Toward the end of the year I pulled together a few of my old Christmas Card designs (eventually you will be able to see all my watercolour greeting card designs on my other blog, Thumb & Thistle) and I took part in two local weekend markets, my favourite being the Christmas at the Commons. We've had so much to thank the Commons for throughout this year, and it's there that I've met some of the most real and down to earth people - people whose hearts and souls are far bigger than even the daily challenges they have to endure, and quite a few have lived on this island since much simpler times before their circumstances diminished...these are the people I feel the most at home with, and an ever evolving way of living has emerged for K and I as we now serve frequent shared dinners, offer our hot shower as a drop-in option and our sofabed as a respite to the same friends who give us a ride when we have no gas, drop off chopped wood to keep our fire along, lend us flashlights or come running if someone is sick, and so it goes round and round as we all find our equal footing and establish a lifestyle that nurtures the abundance we can collectively manifest in our small community. I never knew anything like this in the city. Here, the economic currency is the free time that is filled with open, unconditional favours traded between neighbours.
Just past mid-December K was driving home on the first snowy and icy evening of the winter and as he rounded a bend a deer appeared in his path. Although he knows not to swerve for deer, the timing of its placement at the apex of the curve was sudden and visibility low in the pitch dark....what he thought was shoulder room on the road was only an illusion created by ice fog...to his fleeting horror he discovered it was in fact a ditch.... as he skidded into it, he hurtled toward a huge tree and flipped on his driver side just in time to avoid a head on smashup and sure death. I was meanwhile at home snoozing, although even in my floating sleep I sensed an excessive lapsing of time, unconsciously unsettled that he should be home by now. I was soon woken by a friend knocking gently on our bedroom door (we never lock the house in our quiet neck of the woods)..."Ranza, you need to get up now and dress, K has been in a little accident". His overly calm manner betrayed his tentative words. My heart racing, I tore on my jeans and we drove down to the accident scene...as we approached, and I saw that a road crew was actually enforced to slow traffic (what, here? That never happens!!), my stomach churned, and I nearly threw up across the dashboard of our friend's car at the sight of our hefty Forerunner on its side, the hood ravaged open by the metal-gnawing machinery of the paramedic rescue team, and my man nowhere in sight, already extricated and whisked off by the ambulance.
K survived, in the opinion of the police and the emergency crew, by the skin of his teeth and the grace of his huge physique. And above all, in our humble opinion, under the protection of the Mysterious Great and Grander Entity. After a long night in hospital undergoing tests and xrays to rule out spinal and brain injury, he came home with a compound fracture and stitches to his nose, lacerations and tissue damage, a throttled knee and a bruised arm.
|K and Seeker in the Fall of 2012|
Why had K driven out that icy cold evening? Leaving me at home to rest after an exhausting day, he was on an errand down mid-island to pick up a space heater for my studio from a woman who had a spare one to give me. It wound up coming at a much steeper price. I never thought the resulting comfort of a cozy warm studio would infuse me with such guilt and gratitude at the same time.
|No Longer Freezing, My Studio is Awake Again|
Today we were having a laugh at the fact that K's otherwise boxer-like lumpy nose has actually healed much straighter than before.....and knock on wood we're back in the saddle again dealing with life's other simple struggles and exorbitant joys.
K and I met on New Year's Eve 2007, so it's our anniversary of course! We have stayed in to celebrate quietly all the Eves since, and this time as it passed uneventfully into the new enlightened era, I coined our shared motto for 2013:
"Carpe Diem! Fear Nothing, and Force Nothing! Get on with it in 2013!!"
I do have inspiring stories to tell and art to reveal, coming up soon!! And if I stick to my own words I will put the final brushstrokes to all the half-started paintings I began last year, including the yet to be titled oil below:
|Oil Painting in Progress|
Happy New Year everyone, from our house in the woods.
|The Road Ahead|