December 16, 2014

finding my center

Relocating is interesting stuff. It undoubtedly catapults a person out of their comfort zone. There are people who actively seek that out in life and those who don't. I am in the later group. I force myself into unchartered waters trusting that breaching the zone inevitably will work out to be a good thing. Still, I struggle with it all the way through. In the past six months of living in a new city I have learned continuously and endlessly about myself. I am still understanding and growing more everyday. Three months after moving I found a pottery studio and signed up for my first eight week wheel throwing class. My experience with clay had been of the hand building variety. Working on the wheel strongly intrigued me and was a new and welcomed challenge for me. The beauty of throwing clay on a wheel is the first rule you must learn and conquer... center your clay. If the clay is not properly centered, whatever you are trying to throw will be unbalanced, misshapen, off. If the day is crumby or your mind is in another place, centering will not come easy. I understood this by my second day at the wheel and since then I have been enjoying my time throwing as a meditative and reflective exercise. I also am enjoying creating in this medium. I feel like I am finally getting better and am inspired to continue on, putting more effort into my work over the coming year and adding it to my focus for Forged & Found. Here I have assembled a gallery of my humble first pieces...

November 22, 2014

crescent city sojourn

Last week I was fortunate enough to make it back to New Orleans for the fourth time this year which is almost humorous to me after never managing to pass through this captivating city until this past February. The trip was a quick four days, a final escape before the rush of the holidays and also a hopeful break from the steadily declining temperature here in Athens. Unfortunately an overnight downpour brought dramatically chilled weather only after hours of arriving to our destination. Even though the wind whipped a bit there was plenty of sunshine and of course, the colors and flavors of New Orleans. I have developed a strong crush on this city, one that assures me I won't ever stay away too long.

November 10, 2014

peering into the past

Last week, on a beautiful autumn afternoon I got out of the house and explored some of the oldest, most storied homes in Athens. My photo essay tour has been posted on The Broad Collective and you can see it for yourself here.

October 21, 2014

autumn escape

It had been sometime since I had retreated to the mountains. Longer than I can remember really. An Autumnal excursion was the norm for my family and annually we would excitedly pile in the car and make the two hour drive from Philadelphia, wandering and winding up into the Pocono Mountains. Sometimes there were cabins and overnight stays but most often we made do with long day trips paused by afternoon picnics. Always there was spectacular color. The mountains, burning bright with their harvest palette, always struck a chord in me. Like I mentioned, it is lost to me how long ago I spent this season anywhere near a forest or a cabin and so when I was faced with a choice to spend a few days during the end of Autumn by the sea or in the mountains I chose the later.

Blairsville, Georgia is about a two hour drive from Athens and at a little past halfway the ride it was time to put down any maps or reading because the scenery truly becomes a feast for the eyes and the roads start curving and curling pretty wildly. This change in the landscape can be attributed to the entrance to the Chattahoochee Forest which is a part of the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains. This is an area that is fertile with farms, parks, hiking trails, waterfalls, vineyards and local artistic and folk culture. Our retreat from our everyday would be a brief one but as long as we were surrounded by trees and trails and had a sturdy roof overhead we would have just what we were looking for. We rented a cabin far up the mountain road surrounded by kaleidoscope hills and spent grape vines. This tiny pinewood home was charmingly rustic, thoughtfully decorated, clean, cozy and inspiringly simple. I immediately felt at home. Rocking on the porch was enjoyed equally as much as a long soak in the jacuzzi tub or falling asleep to the sound of acorns rolling across the roof. After only one night and day I began to imagine life paired down to the bare necessities. Fantasies of getting rid of everything, cooking from one pot, eating from one plate with one fork, sweeping out my simple wood shanty in the mornings and rocking away the afternoons on the front porch grew in my mind. This humble hearthstone immediately begged me to stay longer than planned and now I sit here at my computer typing and simultaneously scheming a return. Though admittedly too brief, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more of my new southern surroundings and am now even more curious to return and really dig into this neck of the woods.