World Watercolor Month – Day One

Work by definition has to be when you woulda liked to have gone out and painted in the afternoon but by the time you can it’s thundering and lightning and raining.

Went anyway.

Not my favorite of recent paintings but hey, wipers and darkish.

World Watercolor Month – Day One

Where did June Go?

Mainly it went in a swirling of brain-drain as I trained and adjusted to doing a new thing while working from home. It has taken really three weeks to go from abject terror to only moments of wondering what-the-heck-am-I-doing, LOL. Toward the end of last week, which ends on Saturday, I had moments of – oh, I know what to do here! Or hearing someone else asking a question in our support chat and thinking, ‘isn’t that…?’ So slow but sure.

Working at home means no forty-five minute plus commute each way, but also means I make my own coffee and breakfast and lunch. And dinner. Sometimes I get to eat one or all of those sitting on the front steps. Sometimes I get to dash out afterwork because the sun is out and I can get a painting in and take photos of the evening coming on.

July brings with it World Watercolor Month so get ready for a more regular appearance of paintings here. After that – August Poetry Postcard Festival 2020 – although with the pandemic in play, some of us started early on that. I did a month’s worth of postcards during NaPoWriMo in April.

I feel the rhythm of my year changing and yet it’s the same. A few photos popped up in facebook of watercolors I’d done in 2016 and 2019 and it was interesting to see what was the same and what was different. Since being home I found a place in New Lebanon where there is a 360 degree view of the sky. Looking back years from now I’ll be reminded of the pandemic by many many panoramas of the sky and clouds and landscape.

Here are photos from today. Mostly clouds and landscape but a few plants and flowers and a couple mushrooms that snuck in at the end. Look close – some of the clouds were being visited by birds and other things!

29 June 2020 out and around.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Where did June Go?

Painting ahead of the rain

Gave myself a challenge because I had a limited time frame to paint in today – try to do somethng with the abundant wild phlox along the roadsides.

Painting ahead of the rain

4 June 2020

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. — Dalai Lama

Had a day of work training, all virtual, today. It’s been a long week and yesterday I allowed as I had hit the Wednesday wall. I was sure that others had too although I had no way of knowing what proportion their mix of work-anxiety to world-anxiety was. I couldn’t really tell what mine was.

Today was better work-wise, for me anyway. I found some hooks to use that gave me some grip of what is to come. Others sounded frantic and I thought – look at you MB, you’ve gotten over that Wednesday wall and found Thursday.

At the end of the day we had just an open talk session, unexpected but going on all over my company. People shared, offered support, cried. We talked about self-care and being aware of our needs and the needs of others but that idea that in order to help others we need to put our own oxygen mask on first. Be strong for ourselves so we can be strong and make things happen in the world.

I thought back over my long years at Apple and of times when my co-workers gave me unexpected but appreciated support and times when I stepped in to help someone else. Because, that’s what you do, right? You care about people and how they’re treated by the world and you try to do the right thing for them. I’ve told customers to leave. I’ve told customers – you’re sick, too sick to be worried about buying a new computer right this minute. Go home and feel better and come back. I’ve told kids – stop whacking your little sibling, because that’s not nice. Like I mean STOP it. Or, those are inappropriate comments and I’ll ask you to stop. OK, you don’t want to stop, I’m saying we’re done and you can leave.

So I pondered these things while listening. And I realized here I am, about to start in a new area of work, feeling very anxious and the world’s not helping me out. In 2001, my hire date for my new job was September 4 and my training was pushed back because our store wasn’t quite on schedule. The training started September 17.

I remember walking in and being so unenthusiastic about the whole thing. I remember thinking – just don’t quit. You need a job. You’ve been unemployed for a long time and you need this job. Don’t walk out. Everyone was so cheery and excited and I couldn’t make it happen. I remember how anxious I was because I really had no idea what the moment to moment reality of this new job would be. We all got through it, and it turns out that’s pretty much a daily thing, more often than not.

There’s been a lot of cheeriness this week but nothing over the top. I think most people have been worn down by the months of covid-19 and being home and moving from one crisis to another. We’ve spent a week together trying to learn virtual things in this new virtual world.

I’m sure it won’t be the last time of overlapping anxieties but let’s work to make the world good, as best we can, where ever we can going forward. Be kind folks, be kind.

All of my unedited cloud photos from today:

clouds 4 June 2020//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

4 June 2020

June 2 More Clouds

I was busy doing training today, but dashed out after work to chase some clouds. Randall cattle make a guest appearance.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

June 2 More Clouds

Chasing Clouds all over town

I did set out to paint but ended up chasing clouds around New Lebanon (mommy why is that woman taking video of the sky? (I’m not – panoramic is the name of the game sometimes)

So here, unedited are all of today’s iPhone photos and as soon as I find the giszmo, I’ll put up the ones from my actual camera (remember those?)

clouds 24 May 2020//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Chasing Clouds all over town

May the Second

I sort of took yesterday off, but suffice it to say there was rain to go along with the day. Today though the sun was out and the clouds… well, I took a lot of cloud photos, a lot of photos. The clouds were complex and amazing. I’ll see if I can get them up to Flickr.

I did sit and paint in one spot and watched the clouds roll past.

May the Second

NaPoWriMo – April Thirtieth Already

Lots of wind, my first growler (go ahead, you can laugh, I live to entertain), and other things. What an April it has been and now onto May. You may continue to see some poems here for awhile until the pandemic winds change things around again. I’ve blended this year’s NaPoWriMo into some early cards for August PoPo so more to come.

Or until the DSL lines come crashing down altogether.

The end of April. Long month of grey days
with golden double lines – stay where you are
it warns as it dips and winds around town.
Wind is pummeling the house. Isn’t that
more like March with its half-remembered kites?
And yet, here we are, blown around like
teenagers with an abundance of so
much everything but no experience
to hang it all on, flailing, some flying
lightly, scooping the sky, slurping up
the tough cord, stringing it as clothesline
doing a windy tango of its own
How’s the weather up there, the cord-paying
hand telegraphs, hoping for a tugged reply.

NaPoWriMo – April Thirtieth Already

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Nine

The penultimate day of April and so the almost-last poem of NaPoWriMo. Hopefully it’s been a good month for you all too wherever you’ve been laying low and waiting for COVID-19 to pass over. I was out and around looking at things and painting and took some photos of what I saw and one of my helpful co-workers and myself, trying to work and of course, some clouds.

April is almost over. This morning
I went out with my first coffee, wondering
has there ever been a better time
for daffodils than this year?
We suddenly have time, and reason,
to look and look again. To see
the no-color brown-grey hillside
fill up with frothy green brush.
One day, the pond has a haughty goose.
A week later, several yellow goslings
hurrying to line up behind two strict
but apparently caring parents.
We had several rounds of snow this April,
but nothing stayed the hand of spring.
We were there when the maples bloomed,
watched as peonies leapt out of the ground,
four, six inches at a time from nothing.
When the peepers sang, we stopped to listen
and knew another checkbox had been ticked.
Every day the hand of April is seen
in places you’ve looked before, suddenly,
throwing a fistful of green, now pouring it
along roadways, sneaking out of hedgerows,
following the farmer turning the fields,
that telltale green waiting til he heads home,
jumping up out of the surprised earth
No one cares if it’s weed or timothy
Only that April came and now comes May.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Nine

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-eight

A day with work and sun and clouds and a tasty lunch and dinner. Breakfast wasn’t bad either.

You seem concerned and ask if I’m all right
But see, we don’t really know each other
And if we did, we probably would not.
So I nod and say I’m good as do you
and we turn to work which is what we share
People talk of their feelings all the time
I wasn’t raised that way, but to get through
Never let them see you cry, be polite,
be respectful and work hard to get ahead
All the things that make a civil world,
a smooth landscape where nothing sticks out.
And so I’ve kept myself to myself a lot.
Perhaps we could start by saying who we are
But if we did, we wouldn’t choose to know.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-eight