• ragandstone

Words. and 30 days in September.

I'd like to think that words are palpable parts of a day,

every word said, or unsaid, courses through my veins,




Sometimes distant.

But always constant.

Words form the world.

And in a way,

form us as people too.

They make our reality,

they illustrate our existence,

and give depth to our experience.

As I post up here,

to this glowing screen,

and Otis Redding from my most favorite radio stations,

I'm breathing in this morning of cold and crisp fall air.

I'm sipping on my extra-black coffee at the kitchen table in our warm home.

We had a fire last week.

The first one of the year.

And If you aren't familiar with wood-stove heat,

it's the kind of heat that warms your entire being.


Words today are exhausting, I admit,

although they haunt me like the thudding in my chest,

the racket in my brain is not unlike the racket my heart makes within these ribs.

It's not entirely summer outside,

but not nearly fire-weather autumn either.

I lean my head in over my coffee and let the steam swirl around my freckled face

and contemplate what it is today that needs my attention.

Tex lays his heavy head near my feet,

his labored breathing writing invisible words for me,

and I feel his weight all around me.

Poor guy is dehydrated and exhaused from a week from doggie-hell,

and I can't help but tear up a little today as JP leaves for work and we,

together as a family,

discuss what happens if he worsens.

I can barely find the pulse of my day,

But that pounding in my head

leads me to the beat of my heart.

It's rhythmic.



And the words help too.

I'm confessing here.

September has been a weird and testing and altogether full month.

People say it's Mercury in Retrograde.

I say I'm just getting my spiritual ass kicked.

Big and beautiful things have happened,

so much progress in our world,

so many dreams taking flight,

so many starts.

So very many beautiful starts.

There have also been many stops.

Many haulted projects,

closed doors,

finished stories,

shortened lives,

And many stops started again.

In business, in family, and in friendship.

So much of this path has turned and twisted and has found me

So very raw.


And thankful for that.

I'm finding the blur of the month hard to explain.

And for lack of that story, I'll just say,

I'm working through it.

I've found little time in the studio

to build much thought process in metal,

and maybe that's part of it.

I have what seems like a thousand projects,

raw and unpolished,


barely there.

Maybe that's where the words do their work.

I was hoping for more of an explanation,

of my dry-spell here in the studio,

and my sloppy returned emails,

and the fifty directions I find myself pulled in.

But all I can muster for now is a list.

A collection of the last thirty days.

A rhythmic thumping heart in 30 days of September.

A daily grind. And a party. And a gift.


2 gallery openings in towns at least 45 miles from home.

3 fat wholesale orders.

2 new galleries.

6 mailed returns, repairs, and promises made and kept.

7 promises made and let go. And for some I am truly sorry for. Others. not so much.

1 round-table metalsmithing guild art discussion I will cherish forever. For so many reasons.

1 developing line of gold-fill jewelry that I'm pretty sure I don't like. Yet.

2 custom wedding bands that nearly had me in tears and tantrums.

2 engagement bands, for friends and soon-to-be-friends.

1 wedding in a hay field.

1 published article with photos of my work and credit due. Thank you Flathead Living.

1 patched and tar-papered roof on our hundred-year-old-house.

91 Tobacco tins in patched fashion as flashing for spine of house found under old tar paper.

91 Tobacco tins torn from same roof (4 nails in each).

1 chimney torn down.

77 bricks tossed from sed roof from sed chimney.

15 gallons of 'black-bean-brown' semi-transparent stain applied.

12 winter squash harvested from our hands-off shire garden.

3,689 sungold cherry tomatoes harvested from the vine.

4 Eggplants that were roasted and devoured.

3 hard frosts.

1 black bear encounter. In the yard.

16 pounds of fresh Steelhead and Chinook Salmon harvested.

12 cooked pounds shared and devoured with friends and family.

2 hot water heaters.

3 bounced checks. 2 of which weren't mine.

3 spaces looked at for future brick-and-mortar business opportunity.

3 brick-and-mortar business opportunities in town that ended in dead ends and closed doors.

4 brick-and-mortars in town that have asked about carrying work.

0 decisions made about that.

3 fishing trips, one of which I am sure will probably be Tex's last.

3 prescriptions filled and emptied. 2 For tex.

1 garage sale.

15 garage sale signs.

1 patio renovated from past landscape failure.

23 hours sunk into sed patio.

1200 dollar deposit on Grand Canyon River trip in November.

2 days reservation on a venue for annual christmas show I will not be attending.

3 friends that volunteered to run sed venue for me while I'm gone.

4 pieces of a fishing pole, repaired and returned from CO.

3 cords of wood, stacked and split for winter and under new shed roof.

28 pieces of corrugated steel roofing torn from house, 10 used on new shed roof.

10 Birthdays.

1 Birth.

1 Death.


And the beat goes on.

#heartbeat #september #introspection

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