The kitchen counter

I ran out of flour.  I had grand plans last night to begin a couple of paper mâché llamas and perhaps even a couple of sheep. I had to remind myself that these projects work best when I do one at a time.

When I opened the cupboard to reach for the flour, I remembered that I had run out. I rarely bake. Twice a year maybe. Most of the flour is used for paper mâché.


I also need to remind myself to make room for other projects, for learning and for reading. So I sat myself down for the greater part of this morning to do just that, first reading several pages of a good novel, A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley. After a while, I made breakfast and after this I finally pulled the dulcimer from its corner and opened my lesson book… to the first page. The dulcimer has been sitting in the same spot for over a year. I need to make room for exploring music.

I rarely look at the clock, except for when I am doing work for clients. I have no idea how much time I spent with the dulcimer. I practiced the same two bars until I lost interest.

The only functional clock in my house is the one on the stove, and for the past few months it has been fast, easily gaining a half hour every two days. At first, I thought this was rather odd for an electronic clock, but then I began to see a humorous connection to my life. I am not concerned with aging or with the need to accomplish a particular goal before the end, but time is of the essence nonetheless. I need to make time for projects that occupy my imagination, for learning to play the dulcimer, for bodhran practice and for reading, for no other reason than to grow myself in diverse directions.

Have I forgotten how, when I’ve tapped into some new knowledge, I’ve invariably opened new doors, or at the very least new perspective?

It is time to change how I occupy my time.

Last night, after I put the llama on hold, I began the first lesson in the Tangle booklet I acquired recently. I had done this sort of drawing years ago, but not with the same intent to use it as a creative and intuitive pause. Again, I have no idea how much time I spent on practicing three different patterns. I especially like the circles.

I stood at the kitchen counter, because this is where I do paper mâché and because, except for when I sew, I like to work standing. I thought I’d begin there for a few minutes and sit when I felt the urge to do so. I became absorbed in the moment instead.

After putting the dulcimer away today, I went to the store to get flour and I plastered the llama with wet flour soaked newspaper bands and gave him ears. It will need about three days to dry completely. Then, I can apply the twine that will make up its coat. I like to let things dry naturally, plus I am nervous about putting paper items in the stove, even at low temperature, even if I stand there watching.


Today was a day of random bits and parts. I trimmed the dog’s claws. I do this in the same spot, on the kitchen counter, with a strong LED light just behind him so I can see the quick. The kitchen counter is where I cut fabric for projects, also. There is something about this particular spot. It is where Roderick used to knead dough to make our bread. Yes. That’s it. I think I like to stand there because it is where he stood to make bread. It is a spot that feels like home.


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