In with the Fruit Peels when I Die

We’re here and gone.  We’re in and out.

The swell of the waves makes my thighs quiver and my lower body feels sensations taking in the movement of the sea.  The Shangri-La thrusts above the headland.

A deep pink geranium sits pretty in the black cast iron urn near my feet silently dropping her petals as she too admires the whitecaps. A dainty sophisticate, the geranium has an oriental lily pad leaf anchoring an English flower and bud with small petals, fanning out a saturated hue against clouds swollen with shadows leaning along the sky in layers.

The icy wind is bending tree branches and whirring the stalks of shrubs into a frenzy. The Seawalkers keep their collars up and kleenex under their noses as they brace their steps for the next burst of cold air breaking over them.  Long scarves twirl and leap outward in a scatter-brained dance.

The train tracks creak, dogs yip and howl.

My feet are cold, as is my tea, and yet it is mesmerizing to sit in the midst of it all.  A lone gull is being blown blocks out of his way by the next forceful blow of the wind.  He’s drawn across roof and tree tops and sent soaring away from the water toward the hard blue mountains.

A steady grumble makes its way through the leaky windows and the canvas awnings flap furiously against the current.

Without warning leaves are blown inside out revealing their naked light side.  The logs sitting atop the giant granite boulders lining the walk thunk, thunk, in repetition.  All is divine as blue sky and tips of sunlight foreshadow a heavenly day.

Now the sun comes out to spoil me warming my bare feet resting on the tile floor.  The rays are blinding as they reflect off the water and the surface of the sea glitters in madcap fashion. Sunlight is pulled back and in ten breaths I see only a glare as the seagulls wail mournfully.  The sun is back, in the completion of a sentence, playing hide and seek with me.  I have to squint hard against it.

More people are out walking now.  The path becomes a medley of color:  mauve, red, blue, pink, white, gold, black, navy, tan:  the colors of our clothing, our cars, and our floral arrangements.

The walk has emptied, my tea is drained, I leave the solarium in peace having read a few more pages from Louise Erdrich’s book, “The Blue Jay’s Dance.”  A Birth Year.  Exquisite, lyrical prose by a Best-Selling Author, Mother, Observer of Nature and Poet.  These little vignettes are “unpredictable and unforgettable.”  The mundane of everyday life is rendered marvelous!

Once back in the kitchen I look out and see the arbutus tree waving wildly in the wind. My concern is for the crow who built her nest in a strong fork of one of the branches.  I can see vaguely through the blossoms that she’s home by a small glimpse of her shiny black feathers.  The tree  is caught up in a baby hurricane and I think of the bird mother having morning sickness in the dizzying gale. If the eggs aren’t scrambled by the time the wind ceases the birdlings will be born remembering this psychedelic drama in their incubation. All day I fret over whether the nest will weather the storm.

I had watched the nest being built and the crow had a mate helping to weave each thoughtfully chosen strand of material into a new home. Many trips were made carrying puffs of something white and fluffy. Normally the nest rests in utopia almost hidden by the thick and lavish white flowers and green leaves of the arbutus tree; a floral-lined loft.  By sunset the scene turned calm, the five-hour power outage was repaired, and I had the kettle back on. I was extremely grateful for electricity, a safe nest, and all the energetic forces of Mother Nature purifying the air we breathe.  The electric heat is back on, the fridge is cold again, and the food didn’t spoil.  So what if the computer wouldn’t work, I got this written anyway… by hand and heart.

Crow Nursery constructed in the boughs of the red-trunked Arbutus Tree

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Think Naked!! (Re-Seeding Yourself)

Businesses, people, and ideas contain seeds of obsolescence.  We may start out by making change:  introducing new blood, modernizing and transforming ourselves, our environment, relationships, our businesses or even our blogs.  We continue along the path certain that we are on track…but at some point we begin to lose traction.  Others overtake us and we’re left to figure out why we’re no longer running out in front.

We are now running behind.  I interpret this as becoming complacent in our personal life and our habits.

The artist, Paul Gauguin, wrote: “There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite”.  Let’s leave it to the chain stores to fill this demand.

If we strive for the best in ourselves we can learn from new angles:  THINK NAKED!! Here is a list of ideas to march into March 2010:

  • Think in “Supernatural” dimensions.
  • Conjure up two opposites and find a way to make them intersect and work together.  ie.  Remember T.V.’s “Odd Couple”.
  • Look at what is popular and visualize it differently.  Be unique.
  • Stop being opinionated and start brainstorming from multiple perspectives.
  • Suspend your disbelief and reverse your assumptions.
  • Reframe a question to expose more than one right answer.
  • Answer ambiguous questions in several different ways.
  • Stir up my Mother’s favorite: “What if?” and put practicality aside.
  • Don’t edit yourself…gag your inner critic.
  • Think metaphorically.  We react more readily to the emotional than we do to the rational.  The trick is to use visual words instead of words lacking imagery.
  • “…free ideas slumbering in stone…”  as Michelangelo did.  In other words get rid of what doesn’t belong in you life, your art, your business, your relationships, and your thinking.

The context of your life should be useful and valuable to yourself and others.  The steps above allow us to take giant leaps to innovation; re-seeing and re-seeding ourselves. Drench your work with your authentic self, your passions.  Business is personalities and independent expression is us.

"Naked Man Running with New Ideas" Figure Drawn by Pouring Grape Juice on Paper"

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets