Who cares what happens when we get there, when the getting there has been so much fun? – Will Schuester
Today was wonderful but if I told you the details you’d be bored to tears so I’ll refrain – well sort of. To sum it all up as succinctly as possible, we arrived in Rockland to get on the 10:30 am ferry to Vinalhaven and the line was epic.
. . .never had anyone ever seen it so long. . .
There wasn’t any chance we’d get on it or the 1pm and didn’t look good for the 2:45pm either which meant a day sitting in line, an enormous amount of talking about how epic the line was and some wandering around town. It was a day of “getting there” and I loved it. It may have had a tiny bit to do with my niece Parker who’s four and her two year old little brother, Beckett.
Being – Aunt Jenna – is not someone I get to be too often since I never had children. She feels like me but different – more alive, more allowed to express wonder and discovery and silliness. What a joy and a gift; sometimes a day of nothing can actually be about everything.
I love Maine and – oh how I love the island of Vinalhaven!
To get to Vinalhaven or (VH) for short – you must take an hour and fifteen minute ferry ride from Rockland harbor, with views of Isleboro (where John Travolta flies in and out), North Haven, Cedar, Hurricane, and Greenes island, through The Reach and into Vinalhaven harbor.
The Maine State Ferry Service has a pair of ferries that run between the main land and Vinalhaven 6 times a day in the summer with limited service during the winter months. Keep in mind – not on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Vinalhaven has the largest year round community of all islands in Maine but there is no movie theater, no shopping mall, and most certainly no cell coverage. There are three types of people on the island – native residents, transplants, and summer folk. My folks don’t fit into any of these categories – they can’t seem to find it in themselves to close the house for the winter. Although the island comes alive in the summer, the winters are beautiful. Vinalhaven has become a part of all of us – it has gotten under our skin and become a place our family gathers. It is a diamond in the rough – one of those undiscovered gems that remains pure and simple in the midst of our complicated lives. I look forward to the fact that my cell phone will not work – that I can truly unplug and relax and enjoy the time with my family.
One of the summer residents turned islander is a famous artist by the name of Robert Indiana. Mr. Indiana become known for his pop art image of the word “love” stacked in a square letter upon letter like you see here. I’m sure you recognize it; it has been transformed over and over again most recently morphed into the word “hope” leading up to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Mr. Indiana has his home and studio in a large Victorian building on Main Street just a few doors down from the Gawker restaurant (best fried scallops you’ll ever have) and across the street from the public parking lot where the VH Senior center sorts cans every Sunday to raise funds (Maine is one of 11 some odd states that has a $.05 bottle return.)
Doug and I flew to Maine today and will be on Vinalhaven tomorrow where life is calmer and simpler and often consists of sitting on the deck enjoying a gin and tonic or… caulking the windows in the basement.
We all have the family stories we tell over and over again.
Usually they involve Murphy’s Law, a fit of hysterics, or childhood antics. I guess this story involves all three of those!
When I was around six we lived on a farm outside of Montpelier, Vermont. It was somewhat isolated up a hill off the main road and with only one other house nearby. My parents bought it knowing it would need some “work” and one of the projects was painting – isn’t it always.
I’m not sure why my Mom thought it would be all right to place a 7 and 4 year old in front of a can of paint and place brushes in their hands and just run inside for a moment to fetch something.
I swear that Jay Jay started it!
When my Mom came outside we were completely covered – I’ll never forget the sheer joy and giggles – so much more fun than painting the side of the house. We were ushered (that’s putting it in kind terms) inside stripped, bathed and sent to our rooms where we proceeded to sit in our individual door ways and continue the giggles. Mom still gets exasperated in the telling!
Day 271 was created in drop after drop of acrylic paint – some swirled together for effect.
Doug and I are headed to Maine for the Fourth of July holiday. I’ve been furiously working to make sure I have everything in order…
Shorts, flip-flops, and fleece (it is summer in Maine)
Art supplies – check.
Someone to house sit and take care of the beasties – check.
Infusion? Humm, yes tomorrow – check!
A life with auto-immune arthritis is planned around infusion dates to ensure they line up with events in life that will take a bit extra uumph to get through. I’m thrilled that tomorrow I get hooked up to my i.v. of Remicade so that our week with my family will be a bit easier and my energy levels will survive the cookouts, fireworks, and water-balloon fights! I will happily plan my life around the medicine that allows me to enjoy these events with a bit more gusto.
“Arrange whatever pieces come your way” – Virginia Wolfe
Take the miscellany of life and put it together into something interesting. I can’t decide my favorite way to talk about the conglomeration of the pieces of my life. Bits and bobs, hodgepodge, and Doug’s favorite (he’s a crossword buff) – olio!
Collage your miscellany together – they may seem disparate but in fact the pieces that come our way – are meant to.
Rejoice in diversity!
Day 269 was created in ink and magazine scraps. Can you tell who’s “eye” has been included in this apple?
A new friend told me that true love is “acceptance of the soul.”
I thought that was lovely so I googled it – lol!
We all have a tendency these days to think there is nothing left in this world that is original especially when we can check! But, guess what – nothing came up to indicate this idea was taken from an 18th century philosopher, a modern day life coach, or a lyric by Rihanna! It is simply a beautiful statement spoken from the heart by a good and honest person.
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. – Henry Ellis
When people suffer from a chronic disease that causes pain like Ankylosing Spondylitis, we are very often given advice from people about how we can be cured. I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating this can be. If I only ate the right diet, took the little known herb, or simply stretched and did yoga daily – well then my AS would vanish huh? If it were only that simple.
I do believe there are a lot of small things that can add up to feeling a tiny bit better – not cures – but little things that when added up make the pain subside some. I eat healthy including… apples! I ask others what works for them and listen to suggestions, and I look for ways to reduce stress. The worst kind of stress for me is emotional stress – it has been a difficult thing to recognize and acknowledge but it is very true so I try very hard to minimize it.
I found this article that has a list of some ways we can “let go” – if by doing so we can feel less pain – no matter which kind, it might be worth a read through. I was a great reminder for me to let go in order to hold on to my health. I hope you find some value in it too.
I’ve learned so much about so much. What a crazy wonderful ride it has been so far and I love every day I can say I’m an artist, a blogger, and I want to tell the world about Autoimmune Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. Some may ask why I decided to do “Art Apple A Day” – to spend a year of my life dedicated to this crusade and all I can say is that it was just what I had to do.
I deal with this disease but I feel fortunate. The medications help me and I no longer suffer like so many people with this disease do. But, I’ve been there.
I’ve. Been. There.
I’ve been in a place that no one should have to ever be, a place of constant and non-stop pain. I do not want people to have to live their lives this way. I am not immune to the fact that I could be back in that place. The medications can stop working, the options can run out, as they do for many or, I could never have been able to get them at all.
I live with this knowledge but as long as my pain is lessened and my disease is somewhat controlled I feel that I need to work to help people who are in “that place” – I feel a responsibility since I am one of the fortunate. And I feel guilt because I do not understand why I can get a medication that helps and others cannot.
Because of all these reasons – I do this.
Day 266 was created in liquid acrylics and watercolor.
I’ve doodled in margins of notebooks, on phonebook covers… on receipts. Anywhere there was a piece of paper while I held a pen in my hand was destined for a doodle.
Sometimes doodles are just what the doctor ordered because they are simple, unfocused and require no deep thought. They help me escape or zone out. Doodles should be on the agenda everyday!
Day 265 was created in pen & ink.
*** Sweet Doodle No 1 was created way back on Day Three when I had no clue what I had just taken on – and I had no idea how to blog or even write anything – now I prattle on an on – thank you all for hanging with me on this journey!
I am constantly amazed at the new friends I meet through twitter, facebook, and my blog.
I love meeting and connecting with new people. Yesterday I met a fellow artist and blogger who has created an amazing book using his art and his thoughts about dealing with life with AS – talk about a fellow traveler of life.
Recently I’ve been working with a new friend named Arish in efforts to raise awareness and funds for a new project we are working on with another friend Abdul who I met at the beginning of my Apples for AS project. More on this tomorrow! Please stay tuned – I’m so excited to share it with you all!
As a kid I spent a month each summer at Chimney Corners summer camp – as did my brothers and my mother before us. We sang camp songs and one of my favorites was:
“make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”
It is sung in a round – like row, row your boat. I believe I am made rich by both – my old friends and my new…
Day 264 was created in mixed media.
*** I asked Doug if he knew the song “Make New Friends” and he did not. However – I insisted he sing it with me in rounds. Beware – this is not something anyone would wish to witness – neither of us can carry a tune 🙂 – well maybe Doug can when he concentrates!