Yesterday I was looking for a recipe I had posted a couple of years ago here on my blog and I noticed that my life seemed much more interesting, or maybe I should say varied, back then. Lately all I photograph are trees, fireplaces and dogs.
As some of you know, in November of 2010 I quit my job and moved from San Francisco to a small town here in southern Italy to try to repair my parents' home, which had not been lived in since 1987, and to see if I liked living here again. After just a month and a half the meniscus in one knee went bad, then about 3 months ago the other one. After seeing 4 orthopedists, I am now getting Tecar treatments (a therapy invented in Spain) and have recently been to an osteopath twice. Neither knee has healed yet, but one or both of these treatments seems to be helping.
Of course this health problem had a big effect on everything having to do with life here. I spent more than I should have to fix the house and, although there is a lot more that could be done, I'm stopping here, because I have to. Almost 3 months ago I moved into the house, which is in the countryside about one kilometer from town, with no car an no heat, except for a big fireplace and 3 heaters fueled by gas tanks spread around the place. Even though the house is big, I am mostly living in the largest room, where I sleep, watch tv and have my computer. My days are filled with tending the fire, letting my dogs in an out of the house, trying to keep a pack of 9 strays from getting too cranky, looking out the window at the beautiful trees, trying to figure out what to cook, and listening to interviews on The Winter of Wellness with healers and teachers of all kinds.
I'm thinking a lot these days and I know I am going through an unusual period in my life, but if I try to give it a name or a description that fits, I can't really come up with anything satisfactory. Is this a pause, a transition, a hiatus? A reflective time in survival mode? These two adjectives, however, don't seem to go together very well.
I'll try to describe it, and maybe that will help me name it, categorize it. I guess I am not one who can just "be". I need to know what I am "being".
First of all I have figured out that this is not home. It was home at one time, but not now, maybe it will be, but it's not at the moment. The thing is, though, that there is no where in the US that I consider home either. There are places I like, where I imagine I could be relatively content, but they are not home. Seattle would be one of those. Can't really think of another one.
I want to start a spiritual practice that I can stick with, but there are so many interesting paths, that I can't decide. I have about 20 unread books on spiritual themes, but there they sit. I feel like making mixed media art again, and all my supplies are in boxes next to a table for art-making, right here near the one with this computer, but I can't quite reach for the brush or glue or paint. What I would much rather do is watch videos of people creating a mixed media piece. You know, those speeded up ones? I love them.
Maybe it's a case of winter hibernation. When the weather warms up I'll pull out the packets of seeds, the paint brushes, and maybe I'll even put away the stuff that arrived a year ago and most of which I haven't even unpacked. When spring comes I too will wake up to from my sleep.
And just so no one gets doggy photo withdrawals, here's one of Cirillo getting puppy kisses, to which he responds more or less the same way he responds to my petting.