Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dreams of Italy

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

~ William Stafford ~

The thread that has been consistent in my life has been art. Through every upturn and downturn, art has been there to nourish and guide me. It has taken me safely through every danger and provided me with all I've ever needed. Over the years I've learned that by feeding the things that sustain me, life keeps getting better.

That's why I take classes, reach out to new experiences and travel. I know what lifts me higher. This afternoon my grandson phoned asking for help in attending a conference in L. A. in a field he is interested in. And of course I will help him participate. I want him to learn early that it's experience that makes a life - not things.

He is a nerdy boy. Big brain. Boy brain. His interests are a great mystery to me. But I told him this, "When you find your passion and feed that passion, you will fly." It's my mantra.

I've started dreaming about the class I'll be teaching in Italy in September. Katie will be there with her students at the same time, an added bonus. John is coming too and promises to be a lively addition to our group of seekers. We have a big party planned and you are invited!

My Daphne has put on the biggest show ever this spring. Clouds of fragrance waft into the studio every time I open the door. If you want roses, you have to plant rosebushes.

I'm taking my acrylics and all my sketching, journaling and mixed media tools with me to Italy. I'm going to paint and paste and draw and collect and record make beauty with my friends and eat gelato every day.

John will have a birthday while we are there so I have to plan a special party for him on that day. But I expect the entire week to be a party.

Six months away from travel I always have to pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming or not. There is a wonderful attraction to just opening that door to adventure and possibility and finding out what's on the other side.

I'll need to bring lots of raw sienna, yellow ochre and plaster. Mmmmmm, these are some of the things that make my heart smile.

Wine tastings, cooking classes, making art, visiting with other people who love art like I do and making memories together - that's what's on my mind today.

Here's where Orvieto is located, just a train ride north of Rome.

This September. Think of it. Slow food. Luscious, golden Italian autumn. A very small group of like minded friends. Daily art making in the most splendid city imaginable. You're invited.


Barb Smith said...

So much of what you write (and the glorious pictures you include that just make your words even more "real") just goes straight to my soul...but this line: "it's experience that makes a life - not things." is one that just grabbed me by the throat! EXACTLY! You are so wise (no pun intended.)

Italy...what heaven. You have me dreaming of it now. One day, I just know fine day.

Peace & Love,
♥ Barb ♥

Anonymous said...

Oh Italy. I have not been there in 20 years now, and it still melts my heart.
Before you go though, would you meet me in Washington so I can get my yearly Judy hug?? That would be swell!

Sherry Goodloe said...

Wine tastings, cooking classes, making art, and being with others that love art . . . that is just the life!! Enjoy every moment of your trip.

DS Borror said...

oh i love the new images on this post...not to mention the lovely Italian someone else fine day.

Laurel said...


Ro Bruhn said...

It sounds wonderful Judy, wish I could be there. I'm like you my life revolves around art. The fires brought that home to me, everything that I took to work with me each day, incase our house burnt down, was art related, things my daughters made when they were young, my art and special tools etc, everything else could be replaced. I couldn't live without creating art, life would only be an existence.

Anonymous said...

JUDY!!! This is fabulous... and I'm already signed up for September 2010 with Misty Mawn in Italy and I don't know how I'm going to make it that long! I too am so excited, already envisioning what I'll bring and the memories I'll take with me.

Anonymous said...

i love the way you taste life,
morsel by morsel
savoring each delicate flavor. go forth girl reporter and bring back stories!

Anonymous said...

Judy we have daphne too. Absolutely love them - intoxicating. We were in Italy one time and were overwhelmed with a fragrance we couldn't locate. Finally found it - tea olive. A huge tree that filled the streets with perfume. Ain't life grand!

Dayna Collins said...

Your Italy art adventure sounds divine! My husband and I spent a month in Italy last October, including a stop in Orveito - lovely. How lucky you and your students will be.