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Morning Serena, A very inspiration story. Am proud of your upbeat amazing strength. Just like those crocus and snowdrops. Not sure how you can keep that gravel away. But, perhaps somekind of barrier during the winter, high enough to catch some of that stuff. Looking forward to seeing what else you will find popping up. Hugs
Morning, Susan, and thank you! Gardens are good grounding in challenging times! As for the snowplowing, I will be getting a little snowblower that will be gentler on the driveway and eliminate the annual spring cleanup on my lawn. This year was the worst due to the ground not freezing.
Thanks, Serena for this up lifting story. And yes Spring is coming. Our Snow Drops have the advantage of no plowing but they were transplanted from a place of great neglect some years ago. Such strong wills they have. Thanks again
I love that phrase, “…such strong wills they have…” Describes these tiny little flowers perfectly!
Raspberries, my favorite fruit. Digging – I think using an auger might be helpful. https://powerplanter.com/power-planter-auger-guide/ Happy gardening.
Raspberries are my fave as well. They never last long from the supermarket so it’s nice having them right in my back yard! Thanks for the augur suggestion, Susan! Definitely have to upgrade my garden tools from a shovel and hoe!
Day Corporate Suits may have a different meaning than it did pre-2000. Think of “the company man” ideal of the 1950’s or the Pre-911 Wall Street trading floors with suit clad folk shouting and running about over small pieces of white paper. The character that defines this model of post WW working life persists, however the Silicon age, the societal shift from proper, formal decorum to casual, and now the COVID-era work in your pajamas from your bedroom and maybe brush your hair has steered the expression into different channels. Miriam Webster defines the word corporate as “having qualities (such as commercialism or lack of originality) associated with large corporations or attributed to their influence or control” or when distilled down to its essential meaning, “of, relating to, or formed into a controlled unified body of individuals”. When distilled further the crux of the meaning arrives at a crossroad. A reframe of Day 5’s title could be Ditch the Unified Group. Walk towards your inner directive. Self-create. Draw out of self an independent direction.
The freedom to self-direct, to unfetter oneself from unified corporation, to remove a socially imposed mask and open to the possibilities that rise out of inner prompting is a noble freedom. This is a courageous path that I have idealized from a young age, and for a complex of reasons have been unable to manifest in the passing iterations of my day-to-day life.
This, in my opinion, is closer to the most refined understanding of freedom; a word that has been recently under conspicuous attack by citizen in-corporation that co-opts the word freedom for its own unified objective underpinned with a cloaked intent for control; such as to assert the individual ‘freedom’ to shove cameras in unwitting persons’ faces without respecting the other separate individual the freedom to consent; or to not mask during a global pandemic because of asocial, political ‘freedom’ to infect others at will with a deadly if not long-term debilitating disease. AND to legalize doctrinal ideology that eliminates free choice of intimate personal decisions, decisions that that reside only within the sacred chamber where God’s given grace of free will is in relational conversation with a human heart. Really, what this ‘freedom’ may be is some contorted sub-genre of unified corporate-suitism, (ranting a bit, but cathartic to say the least).
A sterile sameness portrays the corporate suit – corporate lawn, corporate car, corporate landscape. In colorful contrast walking the multi-faceted, thought filled, life giving and life growing individual path opens the door of possibility to a world filled with curiosity, exploration, reflection, surprise and delight. While composing this last sentence I saw myself holding a large willow basket and placing in it every variety of my favorite fruits perfect in their ripeness. Yum!
Now one could argue this does not mean that those wearing a corporate suit cannot carry their own basket. In fact, I am quite sure we each are born with one. Plenty of examples exist of individuals within the corporation container who go home, put their own clothing back on and follow their own music score. It is possible, I know, to memorize poetry while watching test tubes simmer. We know stories of those who would write by candlelight in the darkness of night. But what Serena addresses on Day 5 is the arrival at a crossroad where you meet a scarecrow pointing in two directions. The road laid in the north to south direction is one that follows the status quo and the road in the east to west direction is where one will travel with the independent imagination. In choosing this latter direction one jumps ‘full Monty’ into the sea, sloshes past voices of reason, swims through the sting of survival instinct to at last reach a place of self-navigation (notice the absence of the words still waters).
I will forever admire the trailblazers, transformers and creators that traverse unchartered territory every day. Honor to those who have wandered along a path not corporately remembered, but who have left behind them quiet wakes from their making, which are ultimately knit into a quilt of collective memory at a scale that no one person alone would ever be able to grasp. Hail to those of us who set our sights on travelling our own landscape, but for a complex of reasons could not. Thank you to all who have tried. Keep on keeping on & Don’t Stop Believin’. Journey to the fare-thee-well.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Pamela! You have captured the essence of the exploration behind the 365 Days Project: to look to the artists as we navigate this time of great change and embark on a new era founded in creative thinking while releasing ourselves from old, unworkable systems.
Artists have been doing this for millenia.
Listen to the Artists.
hi serena. i just found your blog and particularly this piece that includes my friends paul and leah. their son, aaron, has been my best friend from growing up in the area in the 1980’s. i don’t know if you still keep in touch but i wanted to sadly let you know that paul passed away this past weekend. i’m glad you got to know the family.
rest in peace, my friend.
Thank you for your message. I have remained in touch with Paul and Leah since I still live close by and have been seeing Leah more often since Paul’s passing. He was indeed one in a million. How wonderful you got to know them through Aaron! I grew up in the area and had already moved away by 1980. I came back 25 years later and that’s when I met Paul and Leah. Small world!
Thanks again for reaching out! – SerenaK
The old idiom, ‘Curiosity Killed the Cat’ has two terrible flaws. The statement conflates the story of a cat who runs into trouble with a body of water because of some kind of misadventure that put the creature in the path of harm. Oh dear, that may have been an Aesop story of a dog with a bone who saw a dog in the water with a bone. The dry dog wanted the wet dogs bone. He jumped in and realized there was no wet dog with a bone and so jumped out again quite dispirited that he was now wet and there was no extra bone to gnaw on. The dog completely overlooked the fact that it might nearly have drowned for nothing. Thinking in this vein it was Narcissus that came to a terrible end by looking into a pool of water. Of course he was set up by Nemesis who wanted to teach him not to spurn a woman – in this case Echo. Echo unfortunately put all she had into a single stupid guy to the point of wasting away, a shortcoming of many of us girls. Luckily most of us get over this potentially fatal flaw and become more like Nemesis. So just to put a tail on this, Narcissus fell in love with his own image (the dolt) and once he realized it was just an image and his love would forever be unrequited he cast himself into the water and drowned, presumably. Let’s try again. The old idiom, ‘Curiosity Killed the Cat’ has ONE terrible flaw. It is an incomplete account. (That’s not the flaw.) The full saying is,” Curiosity killed the Cat; but satisfaction brought it back.” That is more to my liking as it pairs well with the well established fact that cats have 9-lives. (I still see the cat falling into the water.) Moving on, the flaw is that the first part of the saying is a warning not to get your nose into other peoples’ business, but the original idiom communicates that despite the risks our curiosity may guide us to the fulfillment of a quest-ion. The common expression is pretty watered down right? Furthermore this saying is NOT the original. The saying morphed from “care killed the cat”, which refers more to worry than meddling. If curious look it up. You will find a fine statement about courage. Of course none of this has anything to do with creative curiosity, except maybe the courage part – and the risk part. But seriously now, let’s pause here at this intersection where curiosity and observation cross paths. This is where I think Serena Kovalosky is taking us, on an odyssey of creative exploration that leads us into the guilty pleasure of touching below the surface of things. I think I shall go swimming. Wanna come?
This is an excellent take on how a simple proverb has discouraged creative curiosity for centuries. I love the fascinating history of the proverb and didn’t realize it had it origins in a 1598 play with the “Care killed the cat” version borrowed by Shakespeare. Definitely worth looking up for those who are “curious!” Thank you for your insights!! – SerenaK
Ideas come in storms for me. It is an internal alignment. Time and practice has taught me not to discriminate bad from good ideas. Showing up to the idea is more important. Tending to creative ideas has been a personal failing. I have allowed so many seeds with their desire to be seen to drop forgotten rather than to care for them as one would a plant. To give nurture to an idea is a privilege of sorts. How many people have had an idea that they could not bring to fruition because of internal and external circumstances? How many potentially life changing ideas have been lost. To let ideas arrive, settle and walk away is a kind of spiritual negligence don’t you think?
I love the phrase, “Ideas come in storms…!” They do indeed! I believe that we can’t possibly undertake all the ideas that float through our psyche. And even when I resonate to one of them, I sit with it a while to see if it has power for me. If not, I let it go.
However, when there’s an idea that sticks around and I have the feeling, “I need to do this and I know I can” – even if I don’t have the means and don’t know how I’ll accomplish it – then that resonance creates a spark in the Universe which puts everything in place so I CAN make it happen. I may not have the finances or the circumstances in advance, but once I give in to trust and step in with both feet, then everything I need arrives in ways I would never imagine.
Is it easy? No. There will be challenges, roadblocks, setbacks. But I always get what I need.
I never wait for everything to be perfectly set up before I begin. I simply begin and the road appears….. – SerenaK
‘As I learned to work through them over the years, I found they often become magnificent doorways to something I’ve never tried before, leading me to fascinating discoveries and truly unique work. If I’m not making “mistakes” once in a while, I’m playing it too “safe.’ Mistake Making can be both joyful and freeing. Improvisation is an example. To improve is not to have a polished end, it s the process of exploring patterns and combinations that one may have never tried before. Isn’t it so part of the living force to explore, to relish surprises. One PBS program some time ago presented how a Japanese student worked on a math problem that was hard for him. As the student stood at a blackboard and struggled his classmates cheered him on and the teacher encouraged and praised his mistakes, this went on until he got it right. This was an inspiring story to me. The experience of failure, is it not tied to social conditioning? During my elementary school experience I felt such shame when I made mistakes. It was important to achieve, excel etc. Learning process has changed some since the ’70’s. Here is a fairly recent article https://www.pbs.org/…/its-okay-to-make-mistakes-how… I find the message here quite inspiring and I think applicable to creative pursuits. Mistake begins with the letter “M” -like MMMagic!!!🎩
Yes to Mistakes as Magic!! I, too, was terrified of making mistakes as a student and into adulthood. It might have been the era – we were all pushed to work hard and excel. It’s exhausting when mistakes are not part of the process! Thank you for sharing the excellent PBS article, and for your wonderful writing! – SerenaK
Ha! Rule following. My cousin is not a rule follower. She breaks rules without trying. If you say turn left she will go right. I admire rule breakers, path blazers, heart followers, risk takers, “I’m defined by you!” forsakers. These are those who go zig when the rest of the herd go zag. They are the seekers that find the cliff, stand on the cliff’s edge while their compatriots shout pointing their bony fingers, “You Must Stop! See the cliff?” You look at them, stare back at the drop, shrug your shoulders and jump. Suddenly a huge condor flies under your fall and you land on its back. It swoops down. You lose your hold and fall bottom first into a clump of sage brush, which breaks your fall. You look up and see a dozen horrified faces staring down at you. You stand. Brush yourself off. Give all your friends a nod and walk on. Now the moral of this story is DO NOT rely on condors and sagebrush – that would be just foolish, a Pandora’s box. But know your heart and follow it even if it is the ‘Road Less Travelled’, (which in terms of the poetic reference has now been travelled a lot). And if you abide by your truth you may step into a few messes, but you also may walk out through once locked doors into freedoms only travelled by those who dare. She smiles as she with glee finishes her fourth cookie of the ‘only two-a-day’ rule. They were small. Really.
My! What a beautiful tale you weave! Cookie rules are the easiest to break…LOL!! – SerenaK
It is with great sadness that I learned that sculptor Wick Ahrens had passed away in 2016. He was raised on a dairy farm and had immense respect for the natural world. His love of whales grew from a mentorship under the late Clark Voorhees, also a carver of whales. Ahrens had an opportunity to study these majestic animals up close, and actually stroked the throat of a Humpback Whale in the Bay of Fundy. His plaques and sculptures grace the homes of collectors worldwide. His commission of a 17-foot gray whale and her calf is thought to be one of the largest wooden cetacean sculptures in the world.
just a quick note to tell you i am enjoying your daily writings. some how lost track of them the first time around;. This time will keep better track.
Hi Mary! Glad you are enjoying them! It’s been great going through all the writings, and seeing they are still relevant, ten years later!
The best chedder. So disappointed I can’t get it anymore. I would always stop by & purchase it when I was in Arlington. I remember one day last year I arrived just as they were closing. The owner was outside & locking the door when I pulled up. He must have picked up on my disappointment and actually unlocked the door & let me in so
I could purchase some. Had I know they would not be there much longer, I would have bought a lot more! Wish it was available again.
How fortunate you were able to purchase the last of the Truck Drivers Cheese! I really appreciated the owner, Rick, and his knowledge of cheeses. I keep my eyes open for signs of the shop opening again, or if the cheese ends up being sold elsewhere. I miss that cheese too!
I knew George +received all his art when our dear friend MARTHA DAALLAS died among my own collection he truly was a gifted man in many ways,we as a community,,, ,we provide for George’s brother dear Mickie love safety food
My deepest condolences, Pam. You are fortunate to have his exceptional art in your collection. It’s wonderful the local community is coming forward to make sure his brother is cared for. He was truly one in a million.
My father, Earl Russell was the one that created The Cheese House and the Truck Driver Cheese. Although he franchised other stores throughout New England, to the best of my knowledge the Arlington store was the only store that produced it. As others have said, it did have quite a following and will no doubt be missed.
Thank you, Robert, for your response and information! I have been wondering what has happened to Truck Drivers Cheese now that The Cheese House is closed. It was my favorite and is indeed missed.
Thank you for bringing Gary LeMaster to our attention. The whimsy or was it courage to step out of the box made all the difference. Oh to follow his example
Often, it’s the artist’s need to create that overrides all obstacles. We might not be thinking how courageous we are when we’re doing it – we just know in our bones it’s what we have to do.
I’ve been eating Trucker’s Cheese from the 60’s (Arlington VT). I was crushed to learn they have closed. In fact, I was going up there on a Tuesday, so I checked on the ‘net to see what their hours were…they had announced their closing THAT DAY! So…how do we get the cheese now?
As far as I know, The Arlington Cheese House was the only seller of the famous Truck Driver’s Cheese. Their cheese-making process resulted in a very limited production. I am keeping my eye out for a new Truck Driver’s Cheese vendor that may emerge and will keep everyone posted. I miss it too, Tom!
A really good read. A tapestry of art, growing, life, nature, wonder what if
Thank you Mary! Coming from you who knows all about such things and lives them daily, it is the highest form of compliment!
Purchased truck driver cheese at your shop about 20 years ago while visiting Vt. Could never find it again till now. Can we order on line and do you have a list of other cheeses with a price so we can place an order
Glad you found it through the article! Unfortunately, I just learned that the owners retired and the Vermont Cheese House is now closed. What a loss for lovers of their famous truck driver cheese.
Greetings, Serena I am sitting in my art studio, looking out at Bellingham Bay with sunshine slowiy awakening our day. I have spent the past 5-6 weeks, nursing a bonchitis or (whatever It was). During, this time, of solitude, it has given me a chance, to contemplate the quiet and changes I and, everyone have been thrust into. I’ve always loved my alone time. While, I have not picked up my paint brush, as I had thought I would, i have enjoyed, a since of calm. I’ve taken an online course called ‘Art2Life’. Nicholas lost everything during the 80’s recession. He recreated ‘Art2Life’ from scratch. I have thought of other artist’s such as my hairdresser, Mila Faulkner. She has delved into her painting with gusto and also her gardening. I believe out of this crisis, there will be amazing works of art created. Authors will be writing remarkable novels. There will be films made. There has been a remarkable community of citizens, who have stepped up to the plate, mask makers, neighborhood helpers, and lots of students who have made videos, to reach out to their peers. Teachers have learned to teach online, students are learning what it is to dive in and do what they need to do, for their and our future. The amazing creativity, that I see already, is what artists, makers, and futuristic thinkers naturally do. The challenges that you and other artists seem daunting, but, I see artists having amazing strength to forge ahead. That’s what they do. New art, new dreams, new re-creating is in your dreams and genes. Sending lots of positive from the West Coast to you. Susan
How beautiful! Thank you, Susan, for the positive vibes from the West Coast! I hope you are feeling better!
Thanks for sharing stories from the artists in your circle and online, reminding us to look around at the art and artists surrounding us – as well as appreciating the value of what artists and creatives in all mediums can offer as we move forward. Now is the time to listen to the creative ones!
Hope to see you again next time you’re back on the East Coast.