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#8 ~ silly dogs and dreams

July 15, 2011

endless sea

I’ve been home several weeks now … I think I’m in the final phase of ‘re-entry’.   When returning from the arms of my Muse it always takes me awhile to get used to life here. Not to life here on the farm … that’s actually quite perfect for me.  Here I can safely wander around bumping into things when I’m up at 3 AM and to bed at 8:30 pm for several days of jet lag, and I soften the prolonged re-entry by brushing horses, watering plants, writing in the mornings after a ½ hour or so sipping coffee and watching birds.  I can be useful from those rarefied ethers by listening to songs Paul has written in my absence (he has no trouble finding his Muse anywhere he may be), learning new ones and preparing for upcoming gigs.  It’s the ‘being around other people’ part that I have trouble with. Culture shock. We Americans, even here in what we locals consider to be ‘the promised land’, are really very loud and fast! Don’t believe me? Go away for a month, preferably to the still of an ancient sun draped place drenched in color and myth, with welcoming waters and no clocks to obey, where you write and read and swim and smile and swim some more – and eat and drink and write – and move really, really slowly.


This loud and fast bit still surprises me – it used to be the landing at JFK that knocked me off kilter. Now it’s landing in downtown Nevada City!

My comparisons are to the cobbled streets and peaceful harbor in Skiathos, Greece where just about everyone greets one another in the mornings with a genuine “kalimera!” (good day!) and “ti kanis?” (how are you?). Or on the first day of each and every month, a “kalo mina!” (have a good month!) I like that. A lot.

On the island, almost everyone I pass and greet looks me in the eye with a smile. (well, except for that old woman clad in the black of a widow who spit at me when I passed one day! I was assured that it was for my own good, her spit … it warded off the ‘evil eye’ and protected me from the bad luck of any envy! I did notice that she had been looking at my ‘burnished rose’ painted toenails when she spit.)

Time passes slowly there, and it is kind.

So – I am reticent to venture out into the harshlands for quite some time as I readjust to the scuttle of daily life in America.  I have to work to hang on to the presence and peace I am blessed with on my journeys-to-the-Muse, and attempt to linger there and steep in it’s loveliness for as long as I possibly can. That means long stretches of speaking little ‘human’ and lots and lots of ‘equine/canine/feline and goat’

I was just looking over the many photographs I took on my journey and towards the end of the bunch I found the one I’d been able to snag of the Rev. Djuna Cupcake on my second day home. Djuna and his ‘Homeland Security Threat Levels’ have been written about previously here in my ‘notes from an endless sea’, but this picture captured the first seen – ever – ‘Homeland Security Threat level multi-socked and blue/white/purple/flowered undie’d’, which we translate to mean …

… ‘Un-effing-believably High’.

HSTL "un-effing-believably High"

Paul and I had gone out for brunch, a sliver of time together after a month apart, and returned home to find Djuna waiting with worry in his eye and several pairs of socks and ALL of the old undies that had been designated as his ––probably 8 pairs–– dangling from his mouth.  We’re thinking that he may have been pondering the thought (he has many thoughts, believe me) that one of us might be disappearing, again, and far too soon for his liking. (I’m thinking that his ponder went something like this … though Paul may feel differently … DON’T leave me with Dad – again. Don’t you dare.  I’m too old for this s**t.  I can’t possibly take care of everything here while having to let him think that he’s the one in charge, it’s indoggedly possible. He just runs around acting crazy, trying to make sure everything is freaking PERFECT, and I think he’s going to have a heart attack, and THEN what?  HOW can I keep everyone and everything else safe when I have to worry about him all of the time? Don’t. Do. This. To. Me.)

I am happy to report that he displayed this SOS one time only and is generally back to demonstrating his standard HSTlevel 1, “No Problem, I’m just a goofy dude”, which is only one pair of socks or the stuffie of his choice.


when words come ...


I thought it time to write a bit about progress made in my quest for finding a literary agent to represent ‘All The Little Graces’.


To this point I’ve received 6 rejection letters (ranging from – a very polite “We loved your work and have no doubt that it will find it’s place in the world – we just aren’t actively seeking this type of project at the moment. Our best wishes to you!”, to the more straightforward  “This is not for us. Your voice does not stand out – actually,  it is imperceptible – and your writing is weak at best. Back to the drawing board, or better yet, forget about trying to be a writer.”  I really do expect many, many more of these, 40 or 60 or perhaps even 90, before the book finds it’s ‘place in the world’. I’m not worried – yet.

But really, this is how it will play out … I will print all of those letters and place the considerable stack in a folder titled REJECTIONS – in bold letters. I plan to take that folder with us to Greece where I will sit with friends and family on our veranda by the sea with the view to eternity, the thick folder on the table before us … we will propose a toast over it … a toast to dreams.

Because my published book will be sitting on the table there, right next to it.

Here’s to dreams … those dreams, don’t ever let them go!

look up! angels all around ... and a hawk!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2011 12:30 pm

    Kalimera Eleanore! Tikanis?
    It’s wonderful to connect so deeply to a place, to the earth and sea, to the people and lifestyle; but when you are gone from our little price of heaven on earth and find yourself at the edge of an endless sea – you are missed by those here.

    As always I enjoyed reading your words and connected deeply with these in particular: “…sit with friends and family on our veranda by the sea with a view to eternity…”

    Moved to tears,


  2. July 16, 2011 12:22 am

    Greece has so many dreams, and so many nightmares. seems like you are stuck on one of the dream places…even with spitting YiaYias!! 🙂
    The creativity that us folk hold can be lost in many people’s minds and it is for us to be strong I guess, and as you say, never let that dream die.


  3. July 22, 2011 2:53 pm

    Eleanore –
    You can write. Beautifully. If I never make it to Greece, it will be a sad thing mitigated by the fact that I have seen it so clearly through your words and photos.


    • July 22, 2011 3:56 pm

      Thank you Amanda! I must suggest a friend’s blog for lovely writing and photos of Greece – in particular all about the island Paul and I have been going to for 25 years … ‘Painting Skiathos’, Yvonne Ayoub … you can find the link in the ‘Blog roll’ on the right side of my blog. I hope all is going well for you and Chirs there in the Carolinas … by the sea … lucky you!


  4. Sylvia Soholt permalink
    August 7, 2011 4:48 pm

    From my perch on the porch with the three seniors, I smiled when I saw the photo of Djuna–a distant brother to my lab girls, Your message of slowness really spoke to me, since I’ve slowed my pace this week in response to Blackie’s increasing immobility, and keep batting back the nagging feeling that I should be DOING something more.

    Here’s to learning to be quiet (which I can do) and slow (which is harder)…


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