Tuesday, June 28, 2016


my partner's amazing daughter
married her amazing love
over the weekend.
we traveled to sweet vermont
to help them celebrate.
hannah met us there, 
so we had lots of time together.
 leah and nate
weddings bring up all sorts of deep emotions.
but what i loved
was watching them
caring for each other and all of us
there was a huge crowd with LOTS of children.
 returning to
the north country,
with time to relax for a change.
to process all that richness
to think about some work that has been knocking at the door,
and only two commitments this summer.
 a page from spring walk, my first shifu book
the horsetail is in full leaf
on the roadsides
and the evening sky
played all kinds of music.
it's coming back a little bit.
june evening light
i've found a duo who sing music that feels right to me
anna and elizabeth
and they make these wonderful wonderful
shows called crankies.
there was dancing at the wedding,
my feet weren't happy enough to dance
(i'm also a r&r girl)
there are days and days ahead.
retired now five days.
musing on ideas...
over here is a nifty treat.
download it and check out these two guys
who have made a nifty book.

Friday, June 17, 2016

four more

there are four more days of work.
we're tying up loose ends.
but first i am meeting with the amazing genevieve lapp.
we are intergenerationality,
 two papermakers, 25 years apart,
working on an exquisite paper
to add to hand papermaking's 
30th anniversary portfolio.
here's some 25 year old thai kozo soaking
overnight in cold water
 and the after cooking 
and final rinse
it's ready for genevieve.
she has some experimenting to do
after i teach her
the process of contact printing
on paper.
MANY pages
and another hemp bark book vessel in the works
and those four days?
i am astonished by the many and thoughtful presents
coming my way
from colleagues 
(here a parcel from our favorite substitute, mo, who 
stepped into TA shoes twice 
while i travelled 
to oz).
you can't quite see 
the lovely BIG chocolate and caramel treat.
i've been hugged by students, and a parent,
(you know who you are, s)
thank you all my friends.
this here woman sure feels loved.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

the kids

these two are not the kids,
they are friends
(this irresistible photo appeared on facebook)
jeff and isis.
(last year when she was 89)
these folks are my neighborhood,
sadly neglected by me of late.
so is this my neighborhood,
time to make hay
if the weather holds.
(it's not) 
 and this mysterious new addition,
plunked neatly into a field.
i can only imagine...
 the newest neighborhood
down the road 15 miles or so,
my new place 
on an old farmstead
 had one foundation now buried
and bits of stone wall.
 (lots of deer flies)
 jean has written about love of tools--
 i find deep pleasure in making tools--
this is the big stump loom
with a whitetail deer
bone folder
doing double duty as a weaving stick
 weaver's sword
holding the shed
a placekeeper.
 just for fun
and utility.
weaving shifu pages
as i wind down my final teaching year.
/one more class day/
/three days of exams for one student/
/a few more days after that/
/to put my room to rest/
this class is all done.
my class will disappear and not be replaced.
i find this to be surprisingly sad
for my students
who must find other placements.
i have had two retirement celebrations,
one with a pretty cake,
one with a cheesy certificate. 
i'm ready
and i will miss you know who you are,
i won't miss
what is happening now in public education.

Monday, June 6, 2016

big steps

i've been working
in special education for 21 years.
and my retirement is imminent.
special ed attracted me
because the students were different.
my preference has always been working with kids who have
emotional disabilities,
especially older middle and high school kids.
especiallly in alternative educational settings.
give me a wilderness site
or an old farm
or the woods
and i blossom as a teacher.
 the stairways to learning and growing and understanding are often
hidden away,
overgrown or tucked away.
and then sometimes a gift is given
 presented for the one given it
 gifts are like that. often given
not always taken.
this is the way it is.
sometimes i see
a deer, a mink, a turkey, a heron
great blue heron
 out the window at home
giving me the gift of beauty.
i've looked up to see
a kingfisher, a flicker, an eagle
 and at night i hear owls, many frogs, woodcock, and coyote
if i'm lucky.
around here 
this rural, impoverished north country,
there is so much loss
 buildings mark what was once
 what people have left behind.
or not run over on the road. 
this one i helped across the road. i hope
i hope she laid her eggs in the soft shoulder sand.
the other morning there were nine snappers laying eggs
along the roadside in a mile stretch, and then number 10
a bit further on.
 at home i am weaving shifu and here, below, 
is a failed bit of 
needle woven hemp.
 i'm just finding my way back into making
instead of teaching full time.
transitioning away from this path has been a surprise.
there have been two celebrations for me and other retirees.
and sadness as i leave 
some very, very
special people.

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