Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And Then, What Really Happened

Buon Giorno!  Or, as we like to say in Sunnyside, hello!

Wait?  What?

The week before leaving for Rome, I was up at the Monastery in a week-long, silent meditation intensive retreat.  It is a wonderful thing and I highly recommend it to all but it did add a certain level of stress in terms of being ready to leave for nine days in Italy about 24 hours after getting back home.  Indeed, as I sat in silence for those many hours, my mind would turn towards this trip and it would say "No."  While my fears around flying came into the picture, the No wasn't totally about being afraid.  It was more a longing to stay put (for once).

I am pretty sure that when the idea of wandering around Rome seems like a burden and chore, then it might be a sign that the timing is off.  I mean, it feels almost like a crime against humanity to say that you don't want to spend nine days in Italy.  Who says that?

Apparently I do.  Each day, I would do a little check-in with myself:  how does it feel to imagine going?  How does it feel to imagine not going?  Then, when I got home, I checked in with Lucy, who said, "I knew I didn't need to pack!"  Old Mom is very obvious, I guess.  I checked in with Finn, who just said that he needed more money if I wasn't going to be around to pay for everything.  Ever practical, that guy.

Finn will be coming home for a spell very soon, so I will be seeing his long and lanky self in, well, about nine days time.  Now, I can actually be ready!  And finish the living room curtains.  And paint the walls.  And get the couch re-upholstered.  Also: grocery shopping.  And get the two art projects that returned from their various locations organized and put away instead of filling the above-mentioned living room.

I know that all that I just mentioned could have waited for nine days with no dire consequences but it occurred to me, as I sat in my stillness and silence, that my body was giving my a very clear message about what it needs.  Usually, I might notice that message and overrule it.  I mean, we gotta do stuff, right?  That's how we prove our worthiness to occupy this little patch of real estate that we currently occupy on the planet.  Right?  I had the very radical thought that I might be worthy of occupying my little patch of real estate under my feet without running my body into the ground and even without making everyone around me happy or impressed or anything at all.  What if I just listened instead and  did the thing that was alternately easier and more difficult and stayed home?

Finn plans to return to Italy after getting a job and saving up some money so he can mix up WWOOFing with other travel.  So, we considered this a postponement not a cancellation.  Of course, who knows what will happen in the meantime - he is in a pivotal time of his life - but I trust that Rome will be there.  It is the Eternal City, after all.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Holding onto the Bars

Yesterday, I went to see an exhibition of paintings, drawings and etching by Giorgio Morandi at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea.  It was so beautiful that I actually got a little teary-eyed.  The paintings just shimmer with their subtle colour changes and simplicity.  They are both confident and humble.  Pure joy, really.

As a bonus (as if we needed one!), we discovered that there were two other shows at David Zwirner (the guys owns almost a city block of gallery space): one of paintings and drawings by Bridget Riley and one of sculpture by Donald Judd.  Three home runs, if you will excuse the sports metaphor on an artist blog.

I went to see these shows with my art school pal, Patrick Glover, who is, himself, an amazing painter and someone who it is great fun to talk about art with, although we were pretty silent in the Morandi show.  It is beyond words - you just have to feel it.

Patrick had arrived on the block where the Zwirner real estate empire resides before me and had looked into a gallery across the street.  He didn't have a very high opinion of the work on view there - photoshopped landscapes that were manipulated, enlarged and then painted over - but he invited me to go look just in case he had missed something or sold them short.  To be honest, I already knew what I thought even before we got inside - the paintings visible through the window from the street told me all I needed to know.  But, we went in and looked more closely.

In a good story about redemption, we would have looked more closely and discovered their hidden beauty and realized how our short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction was causing us to miss out on so much of the nuances and beauty available to us in life.  But it didn't happen that way.  The more I looked, the snarkier I became, first in my mind and then, out loud.  I became irritated by what I perceived to be the fatuous attitude of the work - sickly sweet colours, the worst kind of cleverness in the technique, and meaningless content.  I began to imagine this guy at parties, surrounded by glad-handers and being praised for his talent.  And him smugly accepting this praise as his due.  Indeed, I had a full picture of him, his life, even his clothes and the inevitable beard.

It must be nice to know so much from so little, right?

This is what struck me as I hissed sarcastic comments to Patrick and we sniggered in our own version of smug superiority - a feeling that was so familiar that it actually felt physically warm.  And it felt old and worn out.  I realized that I had not had this kind of snarky conversation in a long time, where I ripped apart someone's art with my words and my superior attitude.  While it felt so, so comfortable - oh yes, I know this place so well! - it also felt kinda yucky.  I thought about how reluctant we (I) are (am) to let go of the bars of the jail cell of our own making.  I might be working very hard and very deliberately to let go of the many ways that I confine myself and make myself smaller, not to mention hurt people and cause suffering, but...can I just keep a bar or two of my cage?  You know, for comfort's sake?

That's what it felt like - like I was carrying around one of my old bars of my jail cell.  Pretty heavy and totally useless.  Maybe I can loosen my grip on them now.  And may I wish that guy - beard or no beard - my congratulations on his exhibition in that gallery across the street from David Zwirner.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Prima di Roma

You know how you can be thinking something and thinking that something for a long time and it gets all fixed in your head and you start to believe your idea of this particular reality and you believe it so thoroughly that it seems impossible that anyone else would not also believe it and then you actually say that thing out loud and almost instantaneously everything changes so that your very fixed idea about this thing is so woefully out of date that it is remarkable that anyone, let alone yourself, ever believed such a thing?  You know?

Well, that's sort of what happened when I wrote that post about losing my fire around making art.  Whatever process that happened around writing about what I had been thinking for months opened things up and - wait?  Was that a spark of something creative that I felt burning inside?  I went to my studio and sorted through the work I made at the Saltonstall Foundation residency and, you know, it didn't totally suck.  In fact, there are some solid ideas there worth pursuing.  Note to self: go to studio more often.

The thing that signaled most clearly that a shift was happening in my entrenched "I am the worst artist ever" energy is that I was noodling around on Newfoundland real estate websites (hey - some people collect stamps, ok?) and I found a listing for a former high school in a wee town way up at the tip of the Northern Peninsula, St. Lunaire-Griget.  And I wanted to buy it and make something BIG.  The back story about this is that, fourteen years ago when we were looking to buy a house in Newfoundland, we came across a former school building in a wee town on White Bay.  Like this one, it is available for a crazy low price.  At that point, I was married to someone who thinks very, very practically and he entertained me and my fantasy for a brief - very brief - period of time before listing off all the ways that buying a huge building in a tiny, remote community was a bad idea.  So we ended up with our (now, my) lovely house in Gillams instead.

Clearly, it was a wise decision....and yet.  The "what ifs" have haunted me ever since.

So, what would you do with a 25,000 sq.ft. building in a town of 600 where it snows in June on a regular basis?

Maybe going to Rome later this month will actually help to dampen the fire!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ecco Roma

For a couple of weeks, I have had the thought that I need to post something here.  And then I would check in on myself and realize that I have nothing to say.  It is not that nothing is happening in my life - I feel quite stretched to the maxium actually - but really, what is there to say about that?

Although I applied for a Guggenheim Fellowship (hey - you gotta be in it to win it!) to expand on my To Stand in the Centre project, I am still feeling my way with this new energy around artmaking.  Where, oh where did my aggressive, competitive attitude about making art go?  I don't know but it is gone, sister.  Like, big time.  What's left?  This is the question that I am working with.  I glance through various art journals and websites and it is all really boring to me.  I just don't care about the questions most artists are taking up.  The questions that get me charged up are related to how we make our way in this crazy, messed up world.  Art holds some answers to these particular questions but, for the moment, it is not really how I want to work with them.

Maintaining the sense that I need to keep some kind of professional momentum going with my art career takes a lot of energy.  There is the doing of art business stuff - applying for things, keeping up networks/contacts, doing paperwork.  There is the guilt about not doing that stuff.  There is going to galleries and other shows to stay on top of what is what in the art world today.  There is other stuff too and it all takes time and energy.  And I am just so not interested in it.  When I can release a little of that feeling like I need to keep all those balls in the air, it is such a huge relief.  I feel both energized and profoundly tired.

Making things with my hands is what I do - this is not in question.  But somewhere in between the deadlines and hustling and the self-promotion, I lost the connection, or some connection of some kind to what made the whole thing make sense.  For now, I am giving myself permission to not make anything unless I really feel the need.  It feels a little like waking up from a deep sleep - where am I?

At the end of November, Lucy and I will visit Finnian in Rome.  It was in Rome, in 1985, that I had a profound experience of coming into my own with colour and painting and really feeling like the work I was making was truly my own.  Perhaps beautiful Roma will work its magic again, 30 years later!

Monday, October 05, 2015

A Bit of a Bender

Maybe it was some pushback after my big (and yet unfinished) Konmari clean-out.  Or maybe it was just because I haven't actually bought yarn in about three years.  But whatever the case, I have been on a bit of a yarn buying bender.

Michele Wang, knitwear designer and owner of Gauge + Tension, the yarn store in Greenpoint where I have been lucky enough to teach spinning a few times, has developed her own line of yarn from Cormo sheep.  She is working with an indie dyer to make a series of gorgeous colors.  The result is yarn that is bouncy and soft and beautiful.  When I taught the intermediate spindling class, I asked for payment in yarn.

Let it be known that teaching at yarn stores is a dangerous thing!

On the plus side, I have the pattern picked out already.

Then, it so happened that Lucy spent ten days at Not Back to School camp up in Vermont.  I drove up to pick her up on Saturday, which was rather grueling - 12 hours in all.  Such a demanding trip required at least one reward (I mean, beyond having my daughter back).  

It so happened that the route to Vermont goes right past...

Yes, the Mecca of yarn stores - WEBS.  It is all that.

There is so much yarn there that it is hard to make decisions.  I found myself over near the Lopi section, thinking about how I have long wanted to recreate a sweater that my mom made me about 30 years ago that has entered the unwearable stage after so many years of service.

Enter nine skeins of lopi.  Not exactly the same colors but I think they will be gorgeous together (the dark grey will be the main color).

Now to seek out that missing element in this big adventure:  time.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Of a Tuesday Morning

For the past three weeks, I have been teaching yoga at the Manhattan Detention Complex (yes, the same one that used to be called the Bernard Kerik Complex). Every Tuesday morning, I meet up with my fellow teacher, Jaime, and we go up to the 7th floor together, after a good bit of complicated security measures are taken. We teach an hour-long class to the women in the transgender unit.

I have this privilege through a group that I have mentioned before, Liberation Prison Yoga. LPY advocates for teaching yoga in prison in a way is "trauma-informed". We don't teach with commands. For example, we wouldn't say, "put your foot forward and bend your knee." We might say instead, "For this posture, we step our foot forward and bend our knee." It's all about offering the students a choice, even in subtle or simple ways.

This past Tuesday, everyone seemed agitated and distracted. We practice in the communal space so there are televisions on and people wandering around in the best of circumstances. This week there seemed to be an extra number of guards and inmates coming in and out, extra noise and extra tension in the air. I was leading the practice and it was a challenge to keep the class together between the background noises, side conversations, giggling about farting, the freezing cold cement floors, and a host of other internal and external disruptions. My inner school marm was wanting to call everyone to order, to sit at their desks with their hands folded. 
Fortunately, I resisted that approach.  I used two other things: the experience of our breath and a bhavana or visualization/direction for our minds about the full moon , drawing inspiration from the beautiful moon that happened on Sunday night.  At the end of class, I read this poem by the 14th Century Persian poet Hafiz.
Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
Someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a
Full moon in each eye that is always saying,
With that sweet moon language, what every other eye in
This world is dying to hear? 
I wish I could say that it settled everyone down and we finally were able to relax into our bodies and experience a moment of calmness, but it didn't.  They did seem a bit shocked that I had read something so openly vulnerable in what it revealed and what it asks of the reader.  Then, one new woman in the unit asked me if I knew about Buddhism since she was interested in that.  And another woman sat with me and Jaime and told us more of her story - even going so far as to tell us that she was starting to ask why she let herself go back to drugs whenever she was out of prison even when she knew it would end badly.  We didn't really have answers for her but we listened to what she had to say.

Make no mistake.  These women are tough.  They have had hard lives and they know how to survive.  A couple of yoga classes isn't going to suddenly make them soft and tender-hearted - although I see moments of softness and tenderness in there, alongside the toughness...and the strength and the brilliance.  I see a lot of brilliance.  I am not fooling myself that a few hours of deep breathing will make up for the years of whatever horror they have witnessed and experienced, and who knows, maybe even inflicted on others.  I don't think that is why we are there.

I do think, however, that showing up, caring, making mistakes and then having a laugh about it, moving around a bit, sitting still a bit, reading a poem, taking a deep breath, sharing a story - being there with a full moon in each eye - is a worthwhile way to spend an hour each Tuesday morning.

What is yoga practice?  It's in there somewhere.

Friday, September 25, 2015

In Sum

She longed to travel. She longed to go back and live in a convent. She wanted to die. And she wanted to live in Paris. 
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trusting Trust

My camera cable has arrived but, as is usually the state of things, I don't really feel like talking about the show in Nova Scotia right now.  Maybe I will tomorrow.  What I want to write about is trust.

Someone asked me yesterday what I trust.  He meant it in a Big Picture kind of way.  In a "Do you believe in God" kind of way.  I don't think a lot about God as he/she/it is thought about monotheistic traditions.  So I told him that I believe there is a perfection to the Universe.  I trust that.  I also trust my practice.  And when I said that, I realized that I must trust myself on some level because...who else is practicing?

This came up because I have been thinking about my piece, To Stand in the Center and See All Around.  The piece that I fondly also call Bitch Slapping Richard Serra.  That title is not so politically correct, even to me who made it up, so I don't use it.  Except sometimes.

I made the piece with a pretty specific idea in mind, which was to create a wall of black wool that would absorb light and create a presence that could not be ignored.  I didn't really know what else it might create but that was my starting point.  I bought pounds and pounds of black Shetland wool and I spun it into a thick, single ply yarn.  I knit it up in stockinette stitch with some purl stitches here and there so that it would come out like a rectangle, not a parallelogram (it's a spinning thing).  I took it with me everywhere - to Nashville, to my friend's chemo appointments, everywhere.  And, as a result, it absorbed all that energy and started to have an unexpected presence and power, even as it sat on the needles.

But I didn't trust it.

For my BKBX exhibition, I added mirrors and sound and special lighting effects and even inflatable bladders.  I pretty much created a three-ring circus around it so that the piece itself was totally lost.  Truly, you couldn't even see it in the installation.  Not surprisingly, I was less than happy with how that all turned out.  Not exactly feeling crushed by failure but it has been more of a nagging sense that it just didn't do what I wanted it to do.

The good news is that I used the mirrored cloth in my installation for Starting from Scratch at Ithaca College and it looks great.  Totally works.  The knit piece, however, sat on my living room floor and became little more than a very large, luxurious cat bed for a few months.  I tossed it in the car when I left for Cape Breton, not convinced that I would even have the nerve to try to pass it off as art.

Then, it happened that there was a wall in the gallery that fit it perfectly.  A nook, even.  So I hung it up.

To Stand in the Center and See All Around, 2015.  Handspun, handknit wool.  Installed at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Inverness, NS.
Minus the three-ring circus, the piece is powerful.  In fact, it actually does exactly what I hoped it would do and more.  No one is more surprised than myself!  I didn't trust.  I didn't trust the process or the materials.  I didn't trust trust.

I paired this piece with my SpinCycle performance and I spun (with help from various people pedaling and storytelling) the same black Shetland wool that is in the piece.  I think the two go together quite well.  The strength of this piece is that it is full of all the stories and energy that it collected over the months in which it was made.  It is the antithesis of minimalism while still being very minimal.  So, I like that the SpinCycle piece is a kind of companion to it.  In fact, suddenly I saw my recent work in a new perspective and I could see a fresh direction for it.  It feels true, somehow.

If you were a literary type, you might see this as a metaphor for how one lives one's life.  Not trusting, we add all sorts of layers - call it a three-ring circus - around what it already simple and complete and powerful.  Trusting, we can let it just be what it is, which is always more than we can imagine.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Location, Location, Location

When I wrote that I had sorted through my books in my last post, I was not being 100% honest.  I hadn't sorted through my knitting/sewing/craft books, which I kept on a bookshelf in the basement.  It was more daunting than the other books (or so it seemed) so I left them for last.  But sort, I did, just after writing that post.

I weeded out about 2/3 of them - passed them on to other knitters - and those that remained were put on the bookshelf in the living room, which now had a lot more space because I had already removed all the non-joy producing books.

Could you call it double joy?  As I was putting my various knitting-related books on the shelves in the living room, I had a new wave of happiness sweep over me.  These books that have helped me with many an art project and many a domestic project didn't deserve to be sitting in the basement. They are important books!  They are all about what I love!  They should be upstairs, enjoying a privileged position on the shelves, not sitting in darkness underground.

Hint: the answer is Yes.  

Sometimes my teacher talks about "not having an inch of ground to stand on" in talking about practice.  This is not to be confused with not deserving to take up an inch of ground.  I get those two confused sometimes.  In fact, I think I have spent a lot of my life feeling like I don't deserve to take up an inch of space so I guess it isn't surprising that I would misunderstand that notion.

Such a simple thing - putting books on a shelf.  And yet it wasn't just books on a shelf.  It was me finally filling out the ground I stand on.  Finally giving credit and respect to one of the things that has been most important to me.  Down in the basement with the kitty litter and washing machine and cans of leftover paint?

I think not.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm Doing It

While waiting for my camera cable to arrive, I have not been idle.  Yes, teaching yoga (two new classes in Williamsburg starting at the end of the month!) (And teaching transgender prisoners at the Manhattan Detention Center starting tomorrow!).  Yes, teaching spinning (intermediate drop spindle in Greenpoint this Saturday!).  But also this:

Some friends were talking about it and it sounded so...liberating.  Own less stuff.  Not only that, but only own the stuff that brings you joy.  Who doesn't want to be surrounded by joy?  

I began last week and, as the author suggests, I started with my clothes.  I took all the clothes that weren't in the laundry and piled them in the middle of the living room floor.  One by one, I held each item and asked myself, "Does it bring me joy?"  Really, it was quite easy to decide after that.  I bagged up half of my wardrobe and sent it off to experience a new life with someone for whom I hope it does bring joy.  Then I re-folded the remaining items according to Marie Kondo's instructions and found that I have an entirely empty drawer in my bureau now.  The lightness of that feels lovely.  In fact, it is this lightness that I think is the goal of the whole undertaking.  Without knowing it, all that extra stuff (that doesn't bring joy) brings heaviness into our lives.  We carry it without even realizing it.  Only after it leaves do you notice the weight that you have been bearing.

Next up:  books.  This was more difficult because I have books that I would not describe as bringing me joy exactly but feel important.  So I just went with that feeling.  I eliminated an entire bookcase.  I gave the children's books to the local PTA and I set the rest outside on the sidewalk.  All but about ten were taken before it started to rain.  Again with the lightness!  It feels wonderful.

Marie says to slowly progress towards those categories that are more difficult because our attachment to those items is strongest.  Kitchen items are probably next but I am also looking at my yarn/wool stash.  I know there is a lot of dead weight there.

I think it is a very good system of decluttering but it is not for the feint of heart.  And it is not for the short of time.  I have had to set aside a day for each category.  There is a lot of work involved with gathering everything into one place, going through it, getting rid of the the rejects in a responsible way (the author says "throw it out" a lot but I hope she doesn't really mean that!).  Then there is reorganizing the remaining items.  It all takes time and energy.  

She claims that no one goes back to their old ways once they do this.  I can see why.  It feels good to live with your favorite things.  It also helps me to better understand what I actually need so I can buy or make new things that I will really use.  It is as if by having fewer things to care for, I can actually care for the things that I have.  And that brings me joy.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Still waiting on my camera cable so I can download the photographs of the installation in Inverness.  Meanwhile, The Ithacan, the student newspaper for Ithaca College wrote a nice piece about Starting From Scratch, in which they dubbed my piece "The Thinking Hut".  Love it!

And they used this great photograph of two people inside The Thinking Hut.

You Wanna Be There!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Interlacing Conversations

 The exhibition is installed and open.  I have many pictures but they need to be downloaded and made pretty.  Meanwhile, here are some of the contemporary artist projects that are part of it.  I will post more later when I am less totally spaced out from all the travel.

Cast Offs, 2015.  Collaborative project created by Mackenzie Keey-Frere.  Knit pieces and rebar installed at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts.

Artsy shot of Cast Offs at sunset.

Patriarchy Has No Gender, 2015.  Embroidered apron by Barb Hunt (one of nine installed).

To Stand in the Centre and See All Around (revised), 2015.  Handspun and hand knit wool (my project in a new form).

While I was in Inverness, I stayed at the art centre director's house, which is one of the houses built for the coal miners (coal mining was the reason for the town).  She bought it from the family of a man who was born and died and in the house.  It still had many of his decorating touches and I found them deeply fascinating.  I took lots and lots of pictures in an attempt to capture what was so amazing about it.  Here are but two:

Many Lamps.  Inverness, Cape Breton.

Salt Air, Inverness, Cape Breton.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Strangers, More Kindness, More Coming Home to Roost

The Odyssey of Getting To Nova Scotia did not end at the Brooklyn Tow Pound, alas.

Aside:  I tried three ways to get the document I needed from the DMV in Newfoundland to Brooklyn - in person, email and voice mail message - and in the end, they all worked.  They received three copies of my registration.  The system works!  And extra bonus:  the woman who faxed it from the voice mail message followed up with me the next day to make sure I was ok.  Does it get any nicer than that?  Score one for Newfoundland.

Anyway, I ended up stopped at the border for three hours while my immigration status was worked out.  It was scary and I had to do some quick work to find the place where I could accept whatever happens, including losing my status as a Permanent Resident.  Once I found that place, I could feel the shift all around.  Never underestimate the power of subtle energy!  If you think that is all woo-woo and new age-y, I am telling you that you are missing out on a lot of life.  Anyway, they let me in with my status intact on "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds.  Yet again, people I didn't know were going the extra mile on my behalf.  May I live up to their kindnesses and generosity!

And may I look closely at why all this happened all at once at this moment in time.

The installation at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts is about half completed.  I think the exhibition is going to be beautiful and provocative in the best way.  Local people are getting excited about it and, I think, it is doing what we hoped it would do, which is spur a conversation about the value of handwork on many levels.

More on that soon!

Meanwhile, this...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Coming Home to Roost (or The Kindness of Strangers)

Sometimes one can ignore one's faults and glide, swan-like, through life.  And sometimes those faults accumulate and come home to roost in a big way.  Friday afternoon was like that.

On the plus side, I was teaching yoga at a new place, which I am very happy to be teaching at - Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn.  More about that another time.  For this story, all you need to know is that I was teaching there on Friday in the late afternoon.  When I left the studio I discovered that my car had been towed.  Many times I have parked near the studio without problem so I didn't look too hard at the signs, which were right next to my car.  Fault #1 - thinking I know what's what.  In fact, there is no parking from 4 - 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Normally, this might result in a ticket (and it did last Friday as well), but the city has days when it likes to collect extra revenue so it sends out armies of tow trucks to take away cars that otherwise would just be ticketed.  Last Friday was one of those days.

Ok.  Having your car towed is a fact of life here, so I didn't get too upset and went to the tow pound to get my car.  My Canadian car....it makes a difference.  Going through the bureaucratic hoops, I got my registration and insurance out of the car and used the ATM machine to get cash to pay for the fees, which are substantial.  But no!  The registration was out of date.  Huh?  I knew that I had renewed it so I searched my document folder.  Not there.  More bureaucratic hoops to go back to the car and look again...still no registration.  Fault #2 - disorganized.

Explaining my situation did not move the clerk very far, so no car for me.  The city charges $20/day to keep the car in their lot overnight.  I won't bore you with further details but suffice to say that other faults, such as procrastination and failing to respond to friend's communications also came into play.  Indeed, just about all my faults coalesced in this one moment.  It came home to me hard as I was frantically texting with Lucy, who is in Newfoundland now, about searching the house there and asking our friend to help out and she wrote back, "I am really not comfortable with this."  i.e.. doing my dirty work, and I couldn't deny that this is exactly what was going on.


Nonetheless, the car was still in the lot and I was planning to head to Cape Breton on Monday (that would be today).  These two things do not go well together.

On the plus side, years of Zen and yoga practice (not to mention parenting two teenagers) has given me a fairly good dose of patience and I mostly was able to stay cool and keep things friendly with the various people behind the counter in Brooklyn and Newfoundland in my attempt to get a copy of my current registration faxed to the tow pound.

This morning, I was not on the road to Cape Breton.  Instead, I spent four hours making numerous phone calls, texts and emails to people on both coasts of Newfoundland and Brooklyn.  At last, the deed was done.  But not without the assistance of four people who were willing to take time out of their busy day not just to respond to my various communications but to actually GO to the DMV in Corner Brook, wait in line, and deal with the bureaucracy there to get it faxed.

So many life lessons here but the one that really brings tears to my eyes is this one: We are not in this alone.  Interdependence...man, it is real.

A huge thank you to Lucy, Olive, Hannah, Lisa and Phillip from the Corner Brook DMV for all their help!  I haven't actually gotten the car out...so keep your fingers crossed that there isn't some new thing that has to be done.

Truly, never will I be so happy to pay the City hundreds of dollars as I will be today.