|Fishing River Bridge|
As many of you know, 2014 was rough for me...between two deaths in our family, one expected, one horribly not, plus travel, a mountain of work on the new book and my Sketchbook Skool stuff, I was drained and burnt out, just treading water trying to keep up. I tried to kick back, take care of myself, listen to myself and what my body needed...and what my spirit did.
We got a new holistic doctor who explored some of the health issues (yes, stress and depression CAN mimic heart problems--they are, rather, aren't they?), and that put some anxiety to rest. The elephant on my chest was named Grief, not angina.
I got an extension on my book deadline; that degree of Presence I just did not have, for business anyway. And slowly, slowly, I began to find my way back.
It was an incredible summer and fall, milder than it has been in ages. I'm not a summer person, after a bout with heat exhaustion some years ago, and heat and humidity can keep me indoors unless I'm up and out early. This year, Mother Nature smiled, beckoning to me...
My darling knight of a husband has always been incredibly supportive of my need to make art, pointing out things to sketch, never complaining, either sketching with me (rarely) or reading and napping while I worked...he knows I am not myself if I'm not sketching and journaling. I lose touch.
But still...you know how it is. You don't want to bore or inconvenience someone who is NOT as into it. You hurry. You do quick sketches, unfinished sketches.
And somehow know you need more...
Well, I'd always loved our yearly trips to the Ozarks, where he would fish and fish for 3 or 4 days and I would sketch my brains out, at Bennett Springs...but that was once or twice a year. The rest of the time I would do what I could...
This year, an amazing convergence of syncronicities happened. The mild summer, yes...but also he discovered warm water Tenkara fly fishing. It's a Japanese style, very simple, very minimal, very elegant...and he had to try it out.
And LOVED it. And I loved it!
There we were, every day almost, out there together, each doing what we loved most. He fished--he says that is as close to Zen as he gets, and he can concentrate for hours--and I made art, day after glorious day after amazing day, in the part of nature I love best, near trees and water and wildlife.
|I always seem to see a deer when I most need one.|
Summer faded into fall and the wonderful weather held. And he fished. And I sketched and journaled.
|Cooley Lake, one of my heart homes.|
|Exploring a new brush at Lawson Lake|
|Painting on a gravel bar in the Fishing River, a couple of blocks from home...|
|More from that gravel bar...|
|Tryst Falls and himself fishing...|
|Oak tree at Lawson Lake|
|Mayflies, Smithville Lake|
|Great Blue Heron, Smithville Lake|
Smithville Lake, Lawson Lake, Missouri River, Tryst Falls, Cooley Lake, Rocky Hollow, Watkins Mill, Fishing River, all within an easy drive...all beautiful. All balm to my spirit.
These are only a few of the sketches from our magical season...
|Old tobacco barn across from Fountain Bluffs, off Old 210 Highway...|
It is December, now, and somehow there are still days we are able to get out there...
And wonderfully enough, he tells his fishing buddies that he has THE Best Wife Ever...because every day it's at all feasible, I'm likely to say "You wanna go fishin'??"
My gratitude knows no bounds.