Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Beauty will save the world."
~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My newest tattoo is such a joy to me. It's wonderful to have a tattoo that I can see easily and it serves as a reminder to me as I go through my day that I am striving towards a Beauty that saves, and that this striving, the artistic vocation, is a path to holiness. It is especially helpful to have this reminder in the community that I find myself in: one that generally considers Art "stupid" and unnecessary; one that sees Beauty as little more than vanity.

Seeing my lovely tattoo throughout the day, designed by my dear husband, is an ecouragement, whether I'm gardening, throwing, baking, cleaning, or dancing, to strive toward the Supremely Beautiful, Who is Christ.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"We must not only cease our present desire for the growth of the state, but we must desire it's decrease, it's weakening."

~Leo Tolstoy

Whenever I fall back into Tolstoy, real-life takes on the too-defined, unnatural color of a dream, and I forget to wake-up completely. Tolstoy turns my mind inward, and when I do look around, my view is always accompanied by a sense of astonishment and unease, as though I can't really be certain that what I see is in fact, reality.

Living in the woods has confirmed and strengthened my distrust for the state. It is difficult to remember, while tending my garden, building, chopping down, and in general improving my little world - that the world of politics is an actual force, having an actual, and lasting effect on the world around me; that it may at one point, even touch on my little haven.

One of the many reasons we moved out of the city was to escape some of the over-bearing concern that the state deals out in ever-increasing amounts to those in easy reach. We wanted to be somewhat beyond that reach, and we've certainly found a lovely spot. Our rural town reminds me of much of Michigan's Upper Penninsula, where I'd always noticed a pleasant disregard for the rules and regulations that flow from the capital. I don't want to paint too rosy a picture, there are inconveniences: our town hall is rarely open, all officials seem to be on a very part-time basis, and so we've had an awful time obtaining an address. But I'd gladly take the difficulties of a small town with it's tiny government in exchange for the freedom to do as I like on my land.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"When you go to bed, don't leave bread or milk
on the table: it attracts the dead."
~Rainer Maria Rilke

These past few weeks have been so full of undesireable tasks that take us out from our land, and run us 'round in traffic and crowds. I have a longing to quit my job and cloister myself away in my woods, where I can hear the rain on the roof and light footfalls in the trees.

There is something about the roundness of our yurt that gives the building an sense of pagan sanctity. As though the spiritual edges blur a bit in this space, and things that would generally be driven into the dark corners of a modern home can come out into the open. I feel as though I ought to leave bread and milk out for them: the fairies and the dead, to welcome them in under the wide eyes of our Icons, baptize them and give them a space to be.

My dreams have been vivid since moving. I recently dreamt I met the "dead I feared," they laughed at my fears and befriended me. Primarily, a young dark-haired man who hovered in covered spaces, where low branches made an overhang. Strange dreams for strange, moonless nights, I'm grateful to our dear Maty Bozha for her watchful eyes that see even in the darkness.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."
Henry David Thoreau

I have been neglectful. But I have excuses, primarily The Great Move, from apartment to yurt, city to country, electricity to primative. We have taken our giant step off the grid and onto our own piece of earth. The move has made us busy with many projects, and these projects are essential. We have a road to improve, an outhouse to cover, a library to build, and a garden to grow. But our projects are easy: we are in love with our new life, and love gives everything a rosy glow - even the horse-flies are a rose-colored nuisance.

One of the great blessings of this new life is a renewal of the sense of poetry in daily life. We were being drained by apartment living, and the move to the woods has reconnected us with the magic of the natural world. It is a blessing to be in the quiet.