22 October 2016

.what is the Universe whispering to you.

My sister was telling me about an article today that was titled, what is the Universe whispering to you? Tonight I went on a walk into the trees as dusk was setting in. I started the walk quickly - moving forcefully as if trying to free myself from something. Then the question came back to me, what is the Universe whispering to you? I started to walk slower to listen to the soft stream below - the gentle chirps of distant birds and felt the awareness of the air getting damper and colder - the autumn night settle in and then I heard: 

Be true to myself
Root myself
Love myself fiercely
Live slower
More being less doing

I kept walking into the darkness and repeated what I had heard a few times. I started to see the truth and also the pattern that when I start to find myself uprooting I find myself reacting which leads to doing more than being which leads to being more uprooted. 

So grateful for those tiny whispers and the clarity that always comes from a walk in the forest.

What is the Universe whispering to you? 

13 October 2016

.westward, again.

I landed on the west coast, again yesterday. The past few months have seemed like a blur of plane rides and beds and places and 5 outfits (ha!) and I have only just started to find a rhythm (or the beginning of a surrender) to all this transition. I'm back in my home state of Washington for a few weeks while I share space with my sister who is awaiting the arrival for her first baby. 
The past month has felt frustrating. I felt like I was waiting on people to tell me what to do or where to go or how to spend my time and then I realized I was frustrated because I wasn't making any decisions for myself. I was projecting that frustration of not choosing myself upon others. Realizing this perspective totally changed things for me about 2 weeks ago. I started to actively choose myself by making small tiny decisions. The small tiny decisions started to open up new and old joys in my life, my journey. I started running into and reconnecting with old friends and found that beautiful excitement in the studio that I haven't had for such long time. I met with a friend I hadn't seen in months for coffee and our creativity talk inspired me to keep showing up for jewelry to find my discipline to my craft again. To invest time in it no matter what the inspiration or motivation (or lack of!). A few days later I found a new opportunity for myself in December! Yesterday I left Boston at 6am feeling groggy and a little unsettled at all the things I could've done before I left for Washington but as I sat in the window seat of the plane and watched the magic of the changing landscapes pass me by I couldn't help but feel so grateful to have this moment - this view - this freedom. 
I read this poem (one of my favorite poems) on the On Being blog this morning and was grateful for this gift of this reminder - thankful for all the small gifts that are right in front of me all the time.
"The Journey”
by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations —
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.

06 October 2016

.fall in new england.

by Linda Pastan
I want to mention
summer ending
without meaning the death
of somebody loved
or even the death
of the trees.
Today in the market
I heard a mother say
Look at the pumpkins,
it's finally autumn!
And the child didn't think
of the death of her mother
which is due before her own
but tasted the sound
of the words on her clumsy tongue:
pumpkin; autumn.
Let the eye enlarge
with all it beholds.
I want to celebrate
color, how one red leaf
flickers like a match
held to a dry branch,
and the whole world goes up
in orange and gold.

27 September 2016

exposed::vulnerable jewelry collection

I went to Portugal to study metalsmith techniques and it ended up changing my relationship with how i made art - how i want to make art but it’s always a transition to changing a relationship/habit. I came back feeling recharged and lost - like reunited with a loved one after something has happened. This is jewelry. This is my art. This is my greatest teacher. But I didn’t know how to interact with it anymore. I was frustrated to not have the same relationship - to feel like I didn’t know it/connect with it.

Mark Nepo said that anxiety is the reaction to freedom.

At the same time I came back to a home that no longer felt like a home. In the following months I had to move out of a somewhere that I called home for a year and half, which is like forever in my timeline. I met - connected and separated from people in small and deep ways. I also met someone that connected with me in a new exciting and overwhelming way - a connection that made me feel recharged and lost. A connection that would demand openness/vulnerability in a way I haven’t been with anyone in a long time.

I left the east and returned home in the west and back to the east and then the midwest and head back east for a few weeks before I got west again. With only a small backpack, 4 outfits, The Book of Awakening and jewelry supplies. The great opportunity to learn how to be human - without comforts and hideaways.

I sat down in the studio again and started to make one earrings, slowly. I made the earring and then had another idea. I kept making pieces one at a time with new ideas slowing building on one another.

The pieces weren’t beautiful in a traditional way. The pieces were rough and industrial. The pieces felt like that were showing something they should be, exposed. The pieces are made with no home - an energy of being recharged and lost - completely human. The story I am telling right now. The story I need to tell over and over again to better understand this place I am in. The story I need to tell to reconnect with this new relationship I have with my art, jewelry. The new relationship in my life that requires all the darkness, space, details, roughness to be out - to be appreciated in a way something loved only can be, completely/actively.

I hope you find these pieces to be truth-tellers, reminders that we are all on this rugged /beautiful path. I hope you find community and healing in this universal truth we are all seeking. We are beautiful/unfinished/evolving/exposed beings - looking for a home/connection/peace/purpose and the only way is through in the surrender into this moment.

You can find the new wares in the AEO shop now.

20 September 2016

.the colors of the prairie.

I'm back on the east coast for a few weeks before I head west again. My time in Chicago flew by - lost in the studio - in stillness. It wasn't the trip I thought it would be it allowed the slowness - space - silence that I needed for opening up for what will come next. One of my last days in Chicago I took a studio break and drove north to a prairie grove.

Lately, I have really wanted a house - a place of my own - a sanctuary. I want to stay in a place and learn all it's details and secrets. Despite my want it just isn't the time. I'm living out of my backpack and will be for a little while. I walked alone through the prairie grove in the buzzing chorus of crickets and the rustling grasses and realized what a honor it is to be there and see the colors of fall in the prairie. To have seen so many seasons in so many places. It's time to stop waiting or dreaming or yearning for something that isn't here. It's time to find gratitude in the stillness and truth of what I have right now. To accept it's enough and it's what I need.

Oh the beautiful colors of the prairie!!!

15 September 2016

.stories to tell.

I was just reading Mark Nepo this morning, he was talking about stories - our stories. We all have stories to tell inside of us. We need to tell stories - over and over and over again. We need to tell them until we can understand them. It's only when we understand them can we let them go.

I haven't been making anything in the studio for the past few months. I was going to the studio but finding a big brick wall every time. I wasn't making anything, just starting and stopping - over and over again. I felt frustrated and emotional - the studio is my space to unload/recharge/root myself amongst all this movement and transition. It wasn't until Tuesday morning I decided to change my mindset, instead of going in with several pieces designed I was going to try to make just one pair of earrings - no expectations - no judgement - no bigger plan, just one pair. I made a pair of earrings. It felt so good. It gave me another idea so I made another pair of earrings. Just like that I was making again - slowly - less productive. I was allowing one idea to build organically onto another idea. It wasn't until yesterday and really this morning after readying Nepo that I was reminded, I make jewelry to tell my story. I just haven't known what story I wanted to tell - what story I needed to tell.

I'm back in the studio making jewelry, differently but I'm still telling my story over and over and over again until I understand it. When I understand it I'll release the story and find another story I need to tell thru my jewelry.

We are all storytellers.

How do you tell your stories?? I'd love to hear.

09 September 2016

.empty your mind.

It feels like such a long time since I've left/given anything to this space. 

I'm still here. 

I've been moving/traveling/exploring and living out of a backpack for over a month. I had to move out of my apartment and then couched hopped until I took a trip home to Washington state. It had been a year since I had gone "home" and it was just as beautiful as I remember. It felt so good to know the land of Washington, to not look up something on google maps. I spent the majority of the time at the lake, a beautiful lake where I spent every summer growing up. It felt so nourishing to swim,  sunbath, read and talk endless while you float in the crisp water. 

I went back to the East Coast for a week and now I'm in the Midwest - trying to "figure out" what's next - trying to be present here in someone else's home with only a few belongings of my own. I was telling my sister the other days I just don't feel grounded enough in myself to figure out what to do next...how do I make a decision from this place? Then this morning I read Mark Nepo and as also in perfect time, 

"Two scientist traveled halfway around the world to ask a Hindu sage what he thought about their theories. When they arrived, he kindly brought them into his garden and poured them tea. Though the two small cups were full, the sage kept pouring. Tea kept overflowing and the scientists politely but awkwardly said, "Your holiness. the cups can hold no more." The sage stopped pouring and said, "your minds are like cups. You know too much. Empty your minds and come back. Then we'll talk.""

 -Leroy Little Bear, 
The Book of Awakening

Mark Nepo went on to say 

"If at times you feel numb or distanced from the essence of what you know, perhaps your mind, like the sage's teacup, is too full. Perhaps, like a bowl too full of fish, your deepest thoughts have no room to move. Perhaps we all need from time to time to dump out all that doesn't stick."

And I realized maybe this journey of moving from west to east to midwest, living out of a small backpack is the process of dumping out all that doesn't stick. It's uncomfortable but something good is coming. Something good is here. I've never been where I am right now and I need open spaces to see it. I have to let go of what I've been holding onto to be able to grow in the ways that I need to - moving into the future. Maybe this is the Universe blowing through me. 

Life is SO powerful and challenging and I'm forever grateful to be a student of it's lessons.