Wild and Frightening

Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg keep going back to New Mexico – I keep going back to Radcliffe Avenue in West Vancouver, B.C.  The Radcliffe with towering evergreens supporting the entrance to this one long block breathing along the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Just off Marine Drive, Randcliffe is part of Millionaires’ Row. When distinctive for its magnificent cedars, hemlocks, and firs anchoring gardens braided with ivy,  salal, and morning glory it was worth more than a million dollars to me; it was my Cameron and Goldberg retreat.  I’m speaking about a time before the tree butchers arrived to sever the spines of enormous thick trunks.  Trunks that grew glorious branches where eagles surveilled the sea and birds built homes.  I’m writing of a time before the roots of the trees were surgically removed; a time following horrific cracks breaking the sound barrier as the trunks were reduced to stumps.  A silent sky prayed above the scream of the chainsaws.

Me in a body fighting hopelessly to leave an earth struck with random acts of senseless proportion.  I too screamed  to extinguish the sounds around me and wished myself blind to the free firewood lining the street.

The magical lighting cast over the street as the hours changed hands on the clock had been cut off branch by branch, bird by bird, until it instantly ceased to exist.

The atmosphere that made Radcliffe desirable and completely one of a kind, precious and luxurious was now extinguished. No more light filtering through layers of branches, no more dancing rays entering our house through the cottage-style windows.  It was FINAL. Majestic, strong, healthy, evergreens felled under many headings:  progress, greed, don’t want shade, don’t want to clean up needles on the driveway.  Twenty years later the slivers still burn under my skin.

Yes, ‘Nat’ Goldberg says that if you let go in your writing you naturally go for the jugular repeatedly until you clean up unfinished business.

She adds, “Writing does not need to be logical.  Home does not equal your street address. Food does not equal mashed potatoes.  Vehicle does not equal truck. She states: get out of your house, get out of your mind. Everything changes: remember that as you write.”

“Plot is cause and effect and – karma.  If something happens there is a result.”

“Stress is an ignorant state:  you believe everything is an emergency. It’s a dis-connection from the earth and a forgetting to breathe.”  (I want to disagree with this and cannot).

“Writing is a moment moving through us.” (N. Goldberg)

“Write your art out:  write your heart out.  Learn to Love & Embrace Uncertainty.” (N.R. Rigets)


Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

A Colorful Past: An Uncertain Future

Snooping through “Nat’s” (Natalie Goldberg’s) book, ‘Wild Mind,’ reminds me of writing in my journals. Goldberg calls it practice writing when you sit down, “take your hands out of the air,” and write.  Daily it becomes a compilation made up of thoughts and memories, visions, stories, and impressions.

Goldberg’s friend is a jeweler whose beautiful deco jewelry had its origin in the art deco hotels that filled the Miami Beach of her childhood.  This leads to me thinking about my “Gravity Collage” bracelets sculpted with buttons and guided through a process of intuition.

Yesterday I posted a thank you to the Fashion Writing Class at VCAD and here is their letter to me:

Dear Nicole Rigets,

On behalf of my fashion writing class at VCAD, I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit our class. Often times when one looks at art, it is taken for face value, and critiqued poorly. Having you come to our class and meet us has given us great insight in to the story, and world behind the art work.

I can safely say that we have all become inspired by your visit in many different ways.  Thank you for answering all of our questions.  You did so with grace and we found your answers very informative.

We especially enjoyed the pieces of Jewelry you brought in to show us. The pieces of jewelry seemed to reflect the environment of our class, many different pieces from many different backgrounds working together to form something beautiful.  We gained great insight in to your world, and your work.

We wish you all the best in everything you do, and know it will turn out great.  Thank you again for coming to see us we really enjoyed your visit.


Wesley Barisoff (on behalf of VCAD, Fashion Writing Class)

A beautifully written letter by students with a promising future.  Their analogy of dissimilar buttons and unique beings was so well described in the letter there’s no need for me to elaborate on it.  It’s first class the way artists and writers cheer for, mentor, and sincerely support each other.

Now thinking back to my childhood and how intrigued I was by the antique container with a little “character” sitting atop the lid.  This china ornament was always displayed on Mum’s dresser. It held her buttons and some small cowrie shells.  I inherited my love of jewelry from my Mother.  Buttons are little objects: little sculptures that show up in different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. They herald style, craftsmanship, industrialization, and social mores.

"A Colorful Past"

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets