Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Change of Scenery

Hitting the Wall

Last weekend Brian and I enjoyed a brief getaway from the city. On the way up north to the Green Mountain State, we stopped to investigate a housing opportunity in the charming little town of Putney, VT.  Why relocate, you ask? The current view from my apartment is captured in the image above. Here is the view I would have from the house we visited, an old country estate being modernized and subdivided into apartments for rent:

 As Far as the Eye Can See
I will keep you all apprised as to when and if we will be moving to this paradise any time soon. Renovations are in progress and our application submitted as of this writing. I remain cautiously optimistic, well aware that the Universe sometimes has other better plans than the ones I make, and content to watch and wait and see how this new adventure unfolds. Meantime, I once again managed not to take many pictures while on vacation. It was drizzly and foggy most of the weekend and even as far north as Killington, the local foliage had only just begun to show the vivid colors for which it is famous. Besides, autumnal panoramas don’t really come across well on black and white film, and that is what was and is and evermore shall be in my camera. My current roll is only half-shot, so any salvaged images may take a while to surface here.

Last week I shared some images of new crocheted creations I’ve been focusing on lately. The three new wrist warmers I thought were finished let me know otherwise and demanded they be embellished with buttons, see updated image above, I believe a great improvement.  All three are available through my etsy shop.

Here is the next pair to emerge from my new fiber-focused artistic phase. Just in time for Halloween, or any time of year for the cat lovers of the world! In the true spirit of feline rebellion and whimsy, for some reason these buttons refused to be sewn on straight, but I think that suits the spirit of the black cat, keepers of whom will surely corroborate!  After one more pair of wrist warmers, I will be working on another scarf or two and share the finished products as completed.

 In Flux

Life is definitely in a flux phase at this point, with no choice but to give in to where the tides will push me next. The photograph above was taken at the beach one month ago, and here we are already in the middle of autumn. I recall that day, how the water made its way further and further onto the sand, forcing the beach goers to retreat and relocate and almost barring access back to the main entrance via a stretch of beach completely open only hours before. Everywhere visible were striations that had been left by previous encroachments of tides, and yet you could see that some folks were still surprised and annoyed that so soon after finding the perfect spot in which to make themselves at home, they had to pack up their things and move by no choice of their own. Other folks simply gathered their belongings and re-settled without complaint. 

 Time and Tide

It made me think about how change has a way of sorting human beings along a spectrum of types. At one far end are those who value stability and regularity at all costs, to the point that any change, even one that is necessary or beneficial, provokes fear, anger, confusion and grief. At the other end are those who so crave the stimulating challenges of change, they cannot live without it, and create it even where it is not necessary or beneficial. I imagine most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes, or have at times reacted with some of the qualities of both. I am no thrill seeker, tiring quickly of one situation and eagerly dismantling it in order to move on to the next. That said, if a situation doesn’t suit me, I have no qualms getting myself out of it if my well being is at stake. I am also not what might be considered a nester, or one who puts down roots, whether they be physical connections to certain surroundings, or psychological ties to a given role or identity or title defined by circumstances or persons. And yet, I am comforted by the routines and rituals that give daily life its familiar rhythms, and quickly establish them wherever I may be.  

 Loose Ties

I suppose I have struggled with this dichotomy all my life, with equal urges in me to be situated in the world in a meaningful way and also remain free.  I know many people who find their place early in life and thrive on that continuity and security undisrupted and utterly content. I know others whose whole lives fall apart the first time any piece of their cherished and established structure is compromised.  I know people whose quest for the right thing uses up their entire existence, who constantly question or defend whether the fault is theirs or that of a world which simply cannot provide them the satisfaction they require and ought not sacrifice just for the outward appearance of living happily and successfully according to accepted standards.  

 Open to Change

If you had asked me half my life ago whether I wanted to be beginning yet another new life with 14 months to go before my 50th birthday, on the verge of a complete change of scenery, company and routines, I would have said no. If you had asked me whether that was probably what would happen, and whether I would be prepared to take on such a challenge with joy and hope, the answer would have been, and still is, a loud and enthusiastic  HELL, YES!  

May you all find the perfect balance of questing and nesting.


  1. Hi Gabriella,

    Just got back from Wisconsin. Gorgeous images you show us today. Love them. That brick wall is superb and the couple of shots of the water are unique. I love that they seem to be serene shots even though you can see how the water is moving. It is always like that!
    Great post! Lovely view you would have let us know. Thanks again, Luis.

  2. Thanks, Luis! It is so true about water that it can seem both serene and in motion at all times - relentlessly so! I'm glad you liked this group of photos, it means a lot to me! Enjoy being back home in DC - and have a great week my friend.

  3. Gabriella,
    I believe we are responsible about everything that happens with us. All is consequence of our choices. Everyday we are sending messages to the "universe", projecting our wishes and feelings about what we really want, but a part of our wishes are made in an unconscious way. Because of that, it´s very important to be honest with our feelings and assume our actions and what they can bring to us. It is a constant exercise of full attention.

    Great lines and photograph, my dear!
    Hope you can see this beautiful view wherever you are.
    Sweet hugs.

  4. Wonderful creations and images.....
    i like the landscape better. hahahh! where I live I don't have landscapes to see from my window, it forces me to focus more on myself.
    I am up to.
    Hope you find all you need and want.

  5. Crissant, you are right. Sometimes I say the Universe has decided to make other plans for me, but in the end they are what I probably knew deep down was the right thing - perhaps I was just envisioning the wrong way to get to the same result! Full attention! Yes! So few people know how to live this way. Much love to you, my dear.

  6. Caio - we shall see what happens to my focus when I have something beautiful to look at through my window! I've spent enough time focusing inward, it would be a great relief! But maybe I won't get any work done, gazing at the mountains all day! Thank you for your good wishes, my friend.

  7. A lovely, lovely post as always. Your brick wall would certainly inspire me to move. Part of me knows that beauty is found within, but I do like an external piece of the pie as well.
    Oh course black cat buttons would have to be sewn on squewhiff. I have never met a black cat who could like straight in bed.
    Your tidal images are a joy. Be well, and be happy with whatever direction your life evolves.

  8. dear Gabriella, i love the wall photo but as a photo, that green one...to look out to such a view, well my choice would be made very quickly.
    No doubt lots of inspiration and other wonderful things can be found in cities and i love to stay there for a while but in the end i LOVE to live in a green environment. The silence, the big skies, i suppose i need that more because i am a mind traveller, a daydreamer. Sitting outside , feeling the sun, the wind, stories and thoughts come and go and sometimes i just sit and enjoy, a perfect balance for all the fuss and craziness going on in the world.

    New challenges, new enviroments bring new things, other thoughts, fresh inspiration so i feel a kind of thrilled for you (and for us readers too:))

    Superb, wonderful tidal photos, pure beauty.

    Wherever the tides bring you may it be a place where you can explore and feel good and make lots of beautiful art, xx

  9. EC, I think I was speaking to you especially about knowing the stubbornly off-center ways of black cats! It is why I have always wanted to keep one - as if they aren't the ones doing the keeping! On a sad note I think this is why so many of them used to be acquired around Halloween time - and then promptly abandoned. Thank God there are now rules at all the animal shelters I know that no black cats will be handed over during this season! It takes a special owner, not a fleeting holiday whim!

  10. Renilde, you are one of the followers here whose blogs I visit who are always sharing beautiful images of your green surroundings, be it vast landscapes or colorful gardens. It is time I had this influence in my life too. I have been able to enjoy such environments for short periods only and then always had to return to the "reality" of urban existence. Now I want that balance to shift, to live in the country and visit the city seems a much better formula! So - thank you for being an inspiration to me! All the best to you, my dear friend.

  11. That brick wall shot is actually quite nice, although I could imagine that day after day the view would get a bit dreary. I'm all for change, your post is where I'm at now in my life. I say go for it!!

  12. Hi T - it's always a chance you take living in apartment buildings - you either have a view of the backsides of other building or if you're very lucky a street view, but more often than not that means noise from human and vehicle traffic at all hours. Give me green vistas! I'm happy to hear you're all for change - whatever's in store for you, best of luck!

  13. I like those pins on the new crocheted creations, the cat look really nice on it !

  14. Hi Wong - thank you so much. I really like the cat buttons too! Have a great weekend, my friend.

  15. i looked at the top two photos and went '' 'nuff said"! For me the views that you look out upon and that feeds and sustains you is better if it is beautiful. The artistic view is wonderful (great shot of brick wall) but doesn't have that same sense of nurturing. And I love the way we ponder the balance between staying and going, putting down roots and needing new experiences; I thinkI have my balance now - live in the country and visit cities; travel with work and return home to my haven. Best wishes for the transition - be bold, be brave, be happy!

  16. Fiona, you've hit upon something very important here. My brick wall shot was indeed artistic, and I've always drawn artistic inspiration from urban subjects even though urban living wears me down and out. The second shot is not mine at all, I snatched it from the real estate site listing of the house we are hoping to occupy soon! I looked at the view myself in person and took not one photo. When I am in the country I don't take many photos, as if my camera could possibly do justice to such vast beauty, as if I would want anything to interpose between nature and my enjoyment of it! In a way, the city made me the artist I am - I had to look inward, I had to transform my surroundings to derive meaning, endure and survive. I no longer require such obvious tension and conflict to spark creativity; it's time to live in harmony. You do have the perfect balance, my friend, and inspire me daily with that possibility. Many thanks!

  17. Wow, beautiful images Gabriella...
    I know you and Brian are destined for greatness
    and Vermont seems to be a perfect place to make a change to...
    Enjoy your weekend!

  18. Thanks, Brad! I can feel the good vibes you're sending, and it's a powerful source of energy as we move onward. We'll do our best to live up to your faith in us! Have a great weekend.

  19. Hi Gabriella my dear! You have so much news, I'm here just to say hallo, and i will came back soon active on the blog :-) hope you are well

    ps: i saw you have publiched a new book and calendar... great
    I'm curious about your book, sure lot of thing to learn inside!! :-)

    kiss see you soon

  20. Laura dear! So good to see you here. I hope all is well with you and you have happy news for us soon on your blog! Hugs and kisses.

  21. dear Gabriella
    I love the realistic way that you show us your concerns, doubts and decisions ...
    as already mentioned, we have similar thoughts ... and so I understand so well these two scales, one wants stability and the other wants news!
    And this dose of 'spice' takes stock of the balance!!
    ah ... I greatly desire that everything right, after seeing this wonderful landscape, ... I would also hopeful ...
    It's very annoying to be anchored in place, whether a house, a job, which is ...
    life is bigger than any ties!

    I loved your mood: 'that the universe sometimes has other plans better than I do ...'
    That's it

    a real hug!

    ps: thank you for being in my blog! ;)

  22. These photos are beautiful. Are they silver gelatin prints?

    I grew up in the suburbs playing on farmland. A great childhood, but I couldn't wait to get away as an adult. Most of my friends who grew up in the city long for the what I took for granted as a child. As I get older, I catch myself thinking it would be nice to be back in a more rural place, surrounded by the sounds (roosters), sights (woodlands, wetlands, open sky) and smells (fresh cut hay, ozone after a rainstorm, horses and cows) of nature. And I wonder if my city bred friends miss the visceral details of the environment in which they grew up. For example, I know my mother and father missed often missed the city of Lowell as it was in their youth. Funny how no matter how far we travel in life physically and emotionally, most people long to return to the places they originate from in the end.

  23. Denise, we are two of a kind, so of course you would understand! I'm very glad you enjoyed this. Sending you a hug.

  24. SJS - thanks for your comment. It's true about our life travels. For some it is a simple out and back, but for me I seem to circle back to Vermont again and again, each time wondering why it is always as a place for visiting not living, but each time getting closer to that reality. Maybe the timing wasn't right before, but now it is.

  25. TT/G - visited B's blog and saw the environment you are thinking of moving to and it is a place that would offer me so much - calmness and creativity. I hope this part of the journey is invigorating and peaceful. Someday we would love to see you in Vermont - Putney sounds a lot like Maleny - so many artists - can't be all bad. Go well. B

  26. Hi Barry - Vermont really does have so much to offer. This weekend, we may have hit a snag with the Putney property, but the process has begun and I am sure we will soon find our new home, in one town or another. Some towns are more touristy and others that are built around universities have more of a student vibe and culture, but most of them were settled by farmers first and then in the 60s artists who started fleeing the big cities when living closer to Nature became the imperative of a whole generation. Anyone who has followed in recent years does so because this is exactly the environment they require and will contribute to and maintain. There's a respect for the land and for neighbors you just can't find in Boston! Thanks for your comment and continued good wishes!