July 6, 2011

* Taking a Teeny Break ....

I'm going to have to take a little break from creating whatever it is I've been creating.  Some of you know this year for me has been horrendous.  I was actually doing very well until about two months ago when things began going awry after I had already gone well past my limits in the awry department.

Then a couple of weeks ago ... well let's just say, I need to get my balance back.  Even my creative spirit has been brought to a hault, however, this evening I did do an art journal spread which I am going to share with you.  This is exactly how I feel.  Don't ask me to explain.  Please accept.  I would be in big trouble if I ever tried to explain this publicly.  Also, please know, I am in absolutely no physical danger.

So, having said all that, I would like to somehow keep you amused.  As you know, I have been digging through my old writing.  Even in the late 60's, young North American women were a novelty in Europe.  I was pursued.  Believe me, I know, I was there.  This is a piece from that time in Europe (Palarmo, Italy), in 1967.  I hope you enjoy it.

"The old tower clock in the square was striking 6:00 am as I awoke.  Dawn crept through the wooden shutters allowing lines to form on the chair by my window.  I arose and dressed in the clothes I had laid out the night before.  A pair of long black stockings, a long black dress, a black shawl for my shoulders, a smaller black shawl for my head, and finally a pair of fine black leather shoes.

I picked up my black umbrella. Slipping quietly down the narrow stone stairs I stood in the doorway.  A gentle misty rain was falling.  The cobblestones, old plaster walls and balconies appeared magical in the wetness and early morning light.  I stepped into the street.

The heavy humid air filled my lungs as I took a deep, deliberate breath, hoping to inhale the oldness, the history, the energy left from centuries of existence.  As my feet touched the cobble stones I could feel the memories of this place.  A small shiver ran up my spine.

The city was coming to life as I strolled the narrow streets.  Brilliant colours of fruit and flowers appeared in market stalls in stark contrast to the beautiful muted backdrops of the streets and buildings.  Two small boys, eager to get a head start on life, darted in front of me pursuing their soccer ball.  Vendors were busy stocking their stalls to display the daily wares.

No one paid me any mind.  Visually, in my blackness, I had become ordinary.  I could now be the observer, instead of the observed.

The streets became narrower, and as the city around me awoke, it began to stretch and move.  I could hear the sounds of footsteps, lively chatter and laughter.  Nearby a church bell rang, and donkeys with baskets loaded on their backs climbed the hill ahead of me.  Above me, a women hung her washing out to dry on her ornate balcony.  Twittering song birds in their cages appeared as their owners hung them on the outside walls for the day.  The smell of fresh baked bread, Italian coffee, fresh fruit and goats cheese permiated the air.  A man peddled past me - his baskets loaded with ripe tomatoes.

As the day wore on, old men sat at tables in the street and gossiped over bread, cheese, olives and red wine.  Women, sitting in a row facing the wall, busied their hands with traditional needle work, and chatted about the local goings on.

I stopped still.  I closed my eyes.  I breathed deeply.  I became one with the essence of my surroundings and quietly imprinted the scene in my heart for future reference.

As I crested the hill, the mist began to lift and the sun peaked through.  My umbrella became my walking stick.  Before me lay the Tyrrhenian Sea -- the bluest blue I had ever seen.  My heart raced.  My step quickened.

The fishing boats had left for the day.  The bay was quiet.  As I neared the small beach, the rhythm of the waves tugged at my soul.  In my blackness I was invisible - the sea and I could have our privacy.  We would spend a wonderful day together.  I was home!"

"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."  ~ Miriam Beard


  1. Donna, sorry you are not feeling able to play just now, but perhaps you just need a break for a couple of days, to do something else and get new ideas. I love what you have written, you have done it so well that I could see the whole *film* in my mind! Thanks for sharing, and take care of yourself! Hugs, Valerie

  2. You are amazing - even when you are feeling frazzled and awry you are entertaining and inspiring others! As I scroll through your blog, I come across so many messages - 'don't give up' 'be authentic' 'live and love with your whole heart''live with intention and purpose'...I could go on; my point being that you send these wonderful messages out from your soul and they really do touch us, they touch me! I love your writing and the terrific quotes you find, even though I do not get onto your blog often enough to tell you. Hang in there my friend, take as much of a break as you need and know that we are there for you. Cheers - Rhonda

  3. Donna, I love what Rhonda said and I ditto it! We are not going anywhere. You are a complete amazement to me the way you create and tell about it EVERY SINGLE DAY! I could not keep up with that pace. I applaud you for stepping away and taking whatever time you need....

    I also want to say that although it is so lovely to read what you have written, it makes me a little sad that in all my travels through Europe, I did not write a thing. NADA. I was just not in that place yet in which I felt the need to document my feelings in that way. I have a few pics - that's it, but not the same. Good for you for developing that skill at such a young age!!

    Take care, my friend. XOX

  4. I so enjoy getting your updates. We are all with you in the land of awry. Thank you for showing us all how to recognize awry and give voice to dealing with it - not everyone can.

  5. Donna, sorry to hear you too are stuck in the awry department. I've felt like that for a couple of months myself. All the tools and elements I could ever want just sit and I can't seem to put anything together. I think the stars, the moon and whatever else in the universe are out of whack. What else could it be?

    Hang with me; it will change. Life goes in circles and we're bound to get around to a better position soon.

    Love hugs,
    Carolyn S

  6. dearest Donna,
    Take care of yourself...if you need to take a break then take one. Be good to yourself, thats the most important.You are an amazing writer and artist...it will be there when ever you are ready to do it. take care, gerri

  7. Your writing from time in Italy was beautiful. Do hope things turn around for you soon. All the best.

  8. Dear Donna who did it and does it still . . . when one creative outlet is not working for you I love how you reach to reflect on another. What beautiful writing you did in Italy.

    I would say you are very adept at tuning in to yourself and what you need. Please just keep listening and take care of you!!! I will check in whenever I can and it will not bother me if you do not have pages of art for me to look at. Whatever works, I say! I am here because you are you!! xoxlenna

  9. I am sorry I wasn't here yesterday. I feel the same as everyone else. The thing I want to add is " You are ART. There is no escaping it. YOU live it. Whatever way you choose to express it- it will be all right. Your awry pictures speak from the soul. They may be my favorite.
    hugs and hugs..Donna Oh yes and your writing is amazing!

  10. Donna, it is courageous to be upfront with the world through your blog. I feel that we all connect better with one another when we tell our truths...thank you. jane