I found this stool somewhere– possibly in the Habitat Store in Shelton WA– and it asked to be mine. This has been my Director’s Chair in the studio for many years now. It serves as a stool, of course, when I am at the easel. It also serves as a foot-rest when I am reclining in the big chair. Covered like this, it is a playground for Lucy the cat, my studio muse. She knows the underside of this stool very well. It’s also my dining table! Simple meals suit me and I can hug the stool and slurp up a meal like a camper! I like that. It is a table for carving sometimes. It spends part of its time in the way. I can turn it upside down on the table to get it out of my floor space. I am kind of sure this stool will stay here even after I send the easel on to other places. Anything can be used for an easel, after all.
Someone brought my mother a “start”–a chunk of an Angel Wing Begonia — long years ago, and the resulting plant has begat and begat itself many times over in all the places I have lived. My son and my son’s friends all have babies from that Begonia. My doctor has one in her office! I gave little ones to my loved ones for Christmas one year.
This grouping sits at my studio window along with some succulents and some “Kitty Grass” (wheat grass the Muse, my Hemingway Cat Lucy, likes to chew on. Later she has a hairball event. But she loves that stuff so much! ) Lucy keeps watch out the window just about full-time.
The studio is happily equipped with two tall bookshelves on which there is a library, a museum, a photo display, odds and ends, portfolios, references, and a lot of my commodious wood items. What you see here is a turned crock with paintbrushes and pens in it, next to what I call The Bowl Named Peggy. If you look carefully, you will see holes along the left side where pegs fit. This is a work in progress. Old letters are in the box called flowers. A favorite Erdrich book and a handy zip lock bag made the cut. The wood rose was brought home to me from a walk my daughter took. This particular photograph keeps asking to be made into a painting. Sometime.
My life is becoming much more weeded out. This is not a bad thing. But I will never read ALL those books I have loved again. Some I will read. CS Lewis and some other favorites will stay around like old friends. But all these art books! Will I really look through them all, or are they just on the shelf getting old. Someone else will love them. So they are going into boxes. First the kids can choose, and then I will put them on a table for people to have for little or nothing. The front yard is a safe place, and handy, to put up a little “stand.”
It’s not just books. It’s Tools. And Art Supplies. Paper and canvases. And a lot of old paintings that really should be put to rest. I like them because of their history, but they are not really good ones, some of them. Deep six! Sell some of the good ones. Let the kids sell them. Got to get rid of the over-much three-dimensional stuff in this place so it is not a nightmare for others to deal with as I get less and less energetic, and slower, and tired a lot. I still want to do all this reading and painting and carving. But a person has to admit to it when they are fatigued when they work too long.
Gracefully yield up the riches, my conscience tells me. Spread them around. Enjoy other people’s enjoyment. And make room for one or two new projects on a clean slate! It’s a refreshing thought.
But keep the things you really love. Yes, keep the stool, and the CS Lewis books, and The Bowl Named Peggy. The wood rose. The paint brushes.