Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sacred Spaces

My daughter moved out today...
...she's my oldest child. Oh, she'd been out before, for almost ten years. Then after a series of unfortunate circumstances, she was back. With two children in tow (the doodles).

...I actually didn't find this out until this afternoon. I was walking to one of my favorite places, The Sacred Space, when I got her phone call.

"Mom! I found a place, it's perfect. We'll be out today!"

..."Just like that?" I say...

"I know, it's sudden, but it's right" she tells me.

...Wasn't this what I wanted? Hadn't I been hoping for the empty nest? to begin the next phase of my life? Time for me?

The Sacred Space
Lillie Avenue, Summerland ,California

...I know that she needs to do this. She needs her own space.
A place to raise her children in her own way...

...when I come to The Sacred Space it's for inspiration, not usually to buy anything. But this time I came already inspired, I wanted to find something to grace my daughter's new home...

" ...when your home is the sacred space it's a constant reminder to stay conscious, and to be in loving harmony with your being...."

...i must have looked a little bewildered, standing there surrounded by dozens and dozens of choices. What would be best to gift my daughter with? A lovely sales person came up to me and asked would you like some tea while you look? yes please. Look what she brought me. See this beautiful tray with Yogi Tea and raw sugar?

...I found something with these words on it:
create your own sacred space of Intention.
simple items to create your space.
A medium rug
an altar
a Buddha, Quan Yin or your favorite deity
a picture of a family member
a candle
an offering bowl for your intention
flowers, seeds, shells, incense.

...would a new Buddha be best?...

...she already has plenty of family pictures...

... the Datura, or Angel's trumpet...

...oh wouldn't it be nice to just live here?...

...crystals are a good option, but I had better decide, I want to get home to help her move.

...I made my choice and then started walking back. I didn't know what I was feeling, happy or sad, or maybe a little of both.

...all the way home, I kept thinking of her, all the stages of her life. I thought about where I may have let her down as a mother, where I could have done a better job. I know better than to think these thoughts, we do the best we can. It's all we can do.

...I worry about my doodles too. It's not easy being a single Mom. I think that's true no matter where in this world you call home.

...even though I was in a hurry , I can't seem to pass up the beach.
I have to have a look.

...when I got home, she was already gone.
She came back once for something forgotten, and we hugged and she said sorry this is so sudden. And at that moment I told her (as I gave her her gift), it's Okay.
oh lord.
p.s. she called tonite and said the oldest doodle was in heaven, the place comes with Direct T.V. and he now gets every sports channel. Oh good. Now, I'm really Ok.
Love, Lori

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Elias Trip

Today I bought a new blank book, it'll be my journal for our trip. I've always kept journals, along with words, they are filled with maps, ticket stubs, business cards of places and people i meet, anything that I like and that will fit in there! One time at a bed and breakfast, the hostess was kind enough to write a recipe in my book. I love these personal touches.
And I like to draw in them.

... covering the books with a vintage map, is helpful for 2 purposes, it gives me an instant look at where i am, and it looks great (I think). are some of the sketches in my books. The left one is of some flea market finds in Amsterdam and the one on the right is of Bushmen Rock Art, over five thousand years old!

I love to look through these journals, they take me right back to the moment, sometimes literally..."we are watching a lion sleeping in a tree!"...
I scribble all through the day, notes, sketches, whatever is interesting to me. I keep lists, birds, animals, trees, flowers, there's no order or rules to them. Oh what am I saying? Of course you know my friends, most of you have probably kept journals before blogs! :)

One time when we were in East Africa we had a guide, his name was Elias. He was the best guide we'd ever had. Ever. We were 3 together, he, my husband and myself for over 2 weeks. Elias taught me a lot about the wildlife we saw. He patiently answered every question I had (a lot) consulting his well worn guide book if he didn't know the answer (hardly ever).
He told me he was from a village at the foot of Kilimanjaro and raised in a small village near Moshi. And he had 5 children like me, 3 boys and 2 girls. He called me Mama. And he told me that what I say and what he sees are 2 different things. He didn't believe I had 5 babies. We told Elias "Asante Sana" all the time. Thank you in swahili. He watched me draw in my book. Sometimes he would ask to see. One time when we returned to our camp a group came up to me and asked if I was the one who was the artist. I was embarrassed. I said I keep a journal, nothing special. They said they'd heard an artist was here, it was Elias telling them.
Nearing the end of our safari, Elias said to me:

"Mama, you've drawn every animal in Africa, except for one".

" which one is that Elias?"

" ME!"

My husband said, Well you'll have to draw him. I am not really an artist, I can't draw people I said. But I did. I tried anyway. My picture was of his profile, that's what I saw all the time from the backseat of the land rover. The day finally came when we were to part. He was dropping us off at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. He was becoming more and more quiet. I could feel he was sad. We were sad. Once we were through passport stamping and our new guide was there to meet us, it was time for goodbyes.

Chuck gave Elias his tip and his Carpinteria Lifeguard Hat. I could see how happy that made him. Then it was my turn. I gave him the picture I had drawn and painted and under his likeness (sort of) were the words:

Elias ~ Best Guide in Tanzania

Elias was motionless. He took the drawing and said quietly " I don't have the words to express my thanks" and then he said "Asanta Sana" to me.

Finally I could say these words to him,
Karibu Sana Elias, your welcome.

...please forgive the bad pics of pics, because I am too lazy to scan! this was really fun for me to remember, thank you for sharing with me. And Thank You Elias at the foot of Kilimanjaro.

We'll always remember you.

xxx & Love, Lori

Saturday, February 21, 2009

perfect conditions ~ part two

It was too irresistible to ignore.
The sparkly white stuff was shyly calling to us,
we felt drawn, so in search we went... is a view of The Carpinteria Valley, far down below. Beyond that is, the Pacific Ocean and in the misty distance,
the Channel Islands National Park....but no snow yet... we go! we are at only 2000ft. here and HELLO!
I am hiking a little quicker now, I wonder how much will be at the top?

...still not too much,but we're almost there now, I can just make out the Los Padres National Forest in the background, I think we'll find what we're looking for just over that ridge...

S N O W !!! see? i knew it! i am thrilled. See me in the snow? i was so happy to stand and take it all in. But i could hear my husband calling "Come see this!" so following his footsteps... the snow :)....
THIS is what I saw next. Two million acres of California's most rugged wilderness. The Los Padres Mountains are home to the California Condor, Big Horn Sheep, Bears, Mt. Lion, Rattlesnakes and elaborate,
Chumash Rock Art. If you would like to see photos of some of these you can go to , go to the Gallery, then North American Wildlife and California Condors. can see for miles...we stood and breathed in the cool fresh air...took photos, congratulated ourselves on our good fortune, feeling blessed and humbled......and then my husband said "Come on". So I did. Now do you see those footprints in the snow? They are his, leading into the bushes. Poky, scratchy, sharp bushes. We bushwhacked for awhile until I said "umm, sweetheart, what may i ask are we doing?" he replied, "following Deer tracks". Oh good. I remembered that deer are nimble and can cling to sides of mountains and don't have to worry about twigs getting stuck in their hair or their camera getting broken...
just then he was satisfied, maybe because i was turning back anyway ;)...
I had other ideas...

...i wanted to have a closer look now...

...and have a go at snow man you see mine here? it is most definitely a she, with her crown of dried blooms on her snowy head...

...after playing in the snow, my husband wondered if I'd brought any snacks? he was hungry, like a bear he said, so we started our decent, you don't want to be around a hungry bear! the hike took around 2 hours to get here, so we were that far away from any least. That's not counting any detours... stream crossings...

...and leaf gazing...

...another stream crossing on the way down. We sometimes bring a picnic and sit alone on the rocks, we've brought champagne here, it's easy in a backpack...

...but this morning Summerland Beach Cafe was our destination.(remember Lindy?) It is a lovely restaurant in an old wooden house, with a deck for outdoor seating and an ocean view. Everyone else was all dressed up since it was Valentines Day. There we were all grubby, fresh from the trail (and snow). But so happy. Cheers Darling.
...."objects in mirror are closer than they appear".
yes, they are. hi mountains.

...trails done. time to knit! here is a little project i am working on..
"when i stitch i stitch with bliss, and with every stitch there went a kiss"
~ granma rose ~

(phone pics) ...and finally in the evening we drove to Santa Ynez to the Mavericks for a Valentines wedding...yes it was a wedding in a saloon and it was fabulous...we listened to country music, danced with cowboys and toasted a new union... was a very good day.

xxx lori