Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SPC--Environment Three





Sometimes, I want to live outside...my feet in clover, my head in the trees. For me, there is no greater place of inspiration. This week, I took many photos on our woods walk, but none of the ones of me turned out. Nature decided on my invisibility in every shot with a well-placed tree limb or an unexpected shadow, multiple ones catching only my hairline or the edge of my nose. This photo shows me at my primary writing station instead. The place I was avoiding a little bit with my longing for heavy green leaves, grasses underfoot, paper lanterns after dark and the first fireflies skirting the edges of the yard--always a bit out of the children's reach.

My inspiration board is newly finished for now--I've hooked coiling S-clips to images and ephemera that speak to me about the season or the book I am creeping ever closer to finishing. I have the portrait of Frida Kahlo done by my oldest girl when she was just seven-years-old, shells I picked on the beach a week ago during the first extended time spent with my father in sixteen years, a segment of Jack Kerouac's journals, a photo of the Dalai Lama, another of Edgar Allen Poe, haiku written by Chiyo-ni, a tarot card, images of birds (who feature in my novel), the latest postcard from my beloved teacher, Natalie Goldberg, the dollar I was handed in the checkout lane which had "IMPEACH BUSH" scrawled all over it with words like: "Protest, Demonstrate, Boycott, Speakout, Investigate, Question, Observe" inked all around the edges. I have photos I took from my time in New Mexico, the longing to get back to that place gritting in my teeth in the past few weeks...A letter my father wrote to my mother when he was in the Navy...A picture of a mother and daughter knitting (yes, story-related all).

There are other things on this board, though...things that I never would have in my possession if I'd never started this blog. Every single time I think I'm "done" with blogging, something reminds me of how this virtual support community has bolstered my writing, my creativity, and myself. There is a Lady in the upper left corner of my board, which brings to mind the inspiring day I spent in NYC with this talented author (whose book is out this week!). She's offered me creative encouragement and the most incredible tooth-fairy advice possible (I'm not kidding)...and I cannot wait to read her book with my girl. I also have a piece of driftwood sent from her precious lake--which was a part of the little package of heart-shaped stones she so kindly offered me just because I mentioned how I collected them. A photo from this woman's magical lens is on the far right and a card and some spent peony blossoms from another creative writer's shores have their place...as does a swatch I knitted from the gauzy yarn this badass derby mama gifted me with a while back. These little things (and the comments each of you leave behind for me here) remind me that I'm not alone in the creative wilds every day when I sit down to work. I've found that the perfect kindness of "strangers" via blogging has compelled me to search out creative connections in L-I-F-E and I now have a writing group I cherish, and a deeper authenticity about myself with the family and friends who've always meant the world to me.

So, yes...this indoor environment has given me many gifts. Lately, I have been back in the place I've created out of paper and pen in Migration Summer. It took some effort with the kids' school finishing and my teaching beginning to get back here. Now that I am immersed in it again, I find that I'm spending my days in two worlds. I'm pushing a swing and thinking about how Joe has pushed his children out of his life...watching boyo climb a tree and considering the twisted roots underground of my invented family's secrets...catching adolescence glinting in Petunia's profile and realizing my daughter characters' thinly veiled beauty emerging. I drive to work and compose subplots in my head in the car; a student looks a little tired to me and her weariness sparks insight into Gwen's situation. M. kisses me and words rise through my lips. Creativity is a current we can tap into wherever we find ourselves...this photo is just one moment in the flow.
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18 Comments:

Blogger Deb R said...

This is a beautiful portrait of you, Delia. And I loved getting a glimpse of your inspiration board.

12:36 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Your writing place and the inspiration board give me ideas for my own space.

Yes, this blogging community gives so much more, in many ways, than I ever could have imagined. I'm glad you stay.

12:41 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

you are so beautiful and your board is gasp worthy ~ when my place is finished being painted and my chaos is ordered again, i am putting together an inspiration board ... you are such an inspiration ...

*gasp* natalie goldberg is so my writing hero and has been for a good decade now !!

:) the blogging community lifts me up on days when i can't do it myself and gives me so much hope and beauty that it sometimes blows my mind ~ in a good way.

xox

1:48 PM  
Blogger January said...

"One moment in the flow."

I needed that today, too. Loved your inspiration board. The best part is seeing and hearing about what matters most to you. Excellent!

2:05 PM  
Blogger Miriam said...

This is a very cool photo! I love the board and how you look like it somehow...like your picture should be hanging on it just as it is on the side of the photo.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I was able to see it up close and you did a wonderful job with this project. Good for you! XXOO

5:04 PM  
Anonymous gay said...

i love this portrait of you. you look like a part of the board not just a person sitting next to it.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous acumamakiki said...

this is such a beautiful portrait of you D, i hope you add this to your inspiration board so you can look at all you have to offer everyday. xoxo

6:09 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

wow, Delia, there are so many things I am smiling about here.
Your beautiful tanned summer self looking at us; your daughters kahlo portrait; "relax, it's summer"; bloggy love remnants on your board; its 3-dimensionality;
time spent with your father...

Seems to me like you are spending your summer time well :)
Vx

8:11 PM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

What a wonderful collection of goodies to look at! (I'm so honored one of my ladies is up there!) And I really know what you mean about living in two worlds. I find lately I'm living so much more in the fictional world that I have nothing to blog about without telling the latest things my characters are up to! Also -- I envy you fireflies. They'll probably always feel like a part of my childhood in Virginia since we don't have them out here. It seems so wrong we don't have them! Send me some!

8:21 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Oh very very cool. I want to make something like this.
And I love the word "relax" on your board. Reminds me that there are always things about you that make me go, "ahha.yep.me too." lol. I have been grinding my teeth so bad they are breaking. (really.) So seeing that made me smile. ;)

I am so happy you never left. Knowing you here has made a little part of my life richer.

:)

12:18 AM  
Blogger MAHIMA said...

delia!
the photo is lovely. and i love your board!! how inspiring to sit in front of that and write!
i have an inspiration board too. for inspiration while making art, writing, doing yoga, dancing...
visiting after while, and again i have to tell you, i absolutely love the words you choose.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Your inspiration board is so rich and beautiful as is this portrait of you.

It is nice to read your words and about your inspiration.

Hugs

1:22 PM  
Blogger angela said...

love the board, what a wonderful portrait.
i'm glad you are still out here :)

3:53 PM  
Anonymous luzie said...

You look so stunning in this photo! I love how you described the board and what's on it- truly inspiring stuff.

And I also love it when mere blogging acquaintances turn into blogging friends and, subsequently, into 3D-life friends. Totally awesome.

xx

3:34 AM  
Blogger January said...

Delia, I used the last line of your post and used it for my poem this week ("just one more moment in the flow"). Hope that's OK.

10:47 AM  
Blogger wish studio said...

i so love your inspiration wall...i was telling someone i work with about it today :) she created a similar one, but instead of wire she used ribbon tied all around the frame. such great ideas all around me!

10:26 PM  
Blogger Kim G. said...

Creativity is a current we can tap into wherever we find ourselves . . .

Wow - love that! So often it seems that we think we should be writing OR parenting OR working OR cooking, etc. . . it's great to believe that we can be in a flow of energy and creativity that makes room for the existence of it all in one moment. I love your board and seeing your writing "environment".

12:19 PM  

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