I mentioned that we went to swim at Playa Colibre (Hummingbird beach) on Friday evening. Yesterday evening, we went there again. I've always been an avid beach comber, and enjoy picking through the flotsome and jetsome more than I do swimming. I took the camera and here are some images of a few things that the sea had left behind.
I am struck by the creamy pastel tones of these objects. And I've always loved the jacquard patterns found on many of the shells, each one unique. The range of forms and textures. Each object with it's own inherent story of a profound, journey in another world.
This is Playa Colibre. A sheltered slip of coastline on the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Golf), with a few remnant patches of Mangrove. Usually, we have the whole beach to ourselves.
Here's Nilo. Although he spends most of his time face down in the water with a mask, looking for fishes, he's only just realizing that, if he moves his arms and legs at the same time, he can actually swim. I explained to him that, most children find it hard to learn to swim because they're afraid of being underwater. But since he goes there to be under the water, he has nothing to loose.
Thanks to those who left comments on yesterday's post, with constructive advice about my "flock" as Christi called it. She passed me a link to the site of fiber artist Karen Franzen whose work depicts cranes and crows, (among other natural subjects). I remembered the work of an artist called Catherine Hamilton, which I was first introduced to by the artists sister, Lisa, who we happened to pick up on the road one blazing Summer's day four or five years ago, here on the Osa Peninsula. Catherine's work is hauntingly beautiful!
I still haven't decided if or how to move ahead with the "Bird Habitat" cloth. But even if it comes to nothing in the end (as so many of the things I start tend to do!) as always, these small journies, and the people that one meets along the way, make it all worthwhile! :)
I have fallen in love with Manya's fishes! For me, Manya's work is very special. Honest, lyrical, and clearly made with a fullness of heart.
Last Sunday, I worked a little while on my latest cloth. The "bird habitat" cloth. Trying to keep it simple.
Just a layer of gauzy muslin, with a hand stitched outline. Perhaps too simple?
Don't know what I think of it. Whether to let it sit, or keep going, or simply forget about it and move on?
Originally, I had the idea to draw the outlines using a special pencil that, supposedly, transfers the design onto cloth by ironing. That didn't work at all. I tried steam ironing it on. I tried ironing it onto damp cloth. Either the design did not tranfer complete, or the pencil bled. So, back to the drawing board on how to get the design onto the cloth without drawing it out by hand again.
It's all about learning and process. Some things work and some things just don't work! For example, weaving with pure layers of indigo denim, looks and feels wondeful, but is murderously hard to stitch, because of the density of the layers that are created. I broke two quilting needles on the first row.... lesson learned!
On the way back to the farm yesterday evening (the first time I've managed to get home in 5 weeks!) I spotted this bloom on the roadside. How's that for an explosion of color. Brownea macrophylla (?) a member of the family Fabaceae. Makes a perfect center piece for the table.
By contrast, before we came home we stopped off at Playa Colibre (Hummingbird beach). I haven't been to the beach for over a year, even though we live on the coast. It was a bra and knickers affair, since I hadn't been expecting to go there. We swam in the Golf, in the cool of the late afternoon, and the water was very salty and very warm. At one point a turtle bobbed in the water a few meters behind where we were. And on the way back to the car I found this shell. I've never seen anything quite like it. Pale, and thinner than paper. I wonder how it survived the journey from ocean to shore?
I have been thinking alot this week about time and about the things - which are not really things at all - that are most important to me. And how it's probably wise for a person to review these points on a daily basis. And how it's probably wise for a person to weigh each one against the other, and adjust one's settings as needed. Because, as we know, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of living life on a default setting! And, perhaps because I have been thinking about these points, or perhaps through sheer coincidence, several poignant conversations with different people have occurred this week, which in some way, have helped bring me to a deeper understanding of...hmmm... the things which are most important to me. And so in the spirit of sharing, and also in an effort to make a note to self, in today's post, I'm just throwing some of that "out there". Although, admittedly, in a kind of rambling way :)
Yesterday, at work, I had a brief but, to me, profound conversation, with a special friend (who is also a fellow consultant on the project), about... hmmm... I suppose you could call it approaches to life. We were talking about some people we know, who manage their day according to a timed schedule, literally moving from one activity to the next. Let's say, 7 'till 9, yoga. 9 'till 10, breakfast. 10 'till 12 tennis. etc, etc. And we were discussing how that's how these people have "fun". And we were imagining how that kind of life style might be, and thinking that it didn't seem to allow for any time to reflect on the "fun" that might be being had. And we both realized that, as much as the activities we like to do ourselves, what makes them worth while as far as each of us is concerned, is the moment for reflection. And of course, not everyone's the same! But it got me thinking about how, those moments are really the most important thing to me. Fleeting as they may be. And a good example of what I mean being, this particular conversation that we were having... sitting on the grass, in the shade, by the edge of the lake, and really being in the moment. And really appreciating the value of that. And really feeling the layers of meaning attached. Then we got back to work. In the blazing sun, on an open grass plain, surrounded by a constant flow of heavy equipment, and the air (and our skin) covered by a blanket of dust rising up from the roads, as is so typical of this place at this time of year, in this season of unimaginable dryness. The whole conversation lasted maybe 5 minutes. But for me, the moment felt somehow life defining. In a some small yet powerful way. Weaving complexity, yes, but at the same time, perfect in it's simplicity. If you know what I mean ;) And it makes me think of something Jude said here.
I continue to be kept busy with work. Very long days. And very long evenings. So I haven't had a chance to focus on my current cloth. But in my head it is moving slowly forward. And on paper I've come up with this, which will be somehow incorporated with what already exists.
I don't know why, but I have always had a thing about wading birds. I would love to be able to hold a large white heron. Another dream of mine is to someday see a flamingo lake.
One of the great things about where I'm currently working is that there is a lake. We built it. And on that lake we have created bird habitat.
The images above are of large white herons. I don't have the guide to Costa Rican birds here, so I can't tell you what species these are right now.
Here's another of my favorites, the Rosate Spoonbill. Taken from a long way off, with a limited zoom lens.
I was also so excited the other day when I saw this on Grace's blog. It reminded me so much of papyrus paper. And that got me thinking about art of Ancient Egypt. Which I have also always had a thing about. Our youngest son - Nilo - is named for the River Nile. My eldest son - Eben Ptolemy - that name came from the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Several days ago, I was sat starring hard at this small pile of cloth...
And nothing came to mind. Although I made this sketch...
And since it didn't mean anything at the time, the whole lot got stuffed back into the "creative draught" bag (and thanks so much to sweet friends who left comments on my last post or who sent meaningful messages about that).
Last night, the power went out. My computer went off (the battery lasts just long enough to save anything that's open). I was sat at the kitchen table, with a candle. There was a block of newsprint and a green marker, and I found myself sketching bird motifs in the semi-darkness.
When you make a connection between incidence and incidence, do they then become co-incidence?...