Dated October 26, 2005, I share the following because it is autumnally tinted, because I always like to talk about my silver baby, and because the dreams of the past are always apropos, I think, no matter how flighty they may seem, given hindsight. (Hindsight can be a terrible, mean friend.) This was written to a long-distance friend of mine, a long distance ago...
you're there. good. and i'm here, that's good too. i was so very glad to see your name in my inbox once more. yes, it has been non-stop busy-ness on this end as well. teaching takes over one's life in a way that no other profession can, i think. the start of this year was, of course, so much smoother than that of last year. i actually know what's going on, and it feels good. we have a new lower school head, he and his wife came here from connecticut. he's a big part of why this year has felt so good -- he's an incredible administrator, and has a long history in the waldorf-style schools up north where art is an integral part of learning. we are fortunate to have him, and he is thrilled to be here. his wife is an artist, and we hit it off right away. i told her that i work with junk and old stuff in my art and we discovered that we both have a strong affinity for gears. we love gears. old, rusty, round machine-ish sorts of pieces.
i told you about my search for a vintage travel trailer. right? i think i've found it. it's in arkansas, in siloam springs, the little town where mom and dad met at college, and where my grandparents lived, and other family still lives. (we went for their singing group reunion a few weeks ago.) my cousin said, "hey you're looking for an airstream, right? i know a guy who's selling one -- it's behind the old post office downtown." GOD SMILED and there sat a 1960 silver dream. it's in really good condition, has just had new axles and brakes added, and with a little banging and buffing, the exterior will be goooood-lookin.' the interior needs a little help, but it's nothing i can't handle -- merely cosmetic. he is asking $4300, which i think is insanely low, compared to what i've seen in all my searching on the internet. so i am now trying to figure out how to make a quick $4300....
dad is still not convinced, i don't think. i'm pretty sure he thinks it's just going to go away, and is perhaps scared to think of his little girl on the roads with a truck and a trailer, and nothing but the Lord's protection and perhaps a dog. i'd like to aim to travel between farms and friends and art shows. farms: "willing workers on organic farms" -- heard of it? look it up; it's so cool. you can go to any farm and work and they give you room and board and you wokrk for as long as you want -- harvest grapes in napa in september, pick blueberries in maine in july, detassel corn in the midlands all summer...you get the idea. it's a great way to meet folks and to see the country inexpensively. friends: that's where people like you come in. art shows: it would make perfect sense to create art while on the road or in certain communities and then take it to art fairs or galleries. it all just makes sense...y'think?
great news: in order to get on the road to financial freedom, i knew i'd have to get another roommate, and i've been praying and watching for the last 5 or 6 months (and skating by on grace, month to month). got one! her name's alice, she moved here from baltimore, i didn't know her at all 2 weeks ago and we're quickly becoming friends. she's hilarious and makes me belly laugh quite often, which is lots of fun. i love laughing and bellies. she's also a licensed cosmetologist and she's going to color my hair in the kitchen today. don't worry, i won't let her get too crazy.
fall is here, finally. actually, it's turning straight into winter, pretty much. i've been walking in the neighborhood, crunching yellowed leaves, breathing the cold air deeply into my chest, having "autumn lattes" at the local coffee shop, pulling out the sweaters and making chili...ah. makes me happy to be alive. happier than normal.
have you heard of, picked up, or read donald miller's newest "through painted deserts"? after reading only the author's note, i had tears in my eyes -- maybe it's because what the book is about (leaving) is near to my heart these days, what with my current state of wanderlust. he shines as brightly as always in his words, and i already recommend it, well....having read 16 pages.
i have been listening to shawn colvin's "holiday songs and lullabies" on which she sings "in the bleak midwinter" -- remember when we were drinking beer by the fire at blackstone brewery here in nashville and we each heard her separately in the restrooms and then came back to our seats and remarked about it nearly simultaneously? i always think of that and giggle when i hear it. anyways, it's a beautiful song, and a lovely version of it. we have good memories, don't we? even if they involve bathroom radio.