | January 6, 2011

from my travel journal 5

thursday septemer 23.  full moon.  dream.  staying with my sister somewhere in nyc.  she’s in a squat and paying $440/month, because the world has ended and the streets are roamed by cannibals and zombies.   so my kid and i are staying with her while i arrange to go further north to a settlement.  i’m trying to take cuttings of plants with me, and need to memorize the directions.  the ex husband’s joining us, had a brief conversation with him about getting the bus to work back in nyc from there.  then i’m alone in the apartment and see two of the zombies thru the trees.  i can hear them talking.  one’s named marvin.

i run around trying to lock everything, but it’s an old falling-down building and he comes in thru a window i thought i’d gotten, with 2 kids, and announces that he’d arranged with management that i was today’s meal.  he showed me a homemade gun that shot bbs.  i took it and fired it at him, and he promised to take my eye out with it later.  i was just starting to tell them how bad a meal i’d make when i woke up.

i woke up to a nice dawn, with wind from the north; all rain and beauty.  i did more rearranging the studio, this time to accommodate the ironing board as i start with the fabric work.  i cut linen and silk for a wall-hanging i’m going to do for my friend k.  i’m planning on dyeing the linen red and black, and putting the scene outside – a wall and bushes with fuscia, the side of the mountain, and a bit of sky and a bit of ocean – on silk.

a cloudburst over the bay.

i get quite drunk on my single pint o’guinness.  i save it either for my lunch break, sitting outside on one or other large rock looking at the waves and the rocks below, or my celebratory pre-dinner end-of-day liquid resuscitation.  but up on this mountain it’s like ambrosia, and packs a wallop.  thank god for guinness.

often there are places in my head – limavady, beenkeragh.  i don’t know why.  they just speak their names while i’m standing there painting.

it’s very cold out, the wind’s from the wnw tonight.  i’ll have a fire for sure, may even close the windows.  so warm for late september.  i’m so lucky, even tho i complain about no rain.

i dyed the linen as a scrunch dye – my fingers are stained red and black.  i set up a makeshift set of fabric stretchers – collapsible tent-poles shaped into a rectangle – and stretched the silk with fabric clips attached with rubber bands.  all this stuff i brought with me.  now i’m trying to figure out the drawing.

a rainbow landing right there in waterville.

friday september 23.  dream.  first i was about to be married to the king.  there was a baby i was to mind, i guess it was the replacement queen i was to raise.  the king was suspicious of me, there was a test – he sat me down all accusatory and made me drink a glass of something.  but i’d heard him preparing to test me and figured it was some sort of antabuse substance, so i ate a bite of bread and took the liquid around it, and then pretended to puke it all up and everyone was happy and they gave the baby to me.

the second part of the dream was with my kid and her baby daddy.  they were in last night’s dream.  we were in the part of town that had nothing but big box stores, and one or the other of them went in while the other spent their time looking for them outside.  the center was brand new, with still plain dirt areas, and at one point there was a carved-out place in the rock and i went back into the defile with the grandkid, clambering about.  it was all very ordinary feeling.

it was cold last night, i shut all the windows.  the wind is ene this morning, the sea’s calm.  the low tide left long trails of sea foam.

being alone is good.  i like being alone.  i put in close to twelve hours of work yesterday, and that’s only one measure of my happiness.  i was in my own space all day, with loads of beautiful land and sky and sea to watch changing.

this was a photo i took amidst sighs and moans.  just that beautiful.

even the mountains move when i’m not watching.  the far mountains that i’ve painted and photographed and sat outside looking at for about half of my time up here, they were in a totally different place in the light yesterday.  much closer, it’s not just the atmosphere affecting my view, tho.  things’re alive here in ways the rest of the world has forgotten how to see.  but i’m the same person in two places and it doesn’t move for me at home.  i think it’s the fairies.  any place that supports fairies is by definition magical.  such a full (fall?) day.

the linen’s in there dyeing away.

washed out the linen, and now i’m boiling it because colors came out too dark.

the village staring my sister and her dog, in oil.

more work on my sister’s village painting, lights but not purple.  started painting rocks into the wall.

waves crashing on the rocks, in encaustic.

mixed up more encaustic after messing with first wool/waves only a little bit, washed more wool in preparation for the second one.

a second, much smaller waves picture, this one with embedded wool.

sorted paper bits for the wall.

torn bits of abstractly painted paper, rock wall colors.

haven’t done anything else, not even lunch.  it’s 4ish and i’m fatigued.  talked to my sister for half an hour, jim for 15 minutes, gail for 10.  even ian wrote an email that my sister read to me.  the weather was beautiful all day, but cold.   i can see everything, every little fold in the far mountains.

the studio end of the cottage, with the day’s work in progress.

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